10 hours flight delay
Our flight at AirPhil Express in Mactan Cebu Airport was scheduled at 10:10PM of Sunday (July 25, 2010) but because of the bad weather condition in Manila that night, we were re-scheduled to leave at 1AM of Monday, July 26, 2010.
This was understandable on our part, they just wanted our safety. Besides all other airline flights bound to Manila from Mactan Cebu that night were delayed some were even there as early as 3PM. Mom even said the weather was really bad in Manila so this was understandable.
1AM came and we were asked to board the airplane. Everyone were seated comfortably in their seat designations. Some, including I even fell asleep immediately. We were hearing some few announcements here and there that the flight will be a bit delayed because of “ground servicing“. But since we were all in the airplane we were all O.K.
2AM came and a flight attendant announced that we should disembark the plane . No reason was stated we were just asked to go down again . We thought the weather was really bad in Manila so we have to cancel flight.
The flight wasn’t canceled when everyone was at the waiting area, Gate 8 of the departure area of Mactan Airport in Cebu, an announcement was made that our flight will be delayed for 5PM.
This is when the passengers started to get aggravated, including me. No reason was stated or we were not able to grasp whatever they were saying anymore because we are all exhausted and want some decent sleep. We want to go home. Its a Monday for Christ sake, most of the passengers have a work and school to catch.
Segfred Santiago the idiot ground supervisor of AirPhil Express Mactan
Hungry and exhausted with a kid who has been inconveniently been moved from the lounge/ departure area Gate 5 , to the airplane, to lounge/departure area Gate 8 (she was half awake as we move her) I immediately approached this man to ask for an explanation.
This idiot told me that this is none of my concern and that he don’t need to explain anything to me. I raised my voice immediately and told him how could this not be my concern when this is my flight going home and you are delaying my flight back home, how dare he tell me this is not my concern.
Segfred Santiago said it wasn’t my concern because its an airplane problem and I don’t have anything to do with it.
What? An airplane problem?
Apparently, the ground crew or the pilot of AirPhil Express did something that caused them to hit their own cargo bay after landing. A slip of the tongue of Segfred Santiago said this happen before their staff made us board the plane just to have us deplane afterwards.
Santiago even pulled his ID card away when one of the agitated passengers tried to take a photo of him and his ID card and said “you don’t have to know my name” “you don’t have to take photos of me.” But of course this angered the passenger the more to which some took their video camera and video taped our discussion.
5am flight delayed
Knowing about the problem all the passengers have no choice but to surrender to the fact that we have to wait at the departure area Gate 8 for 3 more hours since the announced was made at 2am. We were all complaining because we all wanted to go home but since its out of our hands we have no choice but to wait.
At this point Segfred Santiago, who was the ground manager of the Airphil Express Mactan operation has the authority to do whatever he deemed necessary and is in line with their company policy which is “ friendlier andcustomer-centric”.
He tried to calm us by giving us some cold sandwich (a choice of Tuna, Chicken or Ham and Cheese) from Dunkin Donuts and a bottle of lukewarm mineral water. It would have been nicer if the sandwiches were warm and instead of water hot chocolate or coffee was offered.
Also, by the time the Airphil Express operations at that time already offered to check us in a nice hotel so we can all rest and not sleep and get more exhausted trying to squeeze our body on the cold and stiff metal chairs at the departure area.
We also learned that after we disembarked the airplane, the captain and the crew of that airplane booked themselves at Days Hotel so they can all have a good rest before the next flight.
AirPhil Express Poor customer service
Ten minutes before 5AM another announcement was made to inform all frazzled passengers that our flight will be delayed again for another hour because of the bad weather conditions in Manila which is a complete bull. The weather was fine in Manila that time as Cebu Pacific’s first flight bound to Manila already flown already.
All of us were livid at that time because we were all hoping to go board a plane and fly to Manila that time. This time the morning shift manager of AirPhil Express Jim Patindol arrived and was confronted by upset customers and tried to tell us some crap which we don’t accept at all. We wanted action we’ve been patient for 10 hours with them they should do something.
At 6AM AirPhil Express buses arrived and picked us up without a word or announcement that delayed passengers will now fly back to Manila.
In the airplane bound to Manila the usual round of food cart while up in the air did not happen. They didn’t realize all of us were hungry. They didn’t even offer us coffee or anything.
Filed a complaint against AirPhil Express Mactan Staff in Manila
We were back in Manila at 8AM. Most of the passengers missed their work, some were even suspended from work for not making it in time, missed school and connecting flights out-of-the-country. The inconvenience this delayed flight have caused us is not to be left alone.
At the Terminal 3 in Manila Airport some of the passengers went to the authorities to file a complaint which was backed up by the signature of the other passengers. We passed around a paper to get the number and names of our co-passengers. We plan to file a formal complaint because they never offered us anything to calm us down.
It took us 3 hours to get a result of our complaint.
We didn’t leave the airport without any assurance that something will happen. We were offered the round trip ticket to any of their 24 destination flights and the hotel accommodation at our chosen destination. This was admitting their wrong.
We were asked what else do we want.
We said we want the manager at the Mactan Airport to be fired because he is incompetent. We were told we were too brutal to have someone lost his job and livelihood. On our part that manager was the one who was brutal to us.
There was a baby among the 177 passengers and his milk supply/medicine was checked in. The parents asked for them when we were told we will leave at 5AM it was given to him at 5AM only. Someone missed a flight to China for an important business meeting. Someone was suspended from work because he didn’t make it on time. The lechon we intend to give as coming home gift to all perished! This was the inconvenience this delay caused us. Now they tell us we are rude?
The comfort they offered us at the Mactan Airport was a cheap way to avoid spending for hotel accommodations. That manager should be removed from his post for being incompetent.
Filing a complaint is a waste of time and useless
It saddens me to know that some of the passengers with us that day did not waste time to join us confront the management of AirPhil Express because they said “wala namang mangyayari dyan” (filing a complaint is a waste of time and useless).
This mentality we have here in the Philippines taking in shit should be changed if we want to improve the quality of customer service. We should not let them bully us around because its our right. The almost perfect weekend trip in Cebu I had was ruined by this flight delay and inconsiderate airline staff.
I know being passed around is very inconvenient and yes a big waste of time with the bureaucracy we are so used to. But if we want change we should strive to get the change we want.
It was a good thing that there were eight of us who got some time to spare to talk to the higher ups of AirPhil Express, if not this will all be forgotten and incidence like this will happen to other passengers again and again and again.
This will be my worst airport experience ever. This was the first time I had a flight delayed. What was your worst airport experience? Care to share?
Stay gorgeous everyone!