Yesterday, January 13, 2015, was my worst experience in flying with Cebu Pacific Airlines. I was expecting a two hours delayed flight the most because it was common on domestic flights but noone prepared me to wait for more than six or seven hours to get boarded. From 1045am flight to Kalibo, Aklan, we ended up in a 5pm flight. I even have doubts if we were going to make it to Kalibo on time for the Ati-Atihan show organized by GMA Regional.
We were taping on January 12, Monday and finished the shoot in Cavite around 3am of January 13, Tuesday. I went home to rest for a bit and prepare my things. By 7am, I was in the middle of traffic going to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. I met with the rest of the group in Terminal 3. We were a group of 8 travelling to Kalibo, Aklan including three artists, a parent, an artist handler, a production assistant, a regional staff and myself. By 9am, we were lining up for check in. Around 930am, we were having breakfast at Army Navy located near our assigned gate of boarding. While waiting for boarding time, there was an announcement of delayed flight. They said there will be 30 minutes delayed but it was almost an hour after that we heard our names for last call of boarding. We somehow missed hearing the announcement of boarding. We boarded the plane and were all comfortably seated. All set to leave. I was so sleepy to pay attention. I fell asleep and woke up. I noticed that the plane is not moving. The flight attendant announced that they are waiting for permission to fly from Kalibo. I fell asleep again ignoring the delay. I woke up to an announcement and murmuring of people. We were asked to deplane after sitting for more than two hours in the plane due to technical concerns. When everyone started to get their things and lined up to exit, they wanted us to sit down again and wait for further instructions. What the f— Cebu Pac?! Make up your mind!
We were all transported back to the airport past 2pm. We were hungry and sleepy and bored. They announced a 4pm flight. By this time, there were angry passengers bombarding the Cebu Pac staff with questions. We left the passengers lounge to find a restaurant to eat. Another announcement was issued. Our plane will land at 420pm in NAIA and we will board at 450pm.
We had lunch and stayed in the restaurant past 4pm but no announcement of boarding. By 5pm, we went down to the passengers lounge to check the status. The regional team in Kalibo is worried since the show was scheduled to start at 730pm. The other passengers were screaming at Cebu Pac staff. We opted to stay away and just enjoy laughing at our misery in the airport. No Cebu Pac staff seemed to know how to remedy our situations. There were more critical situations than ours. Other passengers were left by the plane they have been waiting for the whole day. I understand the anger.
The regional staff coordinating with Cebu Pac was asking for a change flight at 6pm via Philippine Airlines if they cannot assure a flight at 6pm. By 515pm, we finally boarded and this time the plane arrived in Kalibo, Aklan.
I would have to think twice about taking another trip with Cebu Pac. I would rather spend more for a PAL flight rather
than feel sorry in the end. We wasted a day for a trip that could have been productive and enjoyable. Cebu Pac deserves the 52 million penalty for all the delayed flights last Christmas.