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‘Tell travelers what to expect’


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. is urging local budget airlines to tell travelers what they are getting into when they book flights with them.

Budget carriers, Belmonte said, should be more candid and transparent in their pricing, marketing and booking policies.

That way, travelers have only themselves to blame if they find the service not to their liking, or not flying at all because somebody else woke up earlier, beat them to the airport, and got their seats.

That way, too, there will be less confusion at the airport and fewer complaints against the budget airlines.

Belmonte, who served as president and CEO of Philippine Airlines when the flag carrier was still owned by the government, said he supported the budget airlines’ aggressive marketing policies. But the airlines, he said, should show “more compassion” toward their customers by giving them a heads-up of what to expect when buying tickets at basement prices.

“I don’t think low prices should equate to poor service,” Belmonte said in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer.  “The customers are intelligent enough to understand  airline policies if only they explain the rules well before selling the tickets.  I think the main beef of customers is that they do not get any warning whatsover.”

The House is investigating the increasing complaints against budget airlines. Most of the complaints are directed at Cebu Pacific, according to  AVE party-list Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay Jr.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, himself a victim of unexplained flight cancellations, said the brawl between the couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo at the airport on May 6 started with Cebu Pacific’s failure to inform the Santiagos that their baggage was off-loaded before leaving for Manila from Iloilo.

Belmonte said customers only wanted “simple courtesies” and a “little caring” and not to be made to feel as if the airlines were doing them a favor.

“When I was president of PAL, I resisted suggestions to raise the fares just because we were the only one in the business,” Belmonte said. “The competition should agree on certain things, what they should provide the consumers, and they should be more frank about the trade-offs in flying with budget airlines.”

Belmonte said that as long as travelers knew what to expect from budget airlines, there would be fewer complaints against the carriers.

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Tags: Airports , budget airlines , Cebu Pacific , Claudine Barretto , Feliciano Belmonte , fist fights , House of Representatives , News , Ramon Tulfo , Raymart Santiago , Travel

  • pedronimo

    Dear Lawmakers,

    Please pass a law to protect and insure passengers’ luggage. Kasi po diyan sa NAIA, airport officials intentionally do not install CCTV camera to hide the nefarious pilferage perpetrated by inside syndicates in cahoot with higher officials. Luggage shipped directly to NAIA are idled in a depot before passengers arrival. Thieves slash the bottom part of nylon bags and have a ready cardboard to plug the slit to prevent contents from slipping out and detection. My best friend didn;t notice her bag was slashed until she reached home in Cavite when it’s too far to return to NAIA and report the thievery which authorities usually only junk. This is a shame to our tourism efforts. Mar Roxas should do something to catch these NAIA thieves.

    • Mario_Garcia

      My friend’s luggage was damaged and it took CEBPAC more than six months just to repair it.

  • http://twitter.com/wee_kender wee

    i don’t think that’s the right approach.

    the right approach is to deliver the service they promised, or be liable for failing to do so and provide necessary compensation. they have no incentives to do so at present, because the law is working on their side.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZAQKFOMUJB4UQWIJDPVBGTA5CU Ryan

    I agree that that’s is not the right approach.

    The law should include standard facilities sa lahat ng paliparan. standard and modern
    to all airline company, standard services and amenities and others.

    Let think outside of the box :)

  • Mario_Garcia

    The truth will set you free.

  • robrano

    to pdronimo
    You are right. But there is also the question why stealing is such a common matter to Filipinos.  Maybe because they are catholics and think, just go to church, confessand ith a few prayers as “punishment” all is ok,
    Catholics are so brainwashed that they do not even ask where in the (original) bible Jesus said any word that priests can forgive and eradicate sins, therefore making the “final judgement” senseless. The reformation of Martin Luther wasmainly opposing the “contracts” the pope was giving to people who sold papers which in advance provided absolution for future crimes and sins. It financed the”christianization” of WSouth America where entire societies have benn slaughtered and eliminated “in the name of Gos” and for stealing their gold.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KYU2KVYIQ6JNNXUT5YLMPMO5G4 Uwe in Paradise

    These very nice “actors” departed from Caticlan and unfortunately stayed on my island before !! Don’t expect them to be special. They are like all of you !! Ignorant and agressive .

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