Sunday, May 25, 2008

Part Two: Complaints about Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pathetic
By Melanie T. Lim

CEBU Pacific has now been dubbed “Cebu Pathetic” and by another, “Sorry Pacific.” These monikers are not mine but of those whom Cebu Pacific has so aggrieved. The horror stories are real. (Check out this link: Or you can email me and I will send you the link above. Some say, “You get what you pay for,” when you fly Cebu Pacific. Let me ask you, when you buy an airline ticket, what are you paying for? Are you paying to NOT get to your destination? Are you paying to get to your destination three hours late? No matter what price you pay for an airline ticket, you expect to GET TO YOUR DESTINATION on TIME because THAT is WHAT you are PAYING FOR. The decision to go on a price war with the industry leader is a corporate decision. Consumers should not have to bear the brunt of this business strategy. Consumers should not have to be misled into thinking they are getting “value for money” by paying X amount of pesos for Y level of service. We don’t pick up our phones because we are understaffed. We don’t hire managers because we need to cut costs. We don’t entertain complaints in person or over email. When you visit our offices, you will languish for hours. Don’t come screaming at us when your flight is five hours delayed or when you get to the airport and find that your flight is canceled and therefore must pay rebooking charges to get on another flight or when you get your refund in eight months. Remember, we are a budget airline. When you pay low-end prices, you don’t expect high-end service. Still, no matter how low a price anyone pays for an airline ticket, no one ever signs up for CRAP. Everyone expects DECENT service at any price level. You don’t expect lies, sorry excuses or public humiliation. You don’t expect to bear the blame of others because a company has no conscience. A no-frills airline is not expected to provide “perks” to its passengers. But getting passengers and their luggage to their destination ON TIME is NOT a “perk.” It is a contractual as well as moral obligation. In the event, therefore, that an airline is unable to fulfill this basic obligation for whatever reason, it should rightfully compensate the aggrieved passengers or at the VERY LEAST, apologize to them. An airline that decides to drop its prices as a business strategy does not have carte blanche to treat its customers shabbily. Or it should advertise: LOW PRICES. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. PLANES FLY WHEN FULL. This way, the public can make informed decisions about whether or not they should take the risks of flying with a budget airline. Cebu Pacific has extended a luncheon invitation to Sun.Star columnists. In light of what’s going on, I find the invitation highly inappropriate. Cebu Pacific knows what I want—and it won't cost them a single cent. Cebu Pacific has been informed that I will not be wined, dined and gagged. (


oliboy said...

guia said...

I'd like to share with you my traumatic experience at cebu pacific check-in counter:

I checked in last August 5, 2008 for my 145pm flight to manila. I was advised that flight will be delayed & boarding time will be at 4pm. I thought I misheard it so I asked again. The Station Officer, Ms. Grace Tio, snapped, “boarding time at 4pm!”. I even raised my four fingers while asking, “boarding time at 4pm, right?” She was getting irritated at me but she still managed to nod her head.

When I was about to go out from the Cebu Pacific office, I asked the guard on duty if he knew that flight would be delayed. Sensing that he was confused, I went back to the check in counter and asked again Ms. Tio. She retorted “boarding time at 4pm!”

I was no longer surprised when I learned that flight would be delayed that long considering what I heard from the news the night before that flights in Manila were delayed by as long as 30 hours. I was also informed that the previous day flight from Butuan to Manila was cancelled yesterday due to bad weather condition in Manila.

I was already exhausted and hungry at that time. I travelled all the way from Surigao and proceeded directly to airport only to find out that flight would be delayed . Since I would be waiting for more than 3hrs, I decided to go out of the airport and took my lunch somewhere. When I went back to the airport 10minutes before 4pm, I was devastated when I learned that the plane left at 2pm+.

I confronted Ms. Tio about it. She raised her voice when she sarcastically replied, “What I said was, boarding time before 4pm!”. That’s ridiculous! If I had asked her only once, there would be a possibility that I heard it wrong, but I asked her many times! And she was consistent when she said, “boarding time at 4pm!”. Besides, if I heard the word “before”, common sense would tell me to stay in the airport lounge knowing that we would be boarding any time before 4pm.

Ms. Tio then turned her back on me and instructed her staff, Ms. Evangeline Yami Maneja, to talk to me. Ms. Maneja offered to give me a free hotel accommodation worth a measly cost of P700 (without breakfast!) at Caraga Hotel. I argued that I could not stay in that old, messy hotel as it is a dangerous place to stay for a woman like me who is travelling alone. I preferred to go home to Surigao. Unfortunately, she could only give me P300 for my 2-way trip to/fro Surigao. My mother spent P2000 for the fuel cost alone for the 2-way trip and what Cebu Pacific could only give me is P300?! That is really ridiculous! I demanded for the travel voucher (free round-trip ticket) instead (as I’ve heard from a friend that Cebu Pacific gives out this to compensate for the inconvenience). Unfortunately, my demand was not granted.

Not only that, when I asked if I would be provided with my meals considering that I did not bring enough money with me, somebody answered, “eat otap!”. And they laughed. Is that what you call customer service?!

What I really want here is justice and just compensation for what I went through! I’ve never been so humiliated like this in my whole life. This is not to mention the fact that I was already absent from my office for another day.

