Cebu Pacific Air / denied to board aircraft
On June 12, 2017 I was to board the flight 5J 395 from Manila to Cagayan de Oro. My flight’s boarding time was 7:45pm and departure time is 8:15pm at NAIA Terminal 3, Gate 134B. I checked in online and was already at the airport around 7:10pm. I also lined up to have my ticket printed and the ground crew said that it was not necessary since I already have a copy of my boarding pass in my cellphone gallery. I even asked her regarding the status of my flight and she said it will depart on time as there is no advice that it will be delayed. I was glad upon hearing this since I was enthusiastic going home without any delays. I was already at the pre departure gate and also went to the comfort room since it was still early. Upon arriving at the boarding gate the ground crew informed me that I cannot board the aircraft anymore and it was still 7:50pm. I could not understand how in a span of 5 minutes they already closed the plane. My boarding pass clearly indicated that boarding time is 7:45pm and I was at the boarding gate at exactly 7:50pm. I tried to beg for the crew to let me board the plane since I have no money left to purchase for a new ticket. I explained to her that I am still on time and I have the right to board that plane going to my beloved CDO. She refused and frankly said to me to just book another ticket to another flight. I was traveling alone and being the pacifist that I am I didn't make a scene. I was speaking to her in a calm voice and I pleaded for help regarding my situation but the crew never even offered to rebook and on top of it all, would not refund my ticket. I felt hopeless with my unpleasant experience with the ground crew so I went to the Cebu Pacific Admin Office to seek for help regarding my situation. In the Admin Office they said they will call the crew in the boarding gate. After calling, the crew from the Admin Office told me they cannot do anything about my situation. They wouldn’t even offer to rebook my flight which was their fault in the first place and outspokenly told me that Cebu Pacific is a budget airline and they would not wait for any passenger. She told me I was at fault that I didn’t answer the call, why would I even answer the call when I am already in the boarding gate. I was already checked in but they wouldn’t allow me to board the aircraft. I have been a loyal customer though I am experiencing delays on your flights; by far this is the worst experience that I had received from Cebu Pacific Air. I felt disrespected and humiliated as a customer. So easy for you to say to book another flight when you know all too well that airfare prices are too high when you are travelling on the next day. I was crying out for help yet you have done nothing, you have only given me emotional stress. I have had my share of incidents as an air traveller, but had never experienced anything as unpleasant and as distasteful as this. I never even heard a single apology for the hassle you’ve caused me.
In the Passenger Bill of Rights Chapter 1, Section 2.9 clearly states that "Denied Check-in" takes place when a passenger, who has presented himself/herself for check-in at the appointed area and at the appointed time, is denied or not processed for boarding a particular flight. "Denied Boarding" takes place when a passenger, who holds a confirmed reserved seat, and who has presented himself/herself for carriage at the proper time and place and fully complied with the carrier's check in and reconfirmation procedures, and who is acceptable for carriage under carrier's tariff, was not allowed to board the aircraft. Understanding this, I have every right to board the aircraft since I was at the boarding gate at the right time. With this, it constitutes a contract of carriage between your airline and me as a passenger, whereby the air carrier, for consideration, obligates itself to transport a passenger by air safely, efficiently and conveniently along a stipulated route at a given date and time. Herewith, I demand for an apology and a full refund on my June 12, 2017 flight from Manila bound to Cagayan de Oro City.
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