Nancy Binay

BINAY OPENS INQUIRY ON AIR TRAVEL MESS

June 21, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 275 views

SEN. Nancy Binay presided over the public hearing of the Committee on Tourism WednesdayJune 21, 2023 on numerous passenger complaints about the services offered by airline corporation Cebu Pacific and other air travel companies.

In her opening statement during the inquiry Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Binay highlighted the important role of airline businesses in helping revive the country’s tourism industry, but persistent issues and mismanagement hiccups in air transportation continue to dampen efforts to further promote Philippine tourism.

“Aside from the power outages in our airports, airline passengers continue to complain of overbooking, offloading and booking glitches against Cebu Pacific and other airlines,” Binay said.

The senator also said airline companies and relevant government agencies should identify the core problems to come up with doable solutions and implement the same as soon as possible.

“It can’t always be the passengers who consistently adjust. It looks like they are now numb to the plight and complaints of passengers. Our people deserve better,” Binay added in a mix of English and Filipino.

In the same hearing, Sen. Raffy T. Tulfo bared some abuses of the airline companies that pose danger and compromise the safety of all airline passengers, aside from the reported overbooking, offloading, booking and flight cancellations.

Tulfo stressed the importance of public safety which has been compromised because of the abuses of some air travel companies by adding extra flights in a day but lack airplane proper maintenance.

“There were safety issues surrounding the uploading, overbooking and flight cancellations of airlines…If these airlines don’t care about fulfilling their obligations to provide air transport for the passengers, I will not be surprised that they are cutting corners when it comes to safety as well,” Tulfo said.

“Another obvious consequence of adding extra flights is the fatigue of pilots and flight attendants who are being recklessly utilized as airlines across the industry try to recover revenue losses during the pandemic,” he added.

Saying that the customer is always right, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go called on Cebu Pacific to take immediate action and rectify the mounting complaints that their passengers lodged against the budget airline, saying the customer is always right.

“It is crucial for Cebu Pacific to establish effective mechanisms for compensating and assisting affected passengers. This includes providing food, water, and accommodation and ensuring prompt reimbursement for any expenses incurred as a result of this inconvenience,” Go said.

Aside from giving just compensation, Go said Cebu Pacific should implement a comprehensive staff retraining program to enhance customer service and to ensure that these situations would be minimized in the future.