Fil-Am leaders join PAL in its appeal to LAWA

June 15, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 164 views

Itchie CabayanFILIPINO-American community leaders are making a very urgent appeal to the Los Angeles City Council for it to intervenè in the recent decision of the LAWA (Los Angeles Worlds Airport).

The said decision pertains to the transfer of the gates of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) from the main terminal of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Midfield Satellite Concourse effective June15.

Fil – Am Community Leader Ethel Rubio led in making the call to the LA City Council as early as last June 2, after being made aware of the disadvantages that the said decision posed on PAL passengers, specially the senior citizens.

“As one of the Filipino – American community leaders, I implore the City Council to intervene in LAWA’s customer insensitive decision to move the PAL Gates to the new concourse gates,” she said.

The move, she notes, will aggravate the mobility of the ageing population which makes up more than a third of the Philippine flagship carrier passengers.

PAL carries a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 80 wheelchair passengers per flight.

“Please help us in reversing this decision on behalf of the Filipino – American elderly in your district,” Rubio said.

As of this writing, PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna said the LAWA decision is still being appealed by PAL.

Villaluna assured PAL customers, particularly the Filipino-American community and other Filipinos in Southern California, that the airline will continuously pursue the said appeal.

The forced transfer of its flights to the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) of the LAX was set for June 15, 2021 and so far, it has not budged.

According to Villaluna, discussions will still be pursued with the LAWA authority in the coming days in the hope of a further delay or a full reversal of the said decision.

In relation to the transfer proceeding despite PAL’s best efforts, she said the flag carrier has this message to its clients: “We ask for your patience and understanding because the MSC gates are in a separate concourse that is linked to the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) by an underground pedestrian tunnel.”

Among others, it is notable that the transfer would create for the passengers an additional ‘walk time’ to and from the aircraft gates.

Villaluna said passengers would have to allot approximately 20 minutes additional time to walk to their departure gates at the MSC.

From the TBIT main concourse, after clearing security, passengers will need to access the tunnel walkway via escalators, elevators and moving walkways.

There will also be terminal transfer vehicles, similar to golf carts, that would be made available for passengers who are unable to walk the full distance.

Extra time will also have to be alloted in case of limited availability of these transfer vehicles. Passengers using wheelchairs will also need to take the elevators.

Villaluna also said there are limited shops and food service facilities at the MSC. This means that passengers would have to plan on completing their shopping and dining needs at the TBIT main concourse pre-departure area before finally proceeding to the MSC for boarding.

Meanwhile, all departing PAL passengers will check in at the TBIT while all arriving PAL passengers will claim their baggage and clear immigration and customs at the TBIT, in the same areas in use today.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that the Airport’s decision may cause you. In addition to our urgent appeal to the airport authority to reconsider the decision to move PAL flights from the TBIT to the MSC; PAL also is seeking assistance from city officials,” PAL said in a recent statement.

It added: “We have raised the important consideration that a large number of our Filipino-American and visiting Filipino travelers are senior citizens or persons with disability who would be better served if the boarding gates are located closer to the check-in and security areas. We will continue to pursue all available remedies in the hope that our flights will be retained at the original gates of the main TBIT concourse for the well-being and convenience of our valued passengers.”

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Jokjok (from Eileen Cuadra of Pakil, Laguna)— PEDRO: ‘Nay! Halika, dalian mo, si kuya nagbigti sa banyo!/NANAY: Ha? Ano?! (Nagmadali yung nanay papunta sa banyo. ‘Wala pala dun yung anak níya) Ikaw talaga kahit kelan, puro ka kalokohan. Tinakot mo ako dun huh! Wala naman yung kuya mo dun eh.’/ PEDRO: Joke lang, ‘nay! Actually, nasa kwarto si Kuya. Dun siya nagbigti!!

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