Wednesday, February 13, 2008

cebu pacific fouls up again

during the last piso fare craze, susie and i were able to purchase cheap tickets to puerto princesa. we were pretty excited about the trip, and have already figured out our itinerary, until we received bad news today:

CEBU PACIFIC would like to inform you that your flt 5J640 for PPSMNL ETD 1615H on MAR 10,2008 is cancelled. For inquiries or rebooking,pls call 02-7020888

it's definitely not a good way to start the day, but what can i do? so i dialled the cebu pacific hotline, waited for 15 minutes, realized it's going to take longer, hung up, and took a shower.

after that, i tried calling again, and it took 15 minutes before i got hold of an agent. i was informed that cebu pacific is taking out the 415pm flight from their timetable, and the only flight left that day was the 1015am flight.


to cebu pacific, it was just a matter of taking out a flight schedule. to me, it meant saying goodbye to our city tour, because we had allotted our other days to see the subterranean river park, honda bay, and other attractions. a 1015am flight meant we were basically just staying there for two days, instead of almost 3 days. while i'm sure seeing the subterranean river park would be memorable, it's a total waste of time and money if we don't get to see the city.


and what made the situation worse was the way the cebu pacific travel agent, MC, handled the whole thing. when i asked him to just rebook me for the 10am flight, he had the gall to tell me, in a threatening tone, "okay, i'll rebook this flight for 10am, but next time you change it again, you will pay for rebooking charges."


*deep breath*


was it
my fault that you cancelled the flight? i was fine about my original flight until you told me i had to change it. i never wanted to change it, but you gave me no choice, and you're making me sound like i'm being inconsiderate for rebooking my flight.

if he just found a better way to say it, i wouldn't be seething this much. i think i hated the way he handled my call more than i'm hating the fact that i'll be leaving at 1015am instead of at 415pm.


but going back to the cebu pacific foul-up, i don't understand why they have to cancel flights that are already sold. if the route or the schedule wasn't profitably viable, then they shouldn't have offered it in the first place. but since they have, they could have at least just pushed through with the flights that have been sold, and gradually "phased out" that specific schedule.


now, i'm inclined to think that they only offered that flight schedule to make the route more attractive to buyers. now that they have my money, they have no problems changing the schedule.


but what makes this situation even sadder is that i know i won't stop taking cebu pacific flights. they're the only reasonable choice budget-wise. i live to travel, and if it means being inconvenienced like this, i have no choice but to swallow it all.

all i can do is hope that cebu pacific will one day wake up and start thinking about the quality of their service. never mind that your flight attendants can't speak proper english, never mind that i don't have much legroom on the plane. just please, get me to my destination at my preferred time.

15 comments:

aimee rae said...

You can try Air Philippines. The airline's offering all-year-round low fares. When it had the P8 fare, my round trip Caticlan flight came up almost 3K cheaper than the P1 tickets my officemate got from Cebu Pacific.

I think you only need to go to the ticketing office for the P8 fare. All-year-round low fares can be booked online.

:)

kegler747 said...

I'm sorry to hear about the misfortune... Ganun talaga, we have no choice when the airline decides to cancel a flight. Dati nga pinagmamalaki ng Cebu Pacific na 90% on-time flights nila pero ngayon I bet below 70% nalang.

Air Philippines is okay kaso lang di maganda ang schedule kse konti lang ang flights nila and you cannot book online unlike Cebu Pacific. I took advantage of their 8peso sale to Cagayan de Oro pero sana Cebu Pacific nalang kse mas maaga ang alis tapos late ang uwi.

missy said...

hi! i'm sorry to hear that. IMHO, if you have to choose between the city tour and the subterranean river, choose the latter. sabang is amazing, with its beach and limestone cliffs. the city tour is alright too, but you can see a butterfly garden and crocodile elsewhere while the subterranean river is quite an experience.

djong said...

aimee: hmm... i'll probably try that for my next trip. nakakahassle na eh.

carlo: kaya nga e. just because they brought their prices down, bumagsak na rin ang quality of service. pwede pa rin naman i-maintain yun di ba?

missy: oh yes, will definitely not miss the subterranean river park! :) i just find it such a waste that i won't be seeing the city because of the flight change.

