By Ma. Cristina Arayata
MANILA – An executive of low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) on Thursday said 28 passengers who were unable to board their flight to Hong Kong due to long queues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were given options to rebook their flight for free, get a full refund, or convert their ticket to a travel fund.
CEB spokesperson Carmina Romero said this happened on flight 5J 110 on Wednesday. “As a recovery, we provided them with free rebooking or full refund or travel fund,” she said.
Romero said no passenger was offloaded on CEB’s international flights on Thursday.
According to a reliable source, passengers swamped the NAIA, particularly the immigration counters, since Wednesday. The source added that CEB asked for a 10-minute extension to accommodate the missing passengers, but the 28 still did not make it.
AirAsia Philippines deputy spokesperson Carlo Carongoy told the Philippine News Agency that no similar incident happened in any of their international flights.
“We always advise our passengers to be at the boarding gates ahead of boarding time,” he said.
Carongoy added that AirAsia Philippines has always accommodated passengers to the next available flights free of charge whenever they were left by the plane.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) earlier reported that the long lines at NAIA counters were due to the increase in passengers of recovery flights. It may be recalled that hundreds of flights were canceled, delayed, or diverted last Jan. 1 because of a system glitch.
The BI, in a statement, said all its officers are in full force and additional personnel have been deployed to serve as backup.
“So far we noticed that there are peak periods when the BI processes many arriving and departing flights, but these are often manageable, and are expeditiously cleared by our personnel and our e-gates,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval told the PNA when asked for a comment.
Sandoval said an increase in passenger volume is expected in the next couple of days, as flight and airport operations normalize. (PNA)