Cebu Pacific faces complaint for not transporting dogs
Cebu Pacific Air, Inc. is currently facing a complaint for not allowing to transport two dogs as air cargo in a flight from Dumaguete to Manila with their owner despite supposed compliance with requirements and assurance from airlines staff last June 5.
In a complaint filed before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on June 9, 24-year-old Jeffrey del Rosario, who spent a month of vacation in his hometown in Oslob, Cebu, said he inquired at the Sibulan Airport in Dumaguete as early as May 7 regarding the transportation of his two schnauzer dogs.
Del Rosario said he told a Cebu Pacific personnel to tell him all the information he needed to know regarding flying of animals as he did not want to encounter problems on flight day.
“Sinabi po niya na ganito, 45 kilograms ang dapat na timbang ng aso. ‘Di sila tumatanggap ng animals ‘pag beyond 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. kasi hindi po aircon ang cargo station nila. May case na daw kasi nangyari na namatay ang dog ng pasahero habang nasa byahe,” Del Rosario said in the complaint, a copy of which was given to INQUIRER.net.
He said he even showed the personnel a photo of his dogs and their cages to make sure that they would be transported.
“Sinabihan ako ng employee nila na nakausap ko na okay naman ang cage ko. Wala naman daw problema. Makakasama ko raw sila pag-uwi ko sa Manila nang sabay kami. So naging kampante ako kasi okay na ang lahat,” he said.
But when Del Rosario and his mother, who accompanied him, arrived at the Dumaguete airport at 6:10 a.m. on flight day, he said Cebu Pacific did not allow to fly his dogs because they did not reach the “cut-off time,” different from the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that he was previously told. Del Rosario’s flight, Cebu Pacific flight no. 5J624, was scheduled to depart at 7:10 a.m.
“Noong nag-inquire ako, wala silang sinabi na ganito ang cut-off time ng aso,” he said.
Del Rosario said he raised his concern to Cebu Pacific personnel at the airport, but they said they were only following the rules.
Del Rosario added he received another assurance that his dogs would be transported in the next flight at 8:55 a.m., which was why he agreed to leave without the pets.
“I don’t have any choice kahit ayaw kong iwanan ang mga aso ko at si Mama. Ang aking ina po ay senior citizen na, ala-una pa ng madaling araw gising. Marami pong iniindang sakit, but still hinatid pa rin ako sa airport kasi three years ulit kaming hindi magkikita gaya ng dati,” he said. “Parang bula ako na nawala. ‘Di man lang ako nakita ni Mama dahil sa pagmamadali kasi naubos ang oras ko sa argument with Cebu Pacific.”
Upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 8:25 a.m., he went to the customer service station of Cebu Pacific to air his concerns, but said he was just passed around.
When Del Rosario called his mother to ask for an update, he said his mother told him that Cebu Pacific would not be able to transport his dogs in the next flight, despite an earlier assurance. He said the airlines told her mother to be back on another day.
“Si Mama hindi niya na alam ang gagawin. Wala man lang Cebu Pacific personnel na nag-assist sa kanya. The mere fact na I was a passenger of the airline at supposed cargo nila ang aso ko, still dapat inassist nila si Mama. Eh paano kung nahimatay si Mama doon, wala pa siyang tulog at kain. Tapos palakad-lakad sa labas ng airport hindi niya alam kung saan siya makikiusap,” he said.
Left with no other options, Del Rosario said his mother instead asked cargo personnel of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to transport his dogs, but for a higher rate compared to Cebu Pacific.
“PAL asked for a payment of P1,500 para sa cargo ng aso ko. Walang extra money na dinala ang Mama ko. Tanging dala niya lang ay kaunting pera niya at ‘yung P800 para sa pambayad ng aso ko, kasi I already estimated the weight of my dogs,” he said.
Del Rosario said PAL and his mother reached an agreement to pay only P1,091 for the cargo, leaving his mother with only P100 for her trip back to Oslob.
“Gustuhin man niyang kumain wala siyang perang pambili. Kaya nanlumo ang puso ko noong narinig ko ‘yan galing kay Mama ko dahil hindi sana nangyari ito kung hindi dahil sa kapalpakan ng Cebu Pacific,” Del Rosario said, adding that a stranger at the airport even gave his mother P20. “Nagmukhang manlilimos ang Mama ko sa nangyaring iyon.”
Del Rosario said the PAL cargo arrived at around 1 p.m. in Manila. Because of the inconvenience that the incident caused him, he said he was not able to enroll that day at the Rizal Technological University.
Along with the complaint, Del Rosario also attached copies of his booking details, live animal acceptance checklist and shipping permit from PAL.
Calling his experience as “traumatic,” Del Rosario said he does not want anything from Cebu Pacific but justice.
“Hinding hindi ko malilimutan ang worst experience na parang isang nightmare sa buhay ko na ayaw ko nang maalala kailanman. Nevertheless, I still want to get justice for the big damage that Cebu Pacific has done to me as their passenger, to my dogs, and to my mother that they’ve taken for granted,” Del Rosario told INQUIRER.net.“Just because they offer cheap ticket price does not mean that their service would also be cheap.”
Cebu Pacific, which is yet to release a statement, was given by the CAB until June 24 (today) to respond to the complaint.