Senate probe set on Cebu Pacific passengers’ woes

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Senate probe set on Cebu Pacific passengers� woes
This March 13, 2020 photo shows a Cebu Pacific plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Philstar.com / Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate tourism and public services panels are set to conduct next Wednesday, June 21, an inquiry into the flurry of passenger complaints against budget carrier Cebu Pacific.

The hearing was prompted by a resolution filed by Sen. Nancy Binay, who chairs the tourism panel, on complaints against Cebu Pacific about overbooking, offloading and glitches in booking flights.

“There were complaints that travelers were offloaded by Cebu Pacific without any verifiable cause or reason due to the airline’s overbooking,” Binay said in Senate Resolution No. 575.

Overbooking is an industry practice where airlines sell more tickets than what the aircraft is able to accommodate.

Government regulations allow overbooking, but require airlines to compensate those who are denied boarding because a flight was overbooked.

“However, being offloaded without alternative flight options or compensation not only has a direct impact on someone’s travel plans, but it also reflects how airlines treat customers and tourists,” Binay said.

Binay also cited a Philstar.com report detailing complaints from passengers who said they were charged multiple times during Cebu Pacific’s Super Pass sale even if their bookings were unsuccessful.

“Affected travelers and customers complained that Cebu Pacific has not provided immediate assistance and support regarding their concerns despite seeking help from the airlines’ customer service hotlines and in-person help desks,” she said.

“With the sheer number of passenger complaints, traveling in the Philippines has become extremely frustrating,” she added. “It is no longer a pleasant experience.”

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