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Why is Cebu Pacific Such a Horrible Airline?

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We’ve all heard our fair share of Cebu Pacific horror stories. I’ve experienced my own too, from a faulty website to delayed flights. But they weren’t anything that I haven’t encountered at Delta, PAL, or even Singapore Airlines.

That was until the Great Cebu Pacific Christmapocalypse of 2014. While I’m still compiling a lengthy account of that experience (complete with photos + videos of stranded children, crying women, and censorship attempts by security), I couldn’t help but take a deeper look into the company and uncover some interesting facts why it’s such a shitty airline.

I’m no expert in the airline business, but I’d like to believe I know a thing or two about how companies work. In this case, I’m looking at Cebu Pacific with the following context in mind:

  • The airline industry is a tough business. In the US, the average airfare each way is $178 and the airlines would only make 37 cents per passenger trip on average.
  • Cebu Pac is a growing business. 2014 revenues are up 25% year-to-date.
  • The industry is becoming more competitive, with a resurgent PAL, a dominant low-cost competitor in Air Asia, and the desire of foreign airlines to enter the Philippine market.
  • Filipinos are demanding better service, yet are also more docile consumers on average.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I only spent two hours going through publicly available information in its annual report, quarterly disclosures, and analyst presentations, and I already uncovered lots of reasons why it’s a horribly run airline. I just wrote this today, and this is by no means a definitive analysis.

Place Cebu Pacific under the close, investigative scrutiny of a Patricia Evangelista, Natashya Gutierrez, or Bianca Consunji, and I bet we’ll uncover way more.

Four things stick out:

1. The Board of Directors is stacked with family members and insiders.

No surprise here. This is the Philippines, after all.

For comparison, let’s look at Air Asia’s board of directors, followed by their ages:

  • Datuk Kamarudin bin Meranun (52), Non-Independent Executive Chairman
  • Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes (50), Non-Independent Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer
  • Aireen Omar (40), Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
  • Abdul Aziz bin Abu Bakar (61), Non-Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Fam Lee Ee (53), Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Robert A Milton (53), Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Amit Bhatia, Independent Non-Executive Director
  • Uthaya Kumar A/L K Vivekananda (60), Independent Non-Executive Director

Here’s Cebu Pacific’s Board of Directors:

  • Ricardo J. Romulo (80 yrs old), Chairman
  • John L. Gokongwei, Jr (87)., Director
  • James L. Go (74), Director
  • Lance Y. Gokongwei (47), Director
  • Robina Gokongwei-Pe (52), Director
  • Frederick D. Go (45), Director
  • Jose Buenaventura (79), Director
  • Antonio L. Go (73), Independent Director
  • Wee Khoon Oh (55), Independent Director

Why is this important? Because the board is the highest governing body of a corporation. If customer service is so bad, then either the Board a.) refuses to do something about it (prioritizing fleet expansion instead, for instance), or b.) is incapable of doing so.

Let’s look at the Board one by one.

Ricardo Romulo is the senior partner of law firm Romulo Mabanta. No airline experience.

Gokongwei patriarch John is unlikely to be closely involved in the airline’s operations given his age.

James Go is John’s brother. No airline experience.

John’s son Lance, is CEO of Cebu Pacific. No extensive airline experience before Cebu Pacific. More troubling, Lance also serves as CEO of Robinson’s Land. Oh wait, he is also CEO of Universal Robina.

I’m sure Lance is brilliant. But I am doubly sure airlines, real estate, and food & beverage are incredibly tough businesses on their own. How can he be CEO of all three? The inescapable conclusion is that Lance is Cebu Pacific CEO in name only.

Robina is Lance’s sister. No airline experience.

Frederick Go runs Robinson’s Land as COO. No airline experience. Which begs the question: if we measure Frederick’s and Lance’s performance, do they spend more time in the airline business or in the real estate business?

Jose Buenaventura is a lawyer (and a partner at Romulo Mabanta). No airline experience.

Antonio L. Go is a banker. No airline experience.

The only board director with significant airline experience is Wee Khoon Oh, who used to be with SIA Engineering Co. SIAEC also happens to be the aircraft maintenance contractor of Cebu Pacific. Even so, Wee Khoon’s experience is in aircraft engineering, not customer service or flight operations.

In short, this is a board stacked with lawyers, family members, and insiders. It’s a board designed to preserve control and mitigate risk, rather than to strive for operational excellence and competitiveness.

