This morning we arrived at the Legaspi airport after a wonderful weekend of whale shark spotting and firefly watching. After a sunny and beautiful weekend the heavens opened up and it started
raining cats and dogs! Upon checking the airport was a zoo because the 8am flight by air Philippines had taken off but the Cebu Pacific 9:10 flight was canceled because the aircraft
couldn’t land in the rain! I laughed at this for what airline couldn’t land in a little bit of rain?
| AirPhil Express shares their|
ticket counter w/ Philippine
The Cebu Pacific ticket counter was very crowded and people were being rebooked on flights for the next day. Many foreigners were very angry for they had connecting flights to other
destinations outside the Philippines and the airlines was doing nothing to help them.
We were flying airphil express and our flight was scheduled for a 10:10 departure. They gladly checked us in and said our flight would be on time. We then headed for the departure lounge and paid
our 30 pesos (~$0.85 usd) departure tax. Security was a breeze, or more of a joke for I left my wallet on my pocket and it still didn’t set of the metal detector. In addition it didnt even
look like there was anyone watching the xray machine screen.
We sat and we waited and at 940 the arrival time of the incoming aircraft
the single runway airport was empty and there was no plane in sight. Same story at 1010. We checked flightstata.com and flight 2p 925 from mnl to legaspi had said it was ontime. Airphil express is
owned and operated by Philippines airlines and share the airlines code 2p. Finally at 11am the made their first and ONLY announcement that our flight was canceled! Before this there were no
announcements about delays and no screen with arrival/departure information.
I ran through the security barrier, security yelled but I continued anyways and ran to the ticket counter. I was the 2nd in line. The airline offered to Rebook us, however instead of on the night
flight they only offered us a seat on the flight the following day. I was traveling with a friend who needed to be in Manila by 7 am the next day for class and their flight wasn’t scheduled till
1010. I then asked to be placed on the Philippines airline flight at 0800 the next morning and they refused and wouldnt admit that they were the same airline and had a single operational permit and
international airline code of 2p (even the airphil ticket said 2p and airphil express flight info can be booked on Philippines airlines webpage!)
After speaking with other friends we had made in this debacle we all decided to
cancel our tickets and risk either hiring a van or taking a bus to Manila. This is when it got crazy for the airline was trying to refuse to process a refund! I then tweeted to
@airphilexpress and they said since the flight was canceled I was due a refund if I didn’t want to fly. I showed the station manager this plus a copy of the airlines contract of carriage and
finally after my Filipino friend yelled at the station manager that a “voucher” wouldn’t work because I lived in the USA and wouldn’t be flying airphil in the near future did they agree to process
a refund! Needless to say it was a true disaster and the airline had no clue what they were doing!
If that wasn’t bad enough there was a Chinese family who had a flight from mnl to pvg on 2p the following afternoon at 11 am and airphil refused to book them on the 8am flight the next morning to
ensure their connection would be made! So instead they too rushed for the buses! Truely poor coordination on airphil/Philippines airlines!
In the end we got a bus (for the SAME price as our airfare) to make the journey back to Manila! Its going to take 8-10 hours in comparassion to a 45 minute flight, but thankfully we will get
home tonight! Oh and perks, the bus is comfortable, air conditioned as cold as a mini fridge, and the seats lean back like a premium economy seat with extra leg room!
If I was you, be warned about traveling in the Philippines. Planes don’t fly when it rains and the airlines will only Rebook you on the next flight and they will fight you over a refund despite it
being in the contract of carriage! Don’t expect any food vouchers or hotel vouchers and don’t expect many announcements or explanations!
|Seats on the Bus|
So count your blessings next time you take off in the rain, for in the Philippines a little rain keep you on the ground!