Cebu Pacific — mistreating crew
Hey how are you? It’s New Year I hope you are doing well and I wish I could say the same to you. I’m very exhausted, drained to the very core, sick and I can’t afford to file for a sick leave since it’s going to feel like filing a legal case in a Court Room.
As most of you know, Cebu Pacific is always having weekly cabin crew walk-in interview (Thursday-Friday) at their office in Domestic Rd because they are really short of manpower and the resignation is extremely high. I noticed that they do not value their crew, no matter how long you’ve worked for them; they know that they can hire new ones and train them.
Everyday feels like I’m preparing to fight for a war. Our office is the last place I want to be in, healthy people become ill and the environment cause people to have physiological responses to fear and anger. If you’re going to let me choose between facing irate passengers in a delayed flight or be in the nice comfortable office, I’d chose to calm down the passengers and take all their rage. We experience the reality of bulling bosses, poisonous people and soul-crushing culture on a daily basis. They will call your attention if they feel like it and tell you what they think is wrong. I have a friend who gets her waist and hip measured since she looks bigger compared to the other girls. Well, she is taller than me, her weight seems proportioned to her height and if her Body Mass Index is right I say leave the lady alone. Don’t shout out her and call her fat in front of all the people in the office, give us some respect. People have different body types, if you didn’t like the way she looked like you should’ve not hired her in the first place. Also, please be consistent, I see other girls who looks worse, they don’t even look good in the uniform. Ahhhh! The uniform, orange and yellow, probably not the worst Cabin Crew Uniform ever designed. But… common! Just because we’re a low cost carrier doesn’t mean you have to make us look like one. Your lovely cabin crews are reluctant to be seen beside other flight attendants in Dubai and Sydney, well even here in Manila, and it isn’t a wise choice to make the ground attendant’s uniform almost the same as us, you can’t even tell the difference. The ugly Bench mark logo on the uniform makes it look tacky, and last 2012 we were only given 6 pairs of shirt, 1 jacket, 4 skirts, 1 belt, 1 pair of shoes, 1 hand bag and 1 trolley for 2 years. I’ve heard the previous crew(more senior than us) were only given the same amount of uniform which lasted until last year, so that’s 4 years of using the same 6 pairs of shirt, 1 jacket, 4 skirts, 1 belt, 1 pair of shoes, 1 hand bag and 1 trolley, some where also given the wrong shoe sizes. I’ve also heard why the office immediately released a lot of uniform last year because Lance(Gokungwei) saw one crew on the flight he was at, wearing a faded jacket which didn’t match her skirt’s color. He then asked her how many sets of uniform were given to us, she told her its been 2 years since she was given a new set, when it should’ve been 2 sets of new uniform every year. Where did the budget for the uniform go?
Flying was only a childhood dream, that’s when I used to think being a Flight Attendant seems easy and glamorous. I thought wrong, it is a tough job, where you have to keep the safety of the passengers(our main job) and also to render a really great service. Our monthly roster (schedule) is like a death threat to all of us, the scheduler gives us messed up schedule. It doesn’t really make sense why they send out this printed schedules when they change it anytime they feel like. A normal roster pattern is something like 6/7 days on and 2 days off(3 early morning flights- sign in time 2-4am and will touch down till 12nn-5pm and 2 afternoon/redeye flights- sign in at 6/7pm-12mn/5am). Your last working day will touch down early morning around 6am and then the last day of your off, you will have to sleep early because you to wake up by midnight to get ready for your early morning flight. If you think about it, you only get 1 and a half-day off. Unlike normal working hours your duty hours goes 12-18hours every flight including the preparation for work until you get back home(including the delays and endorsements). Also, you work during holidays.
