A Filipina passenger’s rant about low-cost airline Cebu Pacific canceling her flights twice in three weeks made the rounds on social media, gaining sympathy among irate netizens.
Facebook user Maki Van Eker posted her ordeal online, which began with the airline canceling her Manila-bound flight from Dumaguete when she was already at the airport. She was flying to Manila to take her dentistry board exams.
“[Cebu Pacific,] you cancelled my flight 3 weeks ago which almost made me miss my board exam, from May 1st, you said the next available flight was May 5th. You also said that all flights were either cancelled or fully booked and there’s nothing you could do about it. The best thing you could offer was May 2 at 8pm which is super late considering my exam would be 7am on May 3,” she wrote online.
According to her, Cebu Pacific’s customer representative told her that even the May 2 flight was not guaranteed because of more potential cancellations.
After Maki accepted the representative’s explanation and went home, her aunt managed to book her another ticket to Manila for the next morning — which she had been informed was fully booked — for PHP14,000 (US$251).
“The audacity to bump off passengers who booked their flights MONTHS ago only to sell it to people who are willing to pay more due to emergencies or in my case… My board exam!”
On May 20, when Maki was scheduled to go home to Dumaguete, she was informed that her return flight had been canceled even after securing her boarding pass, and her flight would be rebooked six days later.
“I went to the airport super early, checked in online, I already have a boarding pass and everything was OK… til I reach bag drop counter and was told my flight is cancelled, and that my new flight is on the 26th of May,” she explained.
“I couldn’t believe it! Again?! All I could say at first was, IS THIS A JOKE? I asked the lady in the counter where they expect me to get the money to fund an additional six-day stay here in Manila?! All she said was that she was only manning the counter and couldn’t really do anything about it. HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO PAYING CUSTOMERS TWICE IN 3 WEEKS?!” She wrote.
Her post earned sympathy among netizens, who proceeded to remind others about their bill of rights as airline passengers.
Passengers whose flights were canceled 24 hours before departure have the right to the following if the air carrier is at fault: ask for a full refund of the flight, ask them to endorse you to another airline free of charge, or rebook your ticket without additional fees.
If one’s flight was canceled while the passenger is already at the airport, they are entitled to demand the following: hotel accommodations near the airport, free transportation from the airport to the hotel, meals and refreshments, and free phone calls and texts.
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