• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez criticized budget carrier Cebu Pacific over the poor information dissemination and handling of its delayed flights.
Benitez on Wednesday night expressed disappointment over the handling of Cebu Pacific of its delayed flights, while on his way back to Bacolod City from Manila.
In a post on his Facebook account, Benitez posted that his 5J 471 flight to Bacolod on July 26 was originally scheduled for 8:45 p.m. It was then moved five times, until it took off at past 11 p.m.
“Disappointed at the handling of our #cebupacific flight that was delayed for several hours (normal occurrence),” the mayor said in his post.
Benitez, who attended the State of the Nation Address and the 75th National Executive Board Meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines, cited the “poor information dissemination, uncooperative staff, airport monitors showed different departure times, and gate assignments changed several times.”
“Our carriers should be more considerate of their passengers and handling information about the flight should be of utmost priority. People left hanging is the worst,” the mayor pointed out.
Benitez called the attention of Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei regarding the problem of communicating flight information to its passengers.
His sentiments were shared by some local media practitioners from Bacolod City, who were in the same flight as him.
The post of Benitez has now garnered 7,600 reactions and 1,000 comments, mostly supporting the mayor’s observation. Cebu Pacific has been drawing flak from passengers for delayed and canceled flights.
In a statement posted by Cebu Pacific in the Facebook account of Benitez, the airline company apologized for the inconvenience it caused, as it thanked the mayor for bringing it to their attention.
We regret that your experience with our services did not meet your expectations, it added, stressing “this is definitely not the experience we want to any of our customers.”
“Your honest feedback is important to us. We want to assure you that our Ground Operations Team will be informed immediately of the situation, and will take all necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” the airline’s statement added.*