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Old Dec 6, 13, 11:47 pm   #1
 
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Is Cebu Pacific Airlines safe?

Hi everyone,

I have just booked a ticket with Cebu Pacific to the Philippines since its fare is half of what Philippines Airlines offers. However, I did not know that Cebu Pacific has been banned by the EU until yesterday. They fly to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, so I really do not get why the EU bans Cebu Pacific. There must be a reason for that.

Anyway, is it safe to fly with them? If they are indeed a creepy airlines, I guess I have to forget my ticket
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Old Dec 7, 13, 6:11 am   #2
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Philippine Airlines was banned by the EU until last month too
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Old Dec 8, 13, 3:17 pm   #3
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Took them 4 years ago for some side trips to Korea and Thailand while on a business trip to Philippines. Can't expect much services from them but I think it is ok to transfer from point A to point B. Their plane was fairly new.
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Old Dec 12, 13, 7:59 am   #4
 
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I flew Cebu Pacific on several flights back in 2010. They are fine for a budget airline. Don't let the EU bans scare you (in all cases).
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Old Dec 17, 13, 10:44 am   #5
 
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They are approximately 50,000% safer than the taxi ride you are going to take to/from the airport in Manila.
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Old Dec 17, 13, 10:57 am   #6
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Philippine Airlines was banned by the EU until last month too
And while it was banned from flying to the EU, it served the US and Canada and did not have any incidents.
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Old Dec 19, 13, 4:06 am   #7
 
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Just flew them last week - twice (the first and last time).
Awful check-in and boarding procedures. They strictly enforce weighting even a small hand luggage, causing delays while people shift items to check luggage, No bag seemed that large, bulky or excessive, but the low threshold created the situation. I checked in HANOI for a Manila flight. The flight is at 1:00 AM - they don't open the check in until 11 PM. So if you are early - be prepared to wait in this chaotic airport (yet better than MNL)

You can purchase priority seats for additional fees, most being at the front of the cabin and depending of whom you get looking at your boarding pass you may board when you approach the gate or be some of the last. If you are some of the last, there will be no room on the overhead compartment for the "light and small" suitcase they allowed. Again, only firmly confronting the attendants reveal that most of the front compartments are used by them for their purses and cases. Begrudgingly they move them and made space for a couple of passengers seated under the compartments.

Then on a 1 AM to 5A AM flight the push to try to sell food, drinks, toys, etc. starts, back and forth. At MNL, though there were only a few terminal 3 arrivals, they park at a gate, but bussed us nonetheless. Long immigration line as it arrived after another flight. Then long wait for luggage.

My luggage was damaged by them and I had a flight to catch - all I wanted is to document the damage and get a claim going. Not so easy - they want you to fill a feedback form for then to investigate if you will be allowed to qualify to be issued a complain form and refused to provide a formal complaint form, there is also no deadline for them to compllete the process.

Only after demanding a supervisor, and his supervisor (at first refused), did they provide the form and signed a receipt,. luckily I have video of their encounter and their insane replies. I doubt they will willingly accept the repair cost and some legal procedure will be needed in the US where the ticket was sold (if I can locate any assets here) or IN Manila where the service was rendered and the damage disxovered.

I would avoid this mickey mouse airline whenever possible. Happy to pay more and fly better. I then went to terminal 1 (quite a ride even on a private car) and checked in for my ongoing Cathay Pacific flight - back in the 1st world and with excellent service.

I have flown many other budget carriers, such as easy jet, southwest, virgin us, all are much better experiences than Cebu Pacific. While hopefully safe, I would nevertheless AVOID AVOID AVOID Cebu Pacific when possible.
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Old Dec 19, 13, 4:07 pm   #8
 
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I agree with traveler18 - it is better to be avoided, if possible. Last year I had an awful experience with them in which I felt that it was the last time flying them. And I would be very happy if EU would keep this airline far far away from our airspace. Better take Air Asia or something instead, if possible.
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Old Dec 19, 13, 7:35 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fims View Post
I agree with traveler18 - it is better to be avoided, if possible. Last year I had an awful experience with them in which I felt that it was the last time flying them. And I would be very happy if EU would keep this airline far far away from our airspace. Better take Air Asia or something instead, if possible.
Tell me with which other airline I can fly CEB-SIN for <50 USD?
(this was a piso fare booking)
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Old Dec 19, 13, 8:09 pm   #10
 
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I flew them PEK-MNL for 100$ RT. 1元+taxes fare

Paid like 15$ for the exit row....

Planes were clean and comfortable enough - no worse than the back of a DL flight
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Old Dec 21, 13, 7:42 am   #11
 
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I flew 4 flights with them in August, HKG-CEB, CEB-CGM, CEB-MNL, and MNL-KUL.

