With the recent scenario that transpired in NAIA terminal between a celebrity and a pitiful Cebu Pacific employee regarding a mishandling of luggage, are the airfare companies not giving the right services any more? More so when the fare is a promo one, do they still give the right service? Let us take an overall view of the benefits all of us should be getting. This article will prove to be helpful too about the Tulfo Santiago incident that happened, whether Claudine was in the right side during the said incident.

Services that you should be receiving from Airfare Companies

Regardless of the type of fare, both promo fares and the normal airfare services being given is in general the same. Let us take a tour of the different services in general to know our rights and for us to know the extent of service we should be receiving to avoid hassles and possible confrontations with airline personnel. Let us go deepest in the delayed baggage policies section as this is the major reason for the said Claudine and Cebu Pacific crew incident.

Ticketing Services

All airfare companies should have hotlines to entertain clients for ticketing. There should be several branches of offices where people can book and pay for their tickets. For convenience, there are usually websites too for booking, reservations, and even payment. Depending on airline policies, cancellations and refunds will be allowed within the allowed time frame.

Baggage Allowed

Before we discuss the items allowed in baggage, let us take a look at prohibited items first. Generally speaking, items that are not properly packed will not be allowed, also items that will pose as dangers to the plane such as flammable items or explosives are extremely strictly prohibited. Items which are prohibited by laws such as drugs, unlicensed weapons such as sharp objects, firearms and ammunition’s are obviously not allowed. Live and dead animals, human or animal remains are of course not allowed too. But perishable items such as fish, meat, fruits are allowed but only if properly packed in a Hand Baggage.

Upon inspection and approval by the airline company, most items will be allowed. But of course there will always be limitations. Each airline company has their own sets of rules but in general, the allowable wait of baggage will be around 10-15 kilos. Hand carry is more or less 7 kilos per piece. Maximum allowable baggage size is around 62 inches of total length width and height, while for hand carry is roughly 45 inches.

Insurance

Most if not all airfare companies should be able to provide insurance for all areas of the whole travel experience. Some basic services or coverage should include trip cancellations and terminations, medical expense reimbursement, child protection, flight diversion, delayed or loss baggage, loss of personal documents or cash, flight delay, hijacking and among others, all with their own respective monetary limits of coverage. This is to make sure that passengers can have the option of absolute protection with reasonable rates.

On boarding/Departure/Arrival

In the Philippines, the NAIA terminals shall be available for us to check in ourselves together with our luggage in preparation to board the flight. If applicable, lounges that offer food and relaxation shall be made available while we wait. Baggage will then be allowed to be checked in along with us. Upon boarding, we should be welcomed and be directed to our assigned seats. During the travel, meals may or may not be served depending on the circumstances. During the flight, events like turbulence’s may happen and it is the very responsibility of the pilots to ensure that the plane and its passengers will all be safe, either by making a diversion or making a stop over at a different location. Upon arrival, baggage shall be returned to the passengers, and some airline companies may offer terminal to terminal transportation services and hotel transportation as well.

Delayed Flights

Due to uncontrollable events, not all scheduled flights are guaranteed. There will always be chances that the day and time of these flights might change due to certain factors. Once on board flight diversions or rerouting may be done if necessary due to safety or whatever reasons. In the event of a flight disruption, cancellation or delay, airline companies should be able to try its best, but not necessarily commit to place the passengers in the same or similar seats. Refunds may be given if the passengers paid for reservations and did not get the seat they wanted.

Excess and Delayed Baggage

For excess baggage in kilo, a passenger should pay a certain fee of around 150 PHP per kilo for domestic flights, and international flights requires around 400 PHP per kilo of excess. Again, each airline company has its own policies and fees.

Now, this is the highlight of the article, about delayed baggage. Airfare companies should have the option to carry our checked baggage at a much later flight due to certain safety reasons or circumstances. To site a specific example, in Cebu Pacific’s website Policy Clause 13.1.1 (f) states that:

“Whenever possible, Checked Baggage will be carried on the same aircraft as the Passenger. The Airline may decide for safety, security or operational reasons to carry it on another flight. If a Checked Baggage is carried on a subsequent flight, the Airline will deliver it to the Passenger unless applicable law requires the Passenger to be present for clearance by customs authorities.”

Also on Clause 16.1.1, it states that:

“In case of a lost or delayed Checked Baggage, the Passenger must advise the Airline right after his flight and before leaving the airport premises”

As seen, from the 2 clauses above, it is really the responsibility of both the airfare company and the passengers to take note of the baggage. Delayed baggage are inevitable and the airline company will not be held liable, and the passenger should wait for the baggage, and when they came in damaged state or late, he or she should notify airline personnel.

To wrap things up, despite all types of fares, airfare companies should be giving all the services. Whether it is the normal or promo rate, we all deserve to be given the absolute best of service. About the Claudine Cebu Pacific incident, the airfare company is not legally liable for the delay as their clauses clearly state that they have no fault or responsibility for the delay or misinforming about the delayed baggage. Ranting and making scenes will only make things worse so it will be wise to just inform airline personnel about whatever issues.

A good suggestion to avoid this incident is to ensure that airfare companies notify or announce to passengers about delayed baggage. A new policy to ensure this is done may give all passengers peace of mind so they will always know the location of their baggage and the possible time of their arrival. The Santiago’s claim that there are medicines in their baggage that they need desperately, well, it is high time that passengers consider getting medical flight insurance and also insurance for delayed baggage! To answer the question, yes, Cebu Pacific still delivered the right service, but a slight service if keeping passengers informed about delayed baggage will most certainly help.