You don't want to see Hello Kitty wear pink & do a Claudine B.

Hello Kitty in pink. Can you imagine her doing a Claudine B.?

It was bound to happen.

Countless horror stories about the unprofessional practices of the local airline industry have been passed from mouth to ears, posted in every social networking site available and printed on whatever reading material there is. The latest incident involving Raymart, Claudine versus Mon Tulfo is hugging the limelight, perhaps getting too much attention. Shouldn't we all focus on the root of the problem?

The inefficiency of the country's "fliers" is unbelievable. The battle between airlines have gotten so stiff that cornering the chunk of the traveling market is all that really matters and service, which should be the main concern, is ultimately sacrificed.

Do they really care about the public who availed of the Piso fare?

Dangled on everyones faces across the internet and full-page ads are the promo fares. Irresistible, I must admit. I have purchased tickets for almost every month of the year until the first quarter of 2013. I just have to give in to my wanderlust and see as much places as I can without spending a fortune. Maybe you'll find it funny that I still patronize these airlines after you (may) have read my own horror stories. But like I said, the low fare offers are tempting.

Philippine Airlines. Of all the airlines, PAL's promo fares are still expensive. It is not a low-cost flier, after all. But compared to its international counterpart, this is the affordable one. I fly PAL to my regional destinations because they still serve a fairly decent meal and they have newspapers and blankets. The good times end there.

What I hate about this airline are the attendants, especially those who have made it their career and spent most of their working years in this company. In Mabuhay Class, smiles are plastered in their faces. But once they cross the boundary leading to coach, it disappears. On this part of the plane, they make you feel that you are lucky to be flying in their aircraft. Sorry to burst your bubble but the passengers pay for your salary. So damn it, smile and serve everyone properly!

Air Philippines. This is my choice of local air travel... as of the moment. New aircrafts, not too crowded and (still polite) ground and plane crew. But they can do better with the call center company they hired- please tell them to think well before addressing a client's concern. A FULL REFUND ON A PISO FARE will come across as VERY INSULTING just because the client is not amenable to the airline's solution to a problem caused by the airline itself.  Will the piso refund be able to purchase a ticket for the same route? Perhaps AirPhil should come up with a better "template response" for their agents to avoid frustration that will lead to a scandal.

Cebu Pacific is indeed the busiest and because of the number they "try to serve," made it the rotten apple in the basket.  More passengers mean more horror stories. The over-booking has gotten them into so much trouble (like bumping of passengers for the wrong reasons) and the hired front liners are apathetic to complaints providing no help- they can't give a logical explanation and offer no solution. Again, the template responses. Thus, a Claudine incident.

Maybe there is a good thing that'll come out of this "high-profile"incident. It gives the lawmakers the reason to look into the matter of protecting the paying citizens and inform everyone of their rights.

I pray the service of this industry improves.

Today this came out. Sharing...

May 8, 2012, 4:56pm

MANILA, Philippines - Airlines should refund in full or rebook a passenger, including promotional airfares, affected by flight cancellations or delays attributable to carriers at no additional cost to passengers, the Department of Trade and Industry. 
DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said this as the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has circulated the second draft of Economic Regulation No. 7 concerning “Boarding Priority and Compensation for Denied Boarding, Delayed and Cancelled Flights” for comments. 
“We want the proposed regulation to be more protective of consumers,” Maglaya said.
Already, Maglaya said that airlines should not charge rebooking or cancellation fees. Oftentimes, rebooking fees are higher than the price of the cancelled ticket. Rebooking fees usually range from P1,200 to P1,500 when some promo fares can be bought at P500 or less. 
In addition, Maglaya said that it should be the option of the affected passenger if he or she chooses a full refund or a rebooking of flight. 
If the delay or cancellation of flight is not caused by force majeure, Maglaya said the airline should pay the fulamount and all that a passenger is entitled to including meals, hotel accommodation and hotel-airport transfers. 
For promotional fares, which are governed under DOTC Regulation No. 74, Maglaya reiterated that the law on full disclosure must be applied. This means full disclosure of the taxes being imposed including fuel surcharge and insurance. 
The total fare should be clear from the very start that it is inclusive of all the taxes and what are these taxes. 
Maglaya noted that Philippine Airlines observes full disclosure procedures for its international flights and it should do the same for its domestic flights. 
DTI has made a stronger stance on airline promotional fares because of mounting complaints from passengers of cancellations and delays as airlines overbooked their flights resulting in those with promo fares getting bumped off or getting flown in a later flight. Worse, airlines charge rebooking fees. 
Based on DOTC’s draft regulation, in case of cancellation for causes attributable to the carrier, the carrier shall provide the passenger refreshments or meals, hotel accommodation, transfer from airport to hotel, free phone calls or emails and first aid, if necessary.
In case the passenger opts not to fly the ticket anymore, reimbursement of the cost of the sector cancelled and both sectors are cancelled the carrier shall likewise reimburse the same. 
In case of delay, meals or refreshments, free phone calls or emails and first aid should be provided to passengers for more than one hour delay. Flight deferred until the next day, the carrier shall provide meals, hotel accommodation and hotel transfer.

It pays to know your rights.