I thought them to be decent and safe, there were a couple incidents on my trip such as a rerouting as i was supposed to fly ceb kul direct instead of going through mnl.

In mnl our aircraft to kul went tech after push back and we had to be towed back to the gate and wait another 2 hours for our flight.

Feel free to check out my 4 trip reports on them here, overall i think you get what you pay for and as long as the flight isnt cancelled they are 100% safe.

http://flight-report.com/en/report-5656.html
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Old Dec 23, 13, 9:01 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
Tell me with which other airline I can fly CEB-SIN for <50 USD?
(this was a piso fare booking)
Well, you get what you pay for. I was advised to book Cebu by local organisers of the event in Manila. In my case I had MNL-PVG with them. Did 3hrs before check-in, they confirmed the up to 48hr visa-free transfer policy for Schengen nationals in PVG (took even photocopy of my onwards ticket), all went fine, confirmed with TIMATIC.

At boarding queue 2,5hr later, they said "Uh, you are not American, you must meet our supervisor at check-in area". I insisted on boarding, they said no. They promised a quick settling. Supervisor said "Uh, you're European. You can stay only up to 24hrs in PVG)". I insisted that to crosscheck with TIMATIC. She did online... which said: "up to 24hrs", next row below said "excl. PVG,SHA where it is up to 48hr". She pointed the upper row, me the one below. Showed also information at Chinese Consulate website - they claimed that that is fake governmental website. I had similar transit on my way to MNL (flying TK+CX then), showed by passport stamps and boarding passes about that. After that she said that my passport must be fake and she voided my reservation completely and also would not give my suitcase back. I called the police, after which they surrendered my bag, after long negotiations also rebooked me on the same flight on the following day (as the same day one had already departed). I had also bought a bulkhead seat in row 1, on the new it stated 16D. I pointed that out on printout, but the staff insisted that I can't possibly comprehend the booking conformation. The next day of course, it was 16D.

The worst was also that when the staff escorted me from gate to meet the check-in supervisor, they got me thru immigration without the stamp. With the help of the police I managed to get my exit stamp cancelled (as I certainly did not want to get arrested as being illegal immigrant in PH).

Oh, and of course, I lost the hotel booking in PVG and had to book another one in MNL.

Next day I had to argue to get my seat back in premium row. Flight got delayed by 2 hrs, but finally arrived.

Their customer service stayed silent later when following up.

Would I fly them again? No.
Would I keep their operations out of EU? Yes.

I have flown many airlines across different continents, but even some local Venezuelan airlines seem fine while compared to Cebu. I would rather pay a bit premium and have a smoother experience.
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Old Dec 23, 13, 4:21 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fims View Post

Would I fly them again? No.
Would I keep their operations out of EU? Yes.
Your example is of poor customer service. If you start banning airlines based upon incidents of poor customer service, we will see a big reduction of airlines in Europe (both EU and non-EU flagged airlines).

What you experienced is typical Filipino customer service. The agent was either clueless or did not want to lose face and back down when she was proved to be wrong. Both equally likely.

I have had several sectors on CEB. They have been fine. A few delays but I've always allowed generous transit times. I've used CEB to HKG, SIN, ICN and REP so no chance for any confusion as you might have with going to China in transit.

The only thing I don't like is the onboard fun and games. The crew sing a few songs and you have to guess that tune, or they do a 'show me' competition where passengers try and hold up a picture of Noynoy Aquino for example as quickly as possible (on a 500 peso note). It's bearable if you're on a flight at 2pm. But after getting on a flight from HKG to CEB at 1.30am, you really want the crew just to shut up!

For the fares they charge, CEB is a perfectly reasonable airline. It is comfortably an equal to PAL for reliability and probably superior to Tiger Airways. Air Asia Philippines on the other hand is a joke of an airline. The way it treated customers in Clark was shockingly awful. Routes were rumoured to be cancelled, then they were cancelled, then they were reinstated, then they were cancelled again. It was farcical. A real blot on the Air Asia brand.
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Old Dec 23, 13, 5:08 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by Fims View Post
I managed to get my exit stamp cancelled (as I certainly did not want to get arrested as being illegal immigrant in PH).
Why did you need to get the exit stamp cancelled?
If you reenter, then you can exit again?
(though you might have issues with getting out if you have to pay the departure tax again.)
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Old Dec 24, 13, 9:40 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
Why did you need to get the exit stamp cancelled?
If you reenter, then you can exit again?
(though you might have issues with getting out if you have to pay the departure tax again.)
Well, due to the layout of the airport the pax at the gate do not have direct access to entry-immigration. Also the staff took me first to talk with the supervisor using the special staff door, thus I entered the country without passing the immigration. As I was expecting this to be sorted out quickly and get back to gate before boarding ends, I did not pay attention when I walked thru with the staff, but later it turned out to be bad idea to follow staff suggestions...
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