Melita, The Grand Puppet Mistress said...

don't worry. there isn't much to see in the city...butterfly garden's not that great, palawan museum is okay, but nothing life-altering. although missing iwahig penal farm...that's sad. it isn't just a place, it's an experience (travel writer in me awakens).

you can enjoy the nightlife, though. i mean, it's nothing compared to what manila offers (or boracay) but maybe ma tyempuhan mo ang mga jam sessions sa Ka Lui or Kamarikutan. The Palaweno artists/ musicians are really something.

btw, make sure to go dolphin-watching at honda bay. wait for the sunset to see the armada of bats by bat island. and next time you go to puerto princesa, try venturing to the northern part where there are great beaches without the slightest touch of tourism. you'll have the place all to yourself (sometimes you'd have to share with another spirited backpacker, but that's a small price to pay for the tranquility).

Jordan said...

I want to share our really bad experience with Cebu Pacific....

March 22, 2008 (HK-Manila flight) while we were checking-in our baggages, the Cantonese check-in personnel of Cebu Pacific suddenly tell us that we should pay HKD1563.00 (1-way) fare for our 2 year old daughter. HKD 1563.00 is the rate of Cebu Pacific if you get your ticket in HK airport, rate is same for child and adult. They are asking us to pay the fare because we booked our daughter as an infant and now, 5 days after her birthday, she is already 2 years old. According to the Filipina who seems to be the station manager (Liza Anarete – if I spelled her name right), 1 day or 5 day is just the same, my daughter is still considered a child and not an infant.

Apparently, Cebu Pacific's online booking system has a problem, they calculate the passenger's age based on the booking date and not on the flight date. When my wife booked our ticket a few months ago, the system wont accept my daughter as a child and only accepted her as an infant which means fare is free. When we left Manila last March 19, we were not asked by check-in personnel to pay for my daughter’s fare.

I tried to explain all these but to no avail, worse the Cantonese check-in guy, plus an Indian and the station manager told us we better leave our daughter or cancel our ticket if we cannot pay. They even threatened us by trying to cancel our ticket if we don’t pay immediately.

Obviously I paid for the fare since I don’t have any choice, all flights to Manila are fully booked during that night.

Yesterday when we tried Cebu Pacific’s online booking system, the problem is already fixed. I guess they learned about this problem way before and my daughter’s name was actually marked so we will be asked to pay for the fare before we go back to Manila.

You pay peanuts you get peanuts….

Jeremy Randell said...

I find it so appalling to the point it can be considered amusing how such a large company which Cebu Pacific is now, can not even train their people on proper customer service. I mean, perhaps they should sit in one of the many, many call centers in Manila to see the American standard of how to treat customer complaints.

My friend also got very bad service from them recently and when they emailed to complain, the response was so lack luster and lacking in apology. A response she only got mind you, because she knows someone who emailed Lance Gokongwei directly, or they would have most likely ignored her.

Anonymous said...

STRANDED IN JAKARTA FOR OVER 1 WEEK WHILE TRYING TO CONTACT CEBU PACIFIC AIRLINES FOR A RESCHEDULE TO FLY BACK TO MANILA !
I AM ABSOLUTLEY DISGUSTED WITH CEBU PACIFIC AIRLINES & I WILL NEVER USE THEM AGAIN.
I HAVE BEEN IN JAKARTA FOR THREE MONTHS AND NEED TO FLY BACK TO MANILA ASAP.
I RANG THE TRAVEL AGENT AND THEY TOLD ME TO GO TO THEIR OFFICE SO I TRAVELLED TO THE APPOINTED TRAVEL AGENT [$$$$$TAXI]—PT.ANDALAN USAHA CEMERLANG–THE ONLY ONE DEALING WITH CEBUPACIFICAIR IN JAKARTA — ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT THEY COULD NOT REBOOK MY FLIGHT BECAUSE CEBUPACIFICAIR HAD CHANGED THEIR COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND ALL TICKETS PURCHASED BEFORE 1st april 08 COULD NOT BE RESCHEDULED ONLINE.
WELL RING THEM AND CHANGE IT I SAID— THEY REFUSED!THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED IN THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE TO HELP ME [REMEMBER I AM A FOREIGNER HERE AND DO NOT SPEAK INDONESIAN].

