Being the most preferred airline in the Philippines when it comes to cost-effectiveness and value, Cebu Pacific has earned a name for itself in the industry. However, overseas Filipino workers or OFWs should caution themselves before booking a flight.
There are a number of bad tales that may motivate you to pay the additional cost in order to stay safe and arrive on time at your destination. The Philippines’ largest airline should be avoided for the following reasons.
Flights get delayed
Historically, Cebu Pacific flights were preferred by passengers because of their commitment to on-time performance. However, that is now a thing of the past. In recent years, a growing number of flights have been delayed as a result of a number of factors, including lengthy security checks and adverse weather conditions.
It is not uncommon for flights to be delayed due to a variety of factors, such as problems with the aircraft’s systems and equipment, an overflow of aircraft from the company scheduled for the day, and booking issues. An OFW with limited time and who wishes to reach their destination as soon as possible should take note of this cautionary tale.
It is possible for flights to be delayed by a few hours or to be canceled completely. The way Cebu Pacific accommodates too many passengers needs to be improved.
Considering that the airline — and its investors — may be more concerned about volume ticket sales, schedules may be compromised. As OFWs, we have limited time to spend with family, and delayed flights are among the things we do not want to experience.
High-profile mishaps like a June 2 flight in Davao and another one in Manila two weeks later exposed safety concerns when flying this airline. Authorities are looking at human error as the cause of these accidents.
For OFWs whose lives are already at risk as they venture out of their comfort zones and are exposed to illegal recruiters, human traffickers, and corrupt airport staff, flying on an airline with a questionable safety record — perhaps due to an overworked flight crew or lack of maintenance checks — is an insult to injury.
It has been many years since the ill-fated Cebu Pacific flight 387 crashed at Mt Sumagaya and killed 99 passengers and crew members, but questions still remain.
The seats in Cebu Pacific airplanes have been readjusted to accommodate more passengers so only those near the exits as well as the front rows enjoy adequate leg room. It is very difficult to lean your seat back without taking the space of the person behind you.
Tall people usually hit their knees on the seat in front of them and others feel very claustrophobic throughout the flight. While passengers may endure this for a short while on domestic flights, we can only hope that wide-bodied aircraft will be used for long-haul flights to the Middle East. For OFWs who wish to treat themselves to a comfortable ride, maybe this is not the way to go.
Poor customer support.
The 5J 971 flight that skidded off the runway at Davao’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport had an apparent lack of coordination between the flight crew, ground crew, and crisis management team, if the airline has one. It was alleged that passengers were not informed of what was happening, and flight attendants were unable to advise them on what to do. When weary passengers in the cabin were able to exit the plane, there was little assistance from the airline.
Passenger Menard Dacono, 26, a Filipino business development manager working in Singapore, said when they reached the airport, not one official from Cebu Pacific faced them.
Its bad reputation extends to handicapped fellow passengers, who were disallowed boarding for various reasons.
Customer support should not only be extended to people who buy tickets or rebook their flights. They also include those who miss flights because of delays and passengers who suffer from what’s been identified as errors of the carrier.
We can only guess Cebu Pacific is more of style than substance when it comes to customer care as its infamous dancing flight attendants were good only for a show and a total failure during times when they’re expected to perform their duties.
Oh, and by the way, just because you’re enjoying the Piso fare doesn’t mean you’re getting the flight on the cheap. You have to pay for snacks and luggage and if you’re careless when booking online, you’ll have to pay for your seat or make an unintended donation.
Many OFWs have experienced being bumped off their flights because they were not informed that they were only booked as chance passengers. There is a clause in many discounted tickets that allows the airline to remove passengers if the plane becomes overcrowded.
The problem starts from the time the company books more people than what the aircraft can accommodate to ensure that all flights are full. Even when there was a government order, a defiant Cebu Pacific vowed to appeal the decision and threatened to raise its fares if it fails to get a positive outcome.
As a precaution, learn more about the terms when flying airlines (not just Cebu Pacific). Always read the flight details when planning to fly with Cebu Pacific and try other airlines and notice the difference in service to amenities.
As Cebu Pacific provides more routes for us to reach our hometowns and enjoy our vacation, it’s definitely a welcome treat. But with complaints, we hear from other passengers about missed flights, lost luggage, and apparently, lack of attention to customer complaints are all red flags for overseas Filipino workers who, like everyone, want good service.
How can Cebu Pacific improve its services
Improve on-time performance
Cebu Pacific can improve its on-time performance by implementing measures to reduce flight delays and cancellations, such as better maintenance scheduling and improved ground handling processes.
Enhance customer service
Cebu Pacific can improve its customer service by providing more personalized service to passengers, such as assigning dedicated customer service representatives to handle customer complaints and inquiries.
Streamline check-in and boarding processes
Cebu Pacific can improve the check-in and boarding processes by introducing more self-service kiosks, implementing digital boarding passes, and providing clear and concise instructions to passengers.
Cebu Pacific can improve transparency by providing more information to passengers about flight schedules, delays, and cancellations, as well as the reasons behind them.
Upgrade in-flight amenities
Cebu Pacific can improve the in-flight experience by upgrading its amenities, such as providing more comfortable seats, better in-flight entertainment, and a wider variety of food and beverage options.
Enhance safety measures
Cebu Pacific can prioritize safety measures by upgrading its safety protocols, ensuring aircraft maintenance and repairs are done thoroughly, and providing training and resources to staff for emergency situations.
Encourage feedback from customers
Cebu Pacific should encourage feedback from customers to help identify areas for improvement, address any concerns, and enhance the overall customer experience.
By taking these steps, Cebu Pacific can improve its services and provide a better experience for its passengers.