‘Bakit kayo ganyan?’: Vice Ganda irked by ‘overbooking’ issue in flight to Manila

October 25, 2023 - 11:50 AM
Vice Ganda_Instagram
Comedian-host Vice Ganda at the GMA Gala 2023 in this photo taken by Miguel Alomajan and posted on her Instagram on July 23, 2023 (praybeytbenjamin/Instagram)

Vice Ganda expressed his disappointment after encountering alleged overbooking issues with an airline following a trip to Hong Kong.

In a series of posts on Tuesday, October 24, Vice aired his grievances with Philippine Airlines (PAL) for allegedly overbooking him and his companions on their flight.

RELATED: ‘Luging lugi’: Vice Ganda airs frustration over delayed flight before Naliyagan concert 

In one post, Vice shared that one of his companions was not able to fly with the group because of this travel inconvenience.

“GRABE KA @flyPAL!!! Grabeng pang-aabala at perwisyo ang dinulot mo sa masaya sanang trip na ito!!! Bakit kayo ganyan??? Ilang beses nyo kaming pinaranas ng overbooking sa puntong di nakasakay ang kasama namin. Ngayon ako naman ang nawalan ng upuan!” he said.

Vice also recalled getting teary-eyed before boarding the plane because he almost missed their flight.

“Walang halong biro naiyak ako habang tumatakbo para umabot ako sa flyt na muntik kong di masakyan dahil nagoverbook kayo. Si Ion [Ion Perez] inabutan kong mukhang kawawang nasa pinto ng eroplano dahil ayaw nyang sumakay kung di ako makakasakay. Yun ang ginawa nyo sa amin,” he said in a separate post.

Vice, Ion and the rest of the “It’s Showtime” cast took a brief vacation in Hong Kong while their show is under a 12-day suspension in compliance with the MTRCB’s order.

Unserviceable seats?

These complaints soon reached the X account of PAL.

It issued two separate statements in the replies section on one of Vice’s posts.

PAL initially apologized to the “It’s Showtime” main host, saying that it would look into the matter and provide him updates.

“Your concerns about overbooking have not gone unnoticed. We are here to assure you that we take your feedback to heart and are committed to looking into this matter immediately,” the airline said.

Nearly an hour later, PAL clarified to Vice that their flights were not overbooked.

Rather, their seats were “downgraded” after being “identified as unserviceable.”

“First and foremost, we want to clarify that the flight was not overbooked, and we operate with the utmost commitment to safety. During pre-flight safety checks, two business class seats were identified as unserviceable due to safety concerns, rendering them unfit for passenger use,” PAL said.

As a workaround, the airline said that Vice was one of the passengers who were “offered” a downgraded seat to economy class, citing the “safety and the operational integrity of the flight.”

“As a result, you were among the passengers offered a seat downgrade to economy class, a decision made to ensure safety and the operational integrity of the flight,” PAL said.

The flag carrier later received an update, saying that two “alternative” passengers from the business class volunteered to avail of the downgrade offer instead.

Thus, the reserved business class seats in question were returned to Vice.

“We have received an update that eventually, two alternative passengers were identified and agreed to accept the downgrade offer, allowing you to return to your originally booked business class seats. We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this situation,” it said.

Vice soon saw PAL’s statements in his post, which elicited further ire from the veteran comedian.

“Hindi yan ang sinabi sakin sa counter! Ang sabi ng staff ‘THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED AND MY SEAT WAS GIVEN TO ANOTHER PASSENGER’,” he said.

PAL has not yet issued an update about Vice’s travel woes.

PAL’s overbooking policy

Under the carrier’s “Conditions of Contract,” it was stated that PAL may ask for volunteers to give up their confirmed reservations “in exchange for reward” in cases of overbooking.

“There is no absolute guarantee therefore that a seat will always be available on a flight for which a passenger has a confirmed reservation,” the policy reads.

“When a flight is overbooked, Carrier’s personnel shall ask for volunteers willing to give up their confirmed reservations in exchange for reward offered by Carrier. In case there are not enough volunteers, confirmed passengers who are denied boarding may be entitled to compensatory payment in accordance with Carrier’s Tariffs,” it added.