To give you an idea of how it works, let’s say you have 4legs Cagayan CGY-CGY (this means 1 leg is 1 trip so 4 legs is MNL-CGY, CGY-MNL, MNL-CGY, CGY-MNL) your sign in time is at 7am, you have to wake up at 2-3hrs before sign in (30mins-1hr for preparation, depends on how fast you get ready and 1.30-2hrs for transportation (traffic here in manila especially outside NAIA!!!). You get to the office and you sign in(your sign in time is 1.30mins (for domestic and 1.45mins for International) before your ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) this gives room for briefing of you Lead Cabin Crew and Captain’s Briefing, take the shuttle that will take you to NAIA 3, Walk the loooooooong busy Terminal 3 to get to your boarding gate, take the shuttle that will take you to the aircraft, climb the stairs to the aircraft, change to your cabin shoes, stow and check ALL your EMERGENCY EQUIPMENTS, Line your trash bin, ensure that the aircraft is SAFE for all passengers, make sure that the cabin is CLEAN, count the products that you will sell inflight and make sure that the checklist is right or you will pay for the missing ones, be ready for the boarding, board the passengers and help them, do safety demo, Make sure everyone is ready for take off). Everything SHOULD HAPPEN in 1hr and 30 mins, imagine that. So we take off at 8.30, that’s when our duty starts (we get paid by hour flying time once we get airborne) you have to stay alert for any emergency that may happen and do your duties like selling, serving etc. If CGY is 1.30min flight you will touch down at 10am, you will ad 30-40mins till next Departure(to make room for passengers to disembark from the previous flight, CLEAN the aircraft, and board passengers again) So for this duty you do 4 boarding/deplaning, 4 announcements, 4 safety briefings and demos. After your last flight, you have to clean the aircraft, endorse it properly to the next crew, wait for the Catering personnel to sign your Food Trolley(which most of the time you have to wait extra 30mins-1/sometimes 2 hrs), ride the shuttle to Terminal 3, take the shuttle to the office, endorse the money from the food/drinks you sold from your Food Trolley(this is also a concern, there’s only one person that will take your money and checklist, so you will have to fall in line which will take you 30-2hrs to finish, please hire more people to do this!). You drive to get home which will take you 1-2hrs or more depending on the traffic. So to sum it up, you wake up-5am, go to work-6am, sign in-7am, depart MNL 8:30am, arrive CGY-10am, depart CGY-10:40am, arrive MNL- 12:10pm, depart MNL-12:50pm, arrive CGY-2:20pm, depart CGY-3pm, Arrive MNL-4.30pm, deplane pax/endorse aircraft to next crew/wait for the catering- 6.30, get to the office-7pm, endorse your money-8pm, get home-9pm. Your sign in next day would be 6.30 am onwards, it has to be 12hrs rest from you ETA Estimated Time of Arrival. The scenario I gave you is an ideal schedule; imagine if there is a flight delay or more time for waiting for endorsement of money? Which usually happens.
You will eventually get sick, no matter how many vitamins you take. And the truth is you would rather fly even if you were sick than go to the office to file for sick leave. To file for sick leave you present yourself to the office doctor right? NO, you present yourself to the big boss of inflight so that she can make sure that you are really sick. When did she become a doctor? She will also tell you all sort of thing, and will get mad at you form missing your assignment cause you got sick, as if you really wanted to get sick. Last time I check, sick leave is a privilege. I have a friend who lives in Bulacan got so sick she couldn’t afford to get to the office so she went to her doctor the same day she missed her duty and fax the medical certificate to the office but they didn’t consider it and ordered her that she should’ve went to the office instead. The girl was dead sick, like what they usually say to us “Kahit ano pang mangyari, kahit feeling mo mamatay kana, kailangan mo pa din magpakita sa office para ma excuse ka sa duty”. Crazy how they treat us. You will get minimum rest all the time since we are so short of manpower now.
I hope the management for Inflight Services in the office changes, it badly needs major major make over including the 5j Standard look(Smokey eyes, Major Blush on, Major major HOT RED LIPS and Black Hair). Red lips just don’t go with orange uniform and clearly its not for everyone. Just because most of all the airlines are requiring their FAs to wear red lips, doesn’t mean it works for Cebu Pacific too, it probably goes with their uniform. Also don’t force us to dye our hair black if our natural hair is brown. I feel like you purposely want your Cabin Attendants to look ugly.
I wish someone would stand up for the cabin crew and other Cebu Pacific’s operation crew and make a Union to help and stop the bosses from treating them like Puppets. Earn the respect of your crew from doing what’s right and just not because of fear. I hope you all know who you are. Its time for a change.
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