It’s summertime, and as you all know, it’s that time of the year when you talk travel with your friends whenever you all hang out. The usual bunch of questions are thrown around every time- whether you’ve heard something nice about a new hotel/resort/summer destination, how much a 3-day-2-nighter would set you back, which airline you’re flying this time, etc.
It’s really that time of the year when you all compare notes and check out which ones were actually good deals. After all, going to a much-raved summer spot might just be better than that crappy resort you just stayed in the last month.
Understandably, expectations run rather high when anyone plans a vacation. Not only do you work your ass off to get that much-deserved vacation leave (and not leave work hanging) of even just a few days, you also save up for it. And needless to say, it doesn’t come cheap at all- more so if you plan a rather ambitious overseas trip with hotel stays and all that.
I can’t help but notice that this year isn’t a good year for Cebu Pacific. From the online stories alone just these past few weeks, I’d say there’s a lot going on that leaves a lot of customers not just unhappy- but irate enough to write about it and tell other people how bad their experiences were.
Take for example these recent incidents posted online for all to read:
- Here’s Lattex‘s blog entry on how unsatisfied he is with Cebu Pacific’s new Navitaire system. Read the rest of his blog for other Cebu Pacific stories.
- Aileen Apolo‘s blog tells of her going so far as writing the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection, apparently frustrated that Cebu Pacific hadn’t answered to her original complaint letter.
- Here’s Jason Magbanua‘s experience and a number of other experiences from unhappy Cebu Pacific customers.
- Fruitcaked has this to share on her Multiply- let’s just say she’s not very happy about her own Cebu Pacific experience.
- Rai of PinoyTux Weblog had this to say about Cebu Pacific.
Now that’s not even counting the stories from my friends who don’t blog. This unfortunate friend of mine booked a vacation to Bangkok with her friends last week, and had the most horrendous experience with Cebu Pacific.
Here’s what I think: I know Cebu Pacific positions itself in the budget airline category- an alternative to Philippine Airlines- but even if you are a no-frills, low-cost airline, it doesn’t give you a license to have terrible customer service. And at a time when word-of-mouth spreads so much easier because of blogs, online discussions and social networking? This is the time to get your act together, right?
Whether it’s a vacation or a business trip, everybody deserves to have a worry-free flight. And we’re talking about the whole experience- from booking your flights online, getting your e-tickets, to moving through the airports, and the actual flights. At the rate things are going, I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra just to avoid the stress of going through what the others have been through.
But then again- is it really too much to ask for decent customer service? Shouldn’t great customer service be expected from a company that- I dunno- blows millions in advertising and promotions just to get people to try out what they’re offering?
So yes, I am worried about Cebu Pacific. I’ve flown in several Cebu Pacific flights in the past, and while I’ve been fortunate enough to not have had any major problems, I simply can’t ignore what my friends have gone through recently, or what I read online.
I’m leaving for the US in May, but I’m coming back on July with a whole slew of relatives coming over, and I’m tasked to take everyone around. I really hope Cebu Pacific can get straighten things out by then. In the meantime, it might not hurt to consider other airlines.