Cebu Pacific / canceled flight
This long weekend took months in the making. We were going to donsol to swim with the whalesharks from april 3-5. The only flaw in my plan was that we booked a flight with cebu pacific. We were at the naia terminal 3 at around 5 am for our 6 am flight. We weren't late. We checked in and boarded our plane on time. Sadly, there were 6 airheads dilly dallying after checking in their luggage, so we had a 20 minute delay from waiting for them. The 20 minute delay would have been ok had the ff. Events not happened:
A. Upon arriving at legaspi, the plane's pilot informed us 2 minutes after the stewardess stated that we were about to land, that we were flying back to manila due to the rains. Had we been 20 minutes early, do you think the rains wouldn't have been an issue? I mean, shouldn't cebu pacific contacted the legaspi airport or even pagasa to check on the weather conditions before taking off?! Turning back would've been ok had the pal express flight that came after us not landed in the same airport. Ok. Maybe the pilot was really thinking of our safety. However, there was this to consider:
B. When we got back to manila, we encountered a cebu pacific staff that was not ready to address passengers who had places to go, people to see and fully paid for accommodations and tours awaiting them on our respective destinations. They were so unprepared that we were all told that no, they weren't putting together another flight for the day, coz it was a tedious process to secure permits. We all had to rebook our flights within the next 7 days and no, all the other flights for the day were fully booked. Why go back to manila? Why not naga? It would have been closer! After pleading to the customer assistance crew, our mob finally demanded that a manager show and give us answers that can actually penetrate the outrage we were all feeling at that time.
Ok. So little miss manager shows up. The same little miss manager who kept on asking one of the customer assistance peepz to fill in the blanks of her half hearted, half informed responses. We were also concerned about our tour packages that we had availed and not have been refunded for at this late a date. Rebooking within 7 days wasn't going to solve that!
After an hour and a litany of "we can't, it's not possible and sorry, it wasn't our fault it rained", little miss manager told us to go to the ticketing counter upstairs and get our waiting list numbers in the event that there will be available seats in the 2 succeeding flights. Three girls from our group trouped upstairs to line up. There were two lines by now. When it was their turn to be served, they were directed to join the other line, which was just as long coz the a-hole on the other side was going for a break. They finally ended up with waiting list #s 52-58 for our group. 1-36 was able to leave in the next flight. As for our group, we were told to stick around till 1130 am and wait to see if we would be included in the next plane.
We were at the airport since 5 am. Six hours later, we were once again in line, waiting to be included in the last flight of the day to legaspi. The woman behind the standby counter was doing her best in entering info in her computer. She was only able to accomodate #s 37-40 and was told that the flight was filled up. She was baffled at how this could have happened since she was the one inputting the stand by data. After communicating via two-way radio to the folks in the two-way radio, she was surprised to find out that the idiotic ninnies on the other side allowed people who weren't in the waiting list to check in. I mean, wtf?!!! Why'd they even bother to instruct us to line up to be included in the waiting list when they were going to allow every tom, dick and harry the right to board the plane.
There were no available flights the next day either. As for the 7 day deadline.. Good luck.. Holy week's coming in by next week. Then there was also this:
C. We were told that we weren't going to get a full refund on our plane tickets. Since the plane actually took off, we were going to be charged 1300 off that total price. Hellooow!! No services were rendered. The airline didn't deliver what we paid for!
Aside from the already ruined vacation, the thing that bugs me most is how much cebu pacific lacked in basic customer service principles. They were unflexible, uncommunicative and negligent of their responsibilities to their primary source of income.. The customers. Having the flight canceled due to safety reasons was quite understandable. But their dealing with the fallout was really really crappy. Budget flights shouldn't translate to crappy service. If only cebpac would spend half the time you take to maintain your user-friendly website in training your crew in customer service and brainstorming on contingency plans in the event that flights get canceled, you wouldn't be having mob scenes in their airport and have more 2nd time customers!
The only whales that I saw this weekend were cebu pacific's customer service... Coz dang... Their service blows!
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