Airlines waive rebooking penalties for passengers

Posted on August 08, 2012

FIVE LOCAL airlines have waived rebooking fees for passengers unable to make it to their flights yesterday due to bad weather.

Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines (PAL), Airphil Express, Zest Airways and AirAsia Philippines took note of floods brought by heavy rains.

"If you have a Cebu Pacific flight today, but you’re not able to head to airport because of flooding or rains in your area, you may take your Cebu Pacific flight on another day," the Gokongwei-led carrier said in an advisory sent by Candice A. Iyog, vice-president for marketing and distribution.

Cebu Pacific said passengers should rebook flights within 30 days from yesterday or place the value of the booking in a "travel fund," where passengers can store the value of their unused tickets for later use within a validity period of 90 days from the flight date.

Cielo A. Villaluna, PAL corporate communications officer, said in text message yesterday: "PAL will waive rebooking fees of passengers unable to take flights due to floods today. However, rebooking is subject to fare and booking class seat availability."

"[The announcement] covers outbound passengers, meaning Manila to outlaying stations, domestic or international, and who cannot take their flights due to floods, as well as inbound passengers, meaning Manila-bound passengers from all outstations who opted not to fly due to Manila weather," she said.

The announcement also covered PAL’s low-cost arm Airphil Express.

Airphil Express, in its official Facebook fan page said: "To all passengers unable to make it to the airport due to the floods for their flights today, Airphil Express will waive rebooking fees. This applies to flights departing from Manila (Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3) and Clark (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport)."

AirAsia Philippines Chief Executive Marianne B. Hontiveros also said in a text message yesterday: "We are giving guests two weeks to rebook at no cost and no fare charge for all of today’s AirAsia Philippines flights."

Zest Air, for its part, said the company would also allow full refund of tickets aside from waiving the rebooking fees. "[W]e are providing you with the following options: rebook your flight within 30 days or full refund of tickets," Zest Air said in a notice sent via e-mail.

Ms. Iyog said Cebu Pacific might also waive rebooking fees of flights tomorrow if the bad weather continued.

The airport management said only Zest Air canceled flights yesterday. Canceled flights were Zest Air flight number 300 or the Manila to Kalibo route with a departure time from Manila of 12:05 p.m., and Zest Air flight number 301 or the Kalibo to Manila route with an arrival time to Manila of 2:35 p.m., the Manila International Airport Authority media relations department said.

PAL, meanwhile, said its flights were not canceled, but there were flight delays due to the weather.

"As of this time, all PAL flights are green and go. However, there are delays in flight takeoffs and landings at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to prevailing weather conditions," PAL said in a 3:00 p.m. bulletin. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon