Ivy Rozina Vega Mondonedo-Castro 17 January at 17:27
I am Elma Revillame. I had a confirmed flight with Cebu Pacific, flight 5J476, Bacolod-Manila, Sunday, Jan 17, 2010, departing time 1045H. My friend drove me down the airport and actually saw airport clock at 945AM. We were both confident to be on time. (By practice, you have to be in the airport an hour before the flight, right?)
As I was falling in line at the check-in counter (there were at least five people ahead of me), the counter suddenly closed. A security guard then approached all of us in line, got our tickets and wrote the time. Mine was indicated 1005AM. I didn't contest because, unaware of their intent, I also noticed at THAT time, it was already 1005 AM. I later realized they were going to use indicated time as "TIME OF ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT", and NOT as time they closed the counter. THE FLIGHT WAS FULL.
All of us in line waiting were then escorted to the station manager of Cebu Pacific, Bacolod-Silay Airport, MS MENBAH MALTE. She then announced all our "confirmed seats" were forfeited for being late, NO REFUND, NO REBOOKING. She said this to 15 people who 'weren't late' but unfortunately, were excess to the full capacity of the plane. I managed to get some names of the passengers who fall victim of this flight: <Names, Time written by the guard>
1. Conrado M. Duran Jr. , 1003AM
2. Rolando P. Duray, 1004 AM
3. Elma Revillame, 1005 AM
4. Mario Constantino Jr, 1005AM
5. Welyan Quia-ong, 1009AM
Naturally, we all argued. All of us were totally surprised of the announcement, especially there is NO REFUND AND NO REBOOKING. To note, most of the passengers I was with then were newly-graduated students who were on their way to Manila to take the board exam on Monday, January 18, 2010. Surely, money is an issue for them, and no outright cash to purchase another ticket. (If I haven't withdrawn some money earlier, I wouldn't have cash to buy another ticket with Zest Aire!)
To add insult to injury, the flight was DELAYED TO 12NN, 1 hour and 15mins DELAY!!! We continued arguing because obviously they had ample time to accommodate us for the delayed flight, if the issue is indeed the fact that we were late. But noooohhh, the issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED!!!
We argued and reasoned to the station manager for over an hour (to note the plane hasn't departed at that time yet) regarding the overbooking, but what MS MENBAH MALTE could only say is that the Aviation Board allows them to overbook by 10% of the plane's capacity. The big confusion is, should the 110% arrives on time (like what happened to 15 of us), what are they going to do? Ms Malte simply said, we're going to rebook the rest of the passengers to the next flight! And so, why weren't we accommodated then??? Because the guard wrote 3-9mins late in our tickets MISCHIEVOUSLY!!! (they emphasized counter closes 45mins before flight) BUT THE FLIGHT WAS DELAYED TO 12NN!!!!!
The truest issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED, and sadly we were last in line. It should be okay if we get a refund, or get rebooked to the next flight SINCE WE PAID FOR IT!!!! But alas! No! Cebu Pacific is going to get all our money, without giving us the service that we seek.
Last straw is, I just learned that for a regular or promo ticket, you CANNOT REFUND OR REBOOK YOUR TICKET IF YOU DIDN'T CONFIRM FLIGHT TWO DAYS PRIOR… Ergo, If you're 1min late (from the 45min cutoff), say bye-bye to your money…. I run the figure in my head, CEBU PACIFIC HAS SWINDLED OVER P35,000 for that flight alone!!!!! No wonder they became number one!!! They swindle all unknowing passengers!!!!
My message (and well I speak for the many of us being swindled): Are we just going allow Cebu Pacific to continue reaping off money to unknowing victims, like us??? Should we really allow them to overbook 10% and just say to those last in line, "Sorry, you're forfeited, NO REFUND NO REBOOKING –Ergo, thank you, you have just been swindled". Would DTI or whoever allow this to continue, the abuse of so many victims?
I talked to some security and airport personnel, they reportedly said, "Ma'am madalas nangyayari yan dito, gina-into lang kamo sg Cebu Pacific" (That happens all the time, Cebu Pacific keeps deceiving their passengers). Whoah! That's truly alarming!
I sincerely hope this gets to you, your loved ones and your friends. I truly hope nobody gets fooled again by this company! This is really really really alarming! Over P40K A FLIGHT???? That's huge swindling!!!! And should we count all their flights nationwide, and well, globally, OMG!!! You do the math!!!!