It’s also a board filled with old people. The average age of the Cebu Pacific Board is 65 (and that is helped by Lance and Frederick. 5 out of 9 Directors – a majority! – are above 73 years old).

The average age of the Air Asia board is 53.

There is a very real possibility that the Cebu Pacific Directors themselves are not aware of the on-the-ground reality because they are unlikely to browse through Facebook, Twitter,  or this blog.

I am sure they are outstanding professionals in their fields. But their skill set does not belong in today’s airline business.

I can end this blog post on this point. But let’s go on.

2. Senior management is no longer the right team for the job.

The role of the Board of Director’s is to be the overall governing body of a corporation by setting strategy, selecting senior management, and deciding on things like acquisitions, capital raising, and management remuneration. Operations is the responsibility of the senior management team, which reports to the board.

If the main issues are a.) delayed and cancelled flights; and b.) poor customer experience (in terms of ground staff operations, check-ins, gate crews, refunds and rebookings), then we should be looking for managers who are in charge of operations and customer service.

We’ve established Lance is CEO in name only. Who’s really in charge at Cebu Pacific?

That would be Garry Kingshott, Chief Executive Adviser. We all know the “Adviser” title is a smokescreen in Philippine business given that public utilities cannot have foreigner CEOs. But with Lance’s multiple roles, it’s reasonable to believe that Garry is calling the shots.

Judging by his LinkedIn profile, Garry is a sales & marketing guy. Cebu Pacific’s focus on growing ancillary revenue (revenue from baggage fees, rebooking fees, etc – which by the way is worth P6 billion) is likely his strategy, given his past experience at Jet Lit India.  He seems to be more preoccupied with international expansion rather than getting down and dirty with local flight operations.

Who runs ground operations? Let’s look at the Cebu Pacific Annual Report.

Capt. Jim Sydiongco? Nah, he’s responsible for flight operations, pilot training, and safety. With a growing fleet and a pilot shortage, his main focus (rightly so) is for the planes to stay in the air. (Remember the Davao crash landing last year?). Rosita Menchaca? Nope. She runs in-flight services.

The most likely candidate is Michael Shau, Vice President of Ground Operations. But this year, he was moved to run the TigerAir division. And even if he is in charge of customer experience, Michael was also running cargo & fuel, catering, facilities, and procurement! He looks stretched.

In fact, looking at Cebu Pacific’s organizational chart, it’s impossible to see who’s in charge of ground operations and customer experience. There’s Benito Cosep, who runs integrated operations control (including flight dispatch and fleet control), and Rosario Santos who runs quality assurance, but they seem too far down the organizational chart to have significant power to influence outcomes.

Contrast this to Air Asia’s senior management featured in their annual report. They have a tough looking guy named Patrick Fennel heading the operations control centre. There’s a head of guest services – Francis Loh, who’s the single accountable person for customer service. Then there’s Terri Chin, group head of quality and assurance. All three seem like they have considerable power.

In Air Asia, there is one person in charge of finance in senior management: Andrew Littledale, the CFO.

In Cebu Pacific’s senior management, there are three: Jaime Cabangis (CFO), Jeanette Yu (VP Treasury), and Robin Cui (Comptroller).

Strategic priorities are allocated with resources, people, and power. Guess where Cebu Pacific’s priorities lie?

The lack of accountability culture at Cebu Pacific is in full force at the front lines. Ground staff were completely afraid to offer explanations for fear that might say the wrong thing.

“CEB personnel did not explain the long lines, saying they were not authorized by their management to give statements to the press,” says an Inquirer report. I saw this myself. When I asked one supervisor at  counter C27 to explain to the 150+ cancelled passengers what our next steps are, he resisted, saying that it wasn’t his job to process cancellations. After 2 minutes arguing, he agreed to send one of his lackeys to speak on his behalf.

3. Investments in human capital have severely lagged passenger growth.

A frequent complaint heard last December 24 and 25 was that Cebu Pacific was severely undermanned. There were not enough people at the check-in counter. My boarding gate didn’t have an agent for two whole hours. And when I finally was given a hotel room, the guy who coordinated the transfer and hotel booking told me there were only three of them that night who handled thousands of irate rebooked customers.

Contrary to what they want you to believe in the press, this wasn’t just a one-time incident over a busy holiday. It’s a structural problem.

The proof, again, is in the annual report. But you need to dig deep into the notes section.

Cebu Pacific’s Revenue Passenger Kilometer (RPK) grew 12.1% in 2013. RPK is the number of paying passengers on an airline multiplied by the distance traveled. If an airline were a factory, RPK is the measure of an airline’s production output.