YOU RING THEM YOURSELF- THEY SAID ITS YOUR PROBLEM OR BETTER STILL BUY ANOTHER TICKET AND GET A REFUND ON YOUR OLD TICKET WHEN YOU REACH MANILA!==why should I buy another ticket when i have a valid ticket here ??IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THEM TO SEE MY REASONING SO I LEFT THE AGENTS SHOP IN A STATE OF ABSOLUTE DISGUST.
[ITS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT THEY ARE VERY HAPPY TO TAKE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY BUT DO NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING FOR IT !!]BEWARE OF THIS TRAVEL AGENT !!
ANOTHER [TAXI RIDE$$$$$$] TO MY ACCOMODATION AND I TRY TO CALL CEBUPACIFICAIR ON MY CELL FONE —AN IMPOSSIBLE FEAT TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY $$$$$
SO ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE MY TICKET ONLINE AND
==========================================================
IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE IT THRU A TRAVEL AGENT AND
=========================================================

SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTACT CEBUPACIFIC BY CELL FONE!

OK I HAD FRIENDS IN JAKARTA WHO HAVE A LANDLINE [TAXI$$$$$] —-ON THE PHONE FOR OVER 1 HOUR WAITING TO BE SERVED AND THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL PHONE CALL REMEMBER[$$$$$$$$] ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT IT WILL COST $130 DOLLARS TO REBOOK MY FLIGHT –[A NEW TICKET COSTS $150!]

THE CALL CENTRE AGENT WAS POWERLESS TO TO HELP ME OR SEE REASON SO I GAVE UP IN DESPAIR REFUSING TO PAY $130 DOLLARS FOR SOMETHING THAT I HAD ALREADY PAID FOR!

I AM TOTALLY DISGUSTED WITH THE WHOLE PROCESS NEEDLESS TO SAY THE CALLOUS TREATMENT AND INHUMAN DISREGARD CEBUPACIFICAIRLINES HAVE SHOWN TOWARDS ME AND MY SITUATION. AS WITH ALL CORPORATES THEY ARE DISTANCED FROM THE PEOPLE THAT GIVE THEM THEIR PROFITS ie THE CUSTOMER.IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE CONTACT OF ANY MEANING OR VALUE BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE SYSTEM IS OPERATED.

THIS EXPERINCE HAS SO FAR COST ME ABOUT $300 — FOR TAXI FARES + NUMEROUS INTERNATIONAL PHONE CALLS + ACCOMODATION COSTS DUE TO EXTENDED STAY + FOOD + MISSED APPOINTMENTS IN MANILA –NOT TO MENTION THAT I WILL STILL NEED TO BUY ANOTHER TICKET TO GET OUT OF HERE SO IT LOOKS AS THOUGH ITS GOING TO BE A $500 DOLLAR EXPENSE DUE TO CEBUPACIFICS ABYSMAL SERVICE ! MORE IMPORTANTLY THE STRESS INVOLVED HAS BEEN ENORMOUS FOR ME
I WISH I HAD SOME MEANS TO BRING THIS TO THEIR ATTENTION BUT ITS SEEMS IMPOSSBLE TO CONTACT ANYONE THERE IN THEIR AIRCONDITIONED OFFICES
[NOT THAT THEY WOULD CARE ANYWAY] GOD HELP US ALL
BUT I SWEAR I WILL NEVER FLY WITH THIS AIRLINE AGAIN UNLESS I GET SOME SORT OF APOLOGY AND REIMBURSEMENT
SO IF ANYONE FROM CEBUPACIFIC WHO HAS ANY AUTHORITY READS THIS ACCOUNT OF MY EXPERIENCE YOU CAN ALL GO AND—–!!*#+====== YOURSELVES!!!!

May 21st, 2008 ROBERT MASON says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

HAVING HAD MORE THOUGHTS ABOUT MY RECENT BLOG REGARDING CEBUPACIFIC AIRLINES AND THEIR APPALLING CUSTOMER RELATIONS SERVICE == WELL THEY DONT HAVE ONE IN REALITY!
AND THE APALLING DISREGARD THEY EXHIBIT TO THEIR CUSTOMERS I PERSONALLY CONSIDER THEM TO BE CORPORATE THIEVES
AND THEY SHOULD BE EXPOSED AND TAKEN TO COURT AND SUED FOR THE HARDSHIP AND TROUBLE THEY CAUSE TO UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS

Anonymous said...

