I have been sitting in the departure lounge at the Mactan Cebu airport for the past 3.5+ hours, for a flight that was supposed to depart at 6pm, and is now scheduled to depart at 930-10pm, some 4 hours late. I travel this route 2-3 times a month so I am familiar with the flights and occasional delays. It does seem that PAL delays have increased noticeably since the recent changeover in ownership, or at least it feels that way to me. At any rate, this gives me a chance to observe operations at our tiny Zubuchon stall in the departure lounge, so all is not wasted.
But I wanted to post a link to this clear and easy description of your rights when you purchase a passenger ticket on a domestic flight in the Philippines. It’s best for you to educate yourselves on when a flight is considered cancelled, when you are entitled to a meal, when you can insist they put you on another carrier and have them pay the difference, or when to blow a gasket with cause, essentially. It’s also useful to know when you can demand compensation if your luggage doesn’t arrive within an hour of your flight or if you lose your luggage altogether. I ran across this listing of rights a while back, and frankly am thrilled it exists, though I would have written a tougher set of guidelines. Tonight there is another PAL plane scheduled after our original flight, but the plane is here, and there is no crew. The crew are arriving as passengers on the delayed incoming flight from Manila… so now two flights are delayed. PAL has already handed out PHP180 meal vouchers which I used to buy some siomai at Tsim Sha Tsui, a neighboring stall (yup, I don’t ALWAYS eat our own food), and now it’s just a long wait on hard metal seats until we board the plane.
P.S. About five minutes after I posted this, a PAL manager came looking for me at our Zubuchon stall to hand over an upgrade to business class, first row. Nice. And I didn’t even have to refer to the Airline Passenger “Bill of Rights” — they just needed to pack more people into the plane. :)
P.P.S. We are about to board soon, but wait, they apparently haven’t fed the pilots. The co-pilot has lined up at Zubuchon to buy his and perhaps the captain’s dinner! Hahaha. At least they have good taste. And our crew got the order done, packed and out in less than 2 minutes flat! It’s kind of amusing/ embarrassing when we board planes and you spy the flight crew in the cockpit munching on a fast meal in Zubuchon take-out containers.