Yet, despite the growth, note 21 in the annual report indicates that staff cost only grew 2% in 2013 (P339.7 million in 2013 vs P332.9 million in 2012). Output grew 6x faster than the growth in staffing. No wonder the ground crew felt swamped.

Now, under note 20, the accounts “Flying Operations” and “Aircraft and Traffic Servicing” both contain sub-accounts called “Others”. In the note, “Others” is said to pertain to “staff expenses incurred by the Group such as basic pay, employee training cost, and allowance“. It doesn’t exactly say if staffing cost is the ONLY item under that account. There could be others.

But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that that it’s all staffing costs. Note 20 + note 21 then implies that total people costs amounted to P921.9 million.  This is equivalent to 2.2% of Cebu Pacific’s 2013 revenues of P 41 billion.

But if you look at Air Asia, which did RM 5.11 billion in revenue in 2013, staff costs were RM 610.9 million, or 12% of revenues! Now, even the higher wage levels in Malaysia vs the Philippines wouldn’t be able to entirely account why Air Asia spends 6x more on people than Cebu Pacific.

The whole “we didn’t anticipate the Christmas surge” reason doesn’t fly. This is an airline that obviously tracks RPK, and thus would have month-on-month information on passenger volume.

4. Finally, there are the rumors that Cebu Pacific is being window-dressed for a sale. Nope, not the “piso-fare” kind of sale, but a divestiture of the company to a strategic buyer. After all, the Gokongweis might be starting to realize that it is hard pressed to compete in an open skies environment across Southeast Asia, and would thus be willing to consolidate rather than compete. The group showed its willingness to do something similar in the Sun Cellular sale to PLDT.

Basically, a push for a sale encourages Cebu Pacific to prop up its bottom-line to maximize its market capitalization (and a larger return to the group if a sale occurs). And because profits tanked in 2013 (net income declined 86% from P3.6 billion in 2012 to P512 million in 2013), there is a strong reason for the company to scrimp on expenses in 2014.

In summary, it’s really hard to say what’s going on. All of the above is based on publicly available data. If you know something, get in touch.

My theory: Cebu Pacific is run by a Board that is designed to retain control of the Company rather than to embrace outsiders with the expertise and experience to run a growing low cost airline in a challenging competitive environment. This may have been an adequate Board 10 years ago, but not today. Its senior management is poorly structured, and there is no accountability for key passenger requirements, namely for excellent customer service. It’s underinvesting in human capital. While it’s also pursuing international expansion, management is also considering a sale of the company, and is thus incentivized to prop up the bottom line at the expense of making the investments that lead to operational excellence.

Stay tuned for my next post on how Cebu Pacific stole Christmas Eve.

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159 thoughts on “Why is Cebu Pacific Such a Horrible Airline?

  1. worthyblogproject says:

    Wow this post makes me understand why Cebu Pacific has been doing the same mistakes over and over again without any improvement.

    This company’s goal is just to make more money without giving any importance to quality of service / customer experience.

    The most alarming is their non-priority to their people! Hay what happened? Its about time for CebuPac to learn their lesson!

  2. Ed says:

    CEBU PACIFIC IS NOT PROFESSIONAL IN MANY WAYS THAT THEY INTENTIONALLY CANCELL THEIR BOOKING FLIGHT SCHEDULE IN ANYTIME THEY WANT WITHOUT VALID JUSTIFICATION- ONLY ” SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE”- PIECE OF CRAP!!!

  3. JPC says:

    It’s simple…. there’s a reason why it’s a budget airline. You pay a small fare, so be prepared for these things to happen. Tayong Pinoy masyadong mahilig mag-reklamo pag nag-Cecebu Pac, kala mo ang laki ng binayad for the tickets. The company is legit, and its being family-run has nothing to do with it. I’m surprised someone ‘US-educated’ and ‘enlightened’ like you is surprised something like this happened. Mabuti na yung nangyari kesa what just happened to Air Asia today.

    • Lorenzo Sevilla says:

      What just happened to Air Asia has also happened to Cebu Pac. I know it’s cheap, I can f***ing go to Cebu or Korea every weekend if I wanted to but the thing is… It’s a “paid” service. I paid money. I don’t care much for money either but since I’m paying, I expect them to provide at least basic customer service.

      I don’t know who you are, but I suggest you stop trying so hard (you #thirsty bruh?).

