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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 16, 2015

Cebu Pacific Adds Insult To Injury, Literally

Post by: Hannah Wabe (Mario Bautista's Daughter)


 There is no consumer protection in this country. We are slated to see my Dad on May 16-20. I booked myself, my 3 kids, and our Ate Joy (yaya) Cebu Pacific tickets.

Unfortunately, my older son, Sam had an accident last May 9. He fractured his foot and had to have surgery last May11. He will be in a cast for at least a month. The youngest, Martin, is having asthma too, so I am left with no choice but to cancel our flight.

I called first the Cebu Pacific cdo local ticketing office, May 11, and was directed to call their hotline (not toll free) because they cannot accommodate me as I bought my tickets online.

An agent from the said hotline told me I just need medical certificates with the doc's personal Rx and prc number. One child and one adult companion, per med cert, will be refunded. I raised that doing so will leave my minor daughter alone, and she cannot travel by herself, so I hoped they would give consideration. After conferring with his supervisors, I was told to send her birth certificate and they'll process it.

I wish it was that easy. I secured medical certificates on the 13th. I forwarded the papers to them (along with xrays), which took several tries and more phone calls, as it kept bouncing back because their e-mailbox is too full. Each call, mind you is costing me hundreds, because I am CDO based and they only have a Manila hotline. And to get through an actual agent, you have to first suffer through 4minutes of Advertisements that you cannot bypass. What a terrible way to treat customers, who are already calling the hotline because they clearly have problems.

On the 14th, I called up again and was told I had to get new medical certs. Although the old ones were dated May 13, the doctor stated there he began seeing the kids on May9. And since the flight is happening on May 16, they could possibly be better by then. Are they for real? Sam had to have metal rods inserted on his foot and is on crutches. And Martin is still puffing on his inhalers. How I wish I had the powers to make my children heal fast!

On the same day, I went back again to our primary pedia and asked for new med certs with "unfit to travel clause", which is what the airline wanted. Nahiya nako sa kaniya. He is a professional, and for me to dictate what he will write on his pad, is really uncalled for. But my hands were tied by this stupid demands of this airline. I resent the new med certs that same afternoon.

Morning of May 15, I spent almost an hour again on the phone to follow up. Unfortunately, I am being sent on another paper chase to be told that they 1) need the PRC picture card of the doctor front and back, and 2) they cannot refund Ate Joy because she is just a yaya and is not family.

Ouch! I already feel like a common criminal trying to swindle money out of them. Don't you even trust my doctor? Why demand a copy of his PRC card when he already gave his letter head, address, and license? What doctor in his right mind, will put his name and reputation in jeopardy, by providing me a faux medical certificate? Nakakahiya na. I am sure this is a hassle for him too.

Lastly, if you don't treat your yayas like family in your company, fine with me. But we entrust our youngest child to our yaya, and for that we will always be grateful to her. Besides, that is not what we initally talked about. Had I been told that my daughter will not be refunded-because hey, the policy is 1 child and 1 adult per med cert, then that is fine. But to not refund Ate Joy because she is a yaya and is not part of my family is totally ridiculous. Nasaan ang prinsipyo niyo?!

Cebu Pacific, bones don't heal overnight, asthma doesn't resolve itself instantly, and Yayas are people too. I wish you had given me a flat out no. I would have more respect for you. However, to send me out on this wild goose chase is demeaning and a total waste of my time. You want every Juan to fly, but providing low fares does't give you a license to treat Juan with disrespect.