In a letter to Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Cebu Pacific (CEB) issued an apology to the mayor for the handling of a delayed flight he took last week and assured measures to enhance its services.
Benitez expressed his disappointment and frustration with CEB’s handling of Flight 5j471, which was scheduled to depart from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Bacolod-Silay Airport at 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. However, the flight took off almost three hours later, at approximately 11:30 p.m.
The mayor cited several issues, including poor information dissemination, uncooperative staff, and inconsistent flight details displayed on airport monitors, which changed multiple times.
Responding to the mayor’s concerns, Lei Apostol, CEB’s Vice President for Customer Service Operations, expressed regret for the delay and attributed it primarily to inclement weather, which had a cascading effect on their flights.
Apostol thanked Mayor Benitez for his feedback and observations, emphasizing the airline’s commitment to improving communication and information dissemination for its passengers.
Apostol also informed the mayor that CEB had conducted an initial investigation and assessed the points he raised. The airline acknowledged that its line personnel could have provided better information when the mayor requested an audience with a supervisor or manager, and they pledged to address this issue promptly.
To monitor and improve staff performance, CEB disclosed that all their flights in Manila have recordings of ground announcements. In Benitez’s case, two recorded announcements were made at 8:16 p.m. and 8:37 p.m. to inform passengers of the delay. However, Apostol admitted that the announcements should be improved and promised to work on this together with their ground handler.
Regarding the inconsistency in the Flight Information Display System (FIDS), CEB said 2 screens are controlled by CEB and 1 by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).
CEB said that its FIDS reflects more accurate flight status updates, as it is connected to their network. As for the third FIDS board under MIAA’s management, the authority has agreed to implement measures to ensure parallel and accurate flight information.