      The author of this blog is right in saying that no corporation should be run like this. But anyway, this seems to be a futile exercise since you clearly have no knowledge nor experience of corporations and management.

    • Paulo says:

      I will kindly disagree, JPC. Cebu Pacific cares zero for customer service whether or not the customer is paying regular fare.

      I paid to take a one-way Manila-Caticlan flight on Cebu Pacific on regular fare (14k inclusive of taxes) last December 26. They cancelled my flight less than seven hours prior to departure time and wouldn’t help me other than to offer me a refund or divert me to Kalibo. I accepted the diversion but asked to be at least provided an exclusive car hire so my one-year old kid who was travelling with me wouldn’t have to bother other passengers on a two-hour bus ride. I explained it was a fair compromise considering I paid premium to fly to Caticlan (a service which PAL, in fact, provided me in another instance when PAL cancelled my Caticlan flight and couldn’t get me a seat on Cebu Pacific). The CSR on the Cebu Pac line had the gall to tell me not to expect anything more because “she is not the one who cancelled my flight” (complete with terrible diction and a smug tone)! I’m afraid I ended up ruining her and her supervisor’s Christmas after I heard that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me breakdown my comments on this:

      1. “There’s a reason why it’s a budget airline”,
      “Tayong Pinoy masyadong mahilig mag-reklamo pag nag-Cecebu Pac, kala mo ang laki ng binayad for the tickets.”

      What reason/s would you say are they? That because people paid for a discounted fare they should be treated differently? I’m sorry but i don’t get the logic of saying there’s a reason why it’s a budget airline. If the airline (Cebupac in this case) cannot provide the same service it offers in a non-discounted fare then they shouldn’t sell budget fares in the first place. OR they should indicate clearly in the ticket (which is considered by law as a proof of contract of carriage) that the discounted ticket that you are paying for entails less privileges (such as being bumped off of flights, having seriously delayed flights, not to be prioritized during check-in etc).

      Also, your statement seems to claim that the only airline that offers budget fares is Cebupacific. If you do your research, PAL and Air Asia also offer relatively cheap fares same as Cebupacific. And yes, the mentioned airlines do have delayed flights and customer service problems but not as serious as that of Cebupacific. “How come 70% of the delayed flights during December 24 to 26 involved Cebupacific. In fact, according to MIAA, for those three days, more than 300 flights of Cebupacific did not depart/arrive on time” (see here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/660500/cebu-pacific-execs-grilled-over-holiday-chaos-at-naia-3).

      I also highly doubt ALL those delayed flights were discounted fares. From experience, fares during holidays are usually not sold on a budget. As I saw on TV, one family of five even bought their tickets at 10K each because they urgently need to go home to the province and yet they were offered only a refund of 2k.

      And lastly, in case you didn’t know, DOTC-DTI Admin No. 1 or the Air Passenger Bill of Rights mandate the following major rights: (1) the right of passengers to be provided with accurate information before purchase; (2) right to receive the full value of the service purchased (includes right to be processed for check-in, right to sufficient processing time, right to board aircraft for the purpose of the flight); and (3) right to compensation (see details here: http://www.gov.ph/2012/12/10/dotc-dti-joint-administrative-order-no-1-s-2012/).
      The point is, paying for a discounted airline fare does not deprive you of the rights enumerated in the Air passenger bill of rights.

      2. “The company is legit, and its being family-run has nothing to do with it.”

      Yes it is legitimate and yes its being family-run PROBABLY has nothing to do with it. BUT clearly, those sitting at the board (which coincidentally belong to the same family and same insiders as mentioned above) are not experienced or skilled in running an airline business. Seeing as the airline business is service oriented and clearly this is where Cebupac currently has problems, Cebupac should look into the placing personnel that would be able to handle such competently. They should appoint competent managers (and board members) that could effectively influence the way things are handled inside Cebupac (specifically with customer service management) and thus, effectively increasing the efficiency of internal and external business management. Although at first glance, being family-run seems to have nothing to do with the crappy service of Cebupac, however, the mismanagement of the business boils down to not having efficient managers and board members (which I repeat are coincidentally part of the same family and the same insiders).

      3. “Mabuti na yung nangyari kesa what just happened to Air Asia today.”
      I will not even comment on this statement.

  4. JR says:

    I for one believe in ‘getting your money’s worth’, but this doesn’t mean you get ‘less’-bordering cheap. When I had a bad experience with them back in 2009, I vowed not to fly with them again (which is something I’m sticking with for a long time). I get that they offer low