Once you are in the Philippines you will be spoilt with beach destinations. Mostly the only way to get to these places is by air and the biggest domestic service is Cebu Pacific. They offer competitive fares but do not expect flights to be trouble-free, especially when flying from the Manila hub. Congested airports and airspace make it a very difficult journey.
I have a booking for our helper on Cebu Pacific from Singapore to Davao via Manila for Nov. 7, 2015. I wanted to change the Manila to Davao segment of the flight and move it by a week. There is a manage booking function in the Cebu Pacific website and I was able to make the change. Unfortunately, after I have made the change and paid additional $120.99, the Singapore to Manila segment was canceled and only the Manila to Davao was retained. There was no prompt given before making the payment that the original booking of SIN-MLA-DVO will be canceled by the change.
When I called the customer service, that’s when I learned that their website doesn’t have that capability of rebooking a multi-city flight. I asked if I can reinstate the old booking. It can be done but I have again to pay $194 as a penalty. I asked if there is a way they could help reduce the penalty to reinstate the original booking. None was given. The customer service has no power to make or given any accommodations and only gives an apology that I felt is really not sincere.
The other thing I want to highlight is the website usage. You have to really be detailed in reviewing the items you pay for, from the baggage allowance, seat, food, and insurance. For seat allocation, the website will default a seat for you but at a cost. The option to remove a seat allocation, the text itself, has a gray color. If you missed it, you will be a charge for the seat. You have to make sure to unselect each seat allocation if you have multiple flights. The website also defaults a food choice for you. But this time, the text to change the meal is highlighted in blue. so you can easily notice this and change or remove the food item. Insurance is again preselected for you.
There are two ways to manage this. One is to click “No thanks” which is in light gray. The other is to choose “Manage by guest” which is in blue. Then you have to make sure if there are more than one in your booking. You have to check/review for each passenger. At the end, you just need to review the whole booking again to make sure that what you are paying for is what you need or choose. The experience of using the website is stressful. I always feel that if you are not careful, you will end up paying for something that you may probably not choose if you have been informed clearly about it. The whole experience with Cebu Pacific, even the recent flights I took, are not satisfactory of a regional airline whose passenger volume has increased tremendously over the years.