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Passengers irked over Cebu Pacific flight delays

By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:04:00 07/06/2010

Filed Under: Air Transport, Consumer Issues, Travel & Commuting

MANILA, Philippines?Passengers are up in arms against Cebu Pacific following delays of flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

On Monday, several passengers threatened to file complaints with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), Department of Trade and Industry or the Civil Aeronautics Board to demand the suspension of Cebu Pacific.

Rick B. Reyes, a passenger with a ticket for an 11 a.m. flight to Iloilo, said none of the passengers in the airport were notified of any delays while checking in.

?Our flight had already been delayed and what is worse is that they would not even give us any explanation as to why,? Reyes said in an interview.

?It was already past our boarding time and we were getting nothing from the staff,? he said. ?At first, they told us that there was a weather disturbance in Iloilo, but I called my relatives in Iloilo and they said the weather was perfect,? he added.

?Then they started to blame the airport?s navigational equipment,? he said.

In a statement, Cebu Pacific said the Iloilo flight was delayed due to an ?aircraft situation.?

Aside from the Iloilo flights, the budget carrier said its service to Zamboanga was also delayed, but officials declined to say why.

Reyes said flights to Bacolod and other destinations also were delayed without any explanation.

In its statement, Cebu Pacific said: ?In the morning, our flight operations were normal. We experienced some air traffic towards noon, and this was when flights became affected.?

?Tomorrow, we are expecting flights to resume normal operations,? Cebu Pacific said.

But Reyes said ?the real problem is the way they treat their customers. I want to sue them for damages.?

Pauline Banusing, an Iloilo-based writer and a passenger on the same flight as Reyes, likewise lamented Cebu Pacific?s treatment of customers.

?We understand that for whatever reason, flight delays happen. But the real problem is how they handled the passengers,? she said.

?The DoTC should suspend Cebu Pacific?s operations,? Reyes said.



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