I’ve been promoting the low fares of Cebu Pacific through my blog at And what did I get? A tragic experience like this..

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jennie lyn said...

share ko lang ang complaint letter ko sa cebu pacific

February 6, 2009

Airline Operations Center Building
Manila Domestic Airport Complex
Old Domestic Road
Pasay City, Philippines 1301

Attention : Mr. Lance Gokongwei
Director, President and CEO

In Re: Loss of a Cannon EOS Kiss F SLR Camera


This serves to formalize my complaint for the loss of a Cannon EOS Kiss F SLR Camera while onboard your aircraft. I was a passenger onboard Cebu Pacific 5J-119 enroute from Hongkong to Manila last January 25, 2009.

Upon my departure from Hongkong, I checked in my luggage under lock and key. Inside my luggage was the subject Camera which I purchased in Concept Digital, Mongkok Computer Center, Hongkong.

Upon my arrival in Terminal 3, Manila, I immediately discovered that the lock on my luggage was destroyed. Upon checking the contents of my luggage, I also discovered that the said Camera was missing.

Immediately upon discovering the theft, I reported the same to the authorities of your airline at Terminal 3 and I was told that the theft may have taken place while in Hongkong and that I should complain in Hongkong. Upon such flimsy explanation, no further action was taken on my complaint.

As a passenger, it is incumbent upon your airline to ensure not only the safety of your passengers but of the luggage as well. It is well to emphasize that upon the check-in of any luggage, the express trust and confidence of any passenger is bestowed upon your airline to ensure its safekeeping. Bearing such in mind, it is therefore incumbent upon your airline to take all steps to investigate the theft and to make reparations for the damage I have suffered.

As such, I am making this formal demand upon you to present to me the results of your investigation and to reimburse me for my loss valued at HKD 4,500.00. Should you require further documents from me, you may reach me through my mobile phone China: (+86)130288xxx or email at .

I trust that you will act accordingly on this matter lest I be forced to refer the same for legal action.

Thank you very much.

Hsin Yieh Architects Int'l Ltd
Room 410-411 Tower A, Futian Hi-Tech Venture Park
Tianan Cyber Park Futian District Shenzhen China

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george said...

Got the confirmation Number ------ on February 6, 2009 confirmed flight for 4 roundtrip tickets to Hong Kong and paid with visa card amounting to almost 39k+, and when I checked their online booking this March 4, same flight, same date only arrives to the amount of P22,117K for 4pax….the flight sked is on April 6, still a month away.

My wife from Canada just called their hotline (20 mins+) just to be informed by Ms. Gretchen Francisco that when we made the payment, it’s a regular fare and suddenly the P22K+ for 4 pax is based on their sudden promo. Somewhat we felt cheated. We’ll be traveling "Go Lite", and my fellow passengers who paid less will get more privileges, considering I paid almost twice of the amount.

Hotline informed me beforehand there will be no promo for the month of April and I was encouraged to book early to pay less, mukhang naloko ako a. I was just being grabbed of’s really annoying. When we asked for refund, only 3k each lang daw is allowed for 10k airfare ticket, wtf…kaya P12k out of P40k we already paid will be refunded. Considering it’s still a month away from the sked departure.

Yeah, still cheaper but as a frequent traveler, this is the only time I felt bad. If I have to pay more and feel good, then it will be much better. If I could take refund instantly and pay more to PAL and or other airlines, I’m willing to. But reading “complaints blog” against cebupac, it’s a bit suicide to demand for refund. So I think I have no option but to travel with cebupac this April 6, no more misadventures for this will surely be the first and the last.

gorge doha qatar

Jonas Skafte said...

Hi all you great people,

if you would like to be a part of- and support a bigger initiative towards Cebu Pacific...

-please share your stories at;

-and join the Facebook group 'Let's make Cebu Pacific better!';

You are also more than welcome to link to the group using the following image;

Thank you very much,


rolando said...

I booked a 7 pax trip to Tagbilaran from Mnl and back on Oct.20-23. I tried Go Lite fare. After payment my daughter asked how about the liquids like perfumes etc that are not allowed to be handcarried? I realized too late about this. Go Lite Fare has not informed or no information whatsoever reminding passengers that this possibility can occur. Isn’t it proper that CebuPacific inform or warns passengers? To make the story short, we decided to put all our liquid items in one bag and checked-in one baggage and paid php400 in Manila. In their website, they said the Go Lite fare is for roundtrip basis so the re-instatement fee (should be) on RT basis too I suppose. But upon our return and checkin at Tagbilaran, we were ask to pay again php400 for the same bag!!
I complained but they ruled me out so I have no choice but to pay. So for a check-in baggage, the total is php800 additional. What is then the point of going lite when you save just a hundred peso .And when it becomes unavoidable that you check-in, you pay two times on per sector basis while their website says per RT basis. This is unfair.
I hope the authorities should look into this.
Very upset passenger
Rolando P. Lloza

mm said...

hi just want to ask if you filed a complaint formally? anong government agency po naghahandle ng complains about airline services. just had a very very bad experience on cebu pac... and i want to file a complain pero di ko alam sino lalapitan... thank you..