Cebu Pacific is operated by Cebu Air Inc. which is a low budget carrier from the Philippines. It’s Asia’s first low budget airline founded in 1988, having its base at Ninoy Aquino International Airport located in Pasay City which falls under the metro Manila. Cebu Pacific has its planes at terminal 3. Cebu is the name of one of the Philippine islands. By 2010 Cebu Pacific passed Philippine Airlines in number of passengers flown both domestic and international and became the Philippines largest airline carrier.
The logo in use is that of an eagle. Flights go to Chicago, Houston, America’s west coast and more cities in the U.S., plus flights to Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. The middle east and Australia. The airline has definitely been working hard to expand. That’s why it bought many new airplanes too.
Reputation of Cebu Pacific
All above mentioned sounds as if Cebu pacific airline has a good reputation but that can be far beside the truth when you know their history of incidents and accidents. The list starts in 1998 with a fatal crash in the Philippines whereby all 104 people on the plane died. In 2013 it was a defect landing gear that made the plane written off. No info about casualties. In 2013 a plane ran off the runway in Manila. Some passengers suffered injuries. In 2017 the pilots managed to get the nose gear off the runway while taxiing. Later that year a plane veered off to the right of a runway to end up with an emergency exit. In 2018 it was again a nose gear issue. The steering didn’t work properly while landed at Zamboanga airport.
This is the list of real serious issues but of course, the airline has a reputation too for most of the time having delays in their flight schedules. With three out of four flights with a minimum of 1.5 hr delay, there seems to be a structural problem. Especially when at the time of departure there are up to 6 scheduled planes coming in where have to be waited for. That is a daily thing and could be avoided by changing the departure time.
As if this all isn’t enough there are some other issues to mention too. It has to be said that some of the issues that we describe might not be the airline’s responsibility but rather an airport/security responsibility. That’s not totally clear to us but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be mentioned at
all. What is definitely the responsibility of Cebu Pacific is their very own website. The website had serious hick-ups as seen in picture.
You couldn’t finish a booking or you got for one or another reason pop-ups with a snap or message what to do in case this keeps popping up. That’s already a sign that they knew that they had issues as per March ’19. The issues by mobile phone have seemingly been resolved by Aug ’19. If this is the case for bookings by desktop too is unknown to us.
Another thing when you book online is what every (low cost) airline offers. The well known add-on’s. The price you get to see at first is just a price but on top of that you’ll get the taxes and even the fuel cost. Then you have the add-on’s like placing a meal order, check in luggage, insurance and seat selection among others. It’s a surprise that by seat selection online you’ll be placed at row 14 (emergency exit seats). You turn off all add on’s as that is the cheapest. When you get to the airport of Manila for a domestic flight, get your boarding card from one of the machines using your booking reference number. It turns out that on your boarding card you have the exact same seat number as they wanted to sell you in an add-on on their website. Only now without paying extra for it.
The machines are only to get boarding cards for domestic flights whereby you don’t have baggage to check in. For international flights counts that you always need to go to a counter. There are possibilities for online check in and by machine at the airport but still you need to go to a counter. They need to check if you have a visa for the destination country for example. At this counter you might be asked if you mind an emergency exit seat as they need people there. You could take this as if there are not more than 6 passengers or that they’re planning to crash.
Issues are already annoyances but now we talk about other things again. On a domestic airport in the Philippines you will need to follow the security measures at the entrance of the airport building. After that you repack and walk 10 mtr. There is the check-in counters and lines. You checked in online and therefore can skip the queue and walk left 10 mtr. You’ll be surprised but there you have the next security check. The exact same one as just 20 mtr before. Take out laptop, phone, belt, etc again. You tell them that you just got through a check and ask if they sell bombs at the airport in the 20 mtr between the two check points? Rules are rules and possibly this has nothing to do with Cebu Pacific but it’s still an annoyance.
Till this point there hasn’t been any scan made of your online Check-in or QR code in your phone. That will be done when you walk out of the building to the plane. A 50 mtr walk to reach the stairs of the plane and there you need to search your phone again for your check-in. Just to get upstairs in the plane. Done with that and once you enter the plane, the flight attendant wants to see your check-in again with the flight number. Just scanned 50 mtr before and even asked for at the bottom of the stairs. Mentioning that doesn’t seem to impress the flight attendant. You can’t walk to your seat before you take your phone again, search the pic with check-in and show.
Low budget airline means obviously that they don’t even have small amounts of cash on their flights as change for the food items that are sold. No change from 1000 peso ($20). Even no change from 50 peso when you turn out to be the very first person in the plane. They do bring your change but about 15 minutes before reaching your destination. The face expressions that the flight attendants give you for not being able to pay the exact amount in cash speak for itself.
Those same flight attendants are texting on their mobile phones as much as possible secretly for the passengers (except the ones on seats 1A-B-C. This just before departure taxiing and the routine safety measures explanations but when the sign to switch off your devices is already long on for the passengers. Cebu Pacific is absolutely not an airline to put in your top list regarding quality and service. But ignoring that, it can be a good enough airline to bring you relatively cheap. A video impression can be seen here https://youtu.be/_-PK5DLCwQs