May 13, 2010
The Civil Aviation Board (CAB) has suspended the “no refund” policy for the promo fares of Cebu Pacific Air while a review on the policy is ongoing with the aim of coming up with a new policy that is more consumer friendly.
Trade and Industry undersecretary for consumer welfare Zenaida C. Maglaya said that the CAB decision was made after DTI called the CAB to a meeting to address complaints of Cebu Pac passengers with unused promo fare tickets but which the airline refuses to refund.
Airlines, including their promo fares, are under the CAB.
With the suspension of the “no refund” policy, Maglaya expects Cebu Pacific to refund the unused promo tickets.
“These passengers have been left because they arrived late in the airport and are now complaining because Cebu Pacific does not refund their tickets,” Maglaya said.
“That is not fair even if they write it down and even if passengers are properly informed of the no refund policy,” Maglaya said.
Maglaya said that Cebu Pacific told them that the no-refund policy is contained under the Terms and Conditions for the budget promo fares. For the regular fares, passengers get a refund but not the entire paid amount.
The DTI has specifically asked CAB to look at the promo collaterals of the airline or the promo details and terms of conditions, which are written in fine prints.
“In our case in the DTI, we always look at the fine prints for every promotional activity that is under our jurisdiction,” she said.
Although the complaints have been lodged against Cebu Pacific alone, Maglaya, however, said that a customer friendly policy by airlines should not only cover to Cebu Pacific, the only local carrier that has been aggressively into promo fares, but to all carriers that operate in the country as well as those that fly into the country.
“The review of the rules governing airlines’ promo fares is to find out what would really be is the best interest of consumers,” she said.
“I understand that under the regular fare, passengers are refunded although not the full amount but for budget promo fares they don’t get any refund at all,” Maglaya said.
Maglaya said the mounting complaints have been lodged by Cebu Pacific passengers, who failed to catch up their flight.