Cebu Pacific Airlines: You cant complain about the service as there simply is none. Its not a service its an incovenience!

Marco said...

thats why I never fly Cebu Pathetic! Pambobola lang ang Piso fare!

freeze said...

i had my ordeal with Cebu Pacific's lousy service too! :(

read my story on my blog. Even you have boarding pass, it doesn't guarantee you a seat either.

Anonymous said...

haynako, ako din ay biktima nyang cebu pacific, just now i cheked my confirmed booking online, pagtingin ko... namove ang timeslot namen, papunta dna pabalik from bora :( tig 4 hours ang difference!!! umiksi tuloy stay namen, 8 hours ang nawala halos samen :( kalibo pa nman nibook namen kase mejo mahal yung catiklan, ZERO fare din, just to know they would come up with an ALL -IN promo, which is 50% sa ZERO fare kuno nila!! sobrang galet ko talaga, they can just change the sked like that, pero pag rebook ka nman kahit ono hour difference ng flight, you have to pay na agad, nakakainis silaaaa! sanaaaa mapamedia sila ewan!!

ive been patronizing the airline for 3 years now mula nung nagpiso fare pa, ngayon lang nangyare na me gentong aberya :( nakakinis talaga sila huhu!

oliboy said...

http://oliboycastro.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-cebu-pacific-story.html

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that, but again a "nice" story about Cebu Pacific. Don't know what they are doing there but at least I have the impression they don't know it either. Arranging about 25 flight with them during the past 2 years either for friends or for myself only 1 or 2 !! was able to stick to their timetable to be clear I am not talking about delays of 20 or 30 minutes while other airlines were operating the same destinations more or less accurately. Trying to refund 2 tickets since November 2007 I resulted in nothing, nothing than unsuccessful calls to their hotlines - what a joke, hotline ... ice cold are these lines - not being pushed through to any human being. So far I could recite their vocal adverts over the past months but that's it. 8 weeks ago one of their ticket outlets here nearby was able to get a view through the smoke, one ticket was refunded in April but not to my credit card, useless to say that we did not get any update what happend neither to expect seeing any single centavo. Speaking of credit cards, since about 2 years it is difficult to book online with Visa issued from any foreign bank but Cebu Pacific is working to resolve this issue, working since 2 years now. Funny thing, sometimes it works, most of the time it is not working. Bookings with other plastics ... same picture, a big N followed by an "othing".
It was nice to see Mr. Lance Gokongwei smiling in each issue of their Smile Magazine, guess it would have been a good idea - also of him in getting his job done - to end up in smiling passengers. Looking back to an experience of 600 / 700 flights all over the world up to date, Cebu Pacific is one of a kind, a kind of its very own.
Guess I rather will swim than getting a foot in one of their aircrafts again.
Haki

Anonymous said...

Experienced UNAUTHORIZED CANCELLATION OF BOOKING for THREE freaking times!!!!

I booked a roundway ticket for Manila-Saigon-Manila last April 2010 so I could avail the special promo. I got the confirmation receipt and felt very excited. After a week, May 2, I got another itinerary receipt stating that I cancelled my Manila-Saigon flight, leaving me with my Saigon-Manila flight. It was a long useless argument with a customer agent. So i decided to purchase another ticket (have to pay higher for the fare). On May 18, I received an email again stating that I cancelled what I booked on May 2. I got very upset. I realized its costing me lots of money. I was able to reach the guest service manager and settle it through giving my ticket back plus a travel fund valid within 90days. And so I thought everything is ok... until yesterday, I received a phone call informing me that I cancelled my Saigon-Manila booking. haaaaaaaaaaaayy... this is really crazy!!!! they even insisted that maybe someone has an access on my email. But if that's the case, then why is my other booking (like hotel booking etc) NOT troubled?
And why notify me three weeks before my tour? and a month past after the cancellation has been done?
haaayyy..

anyone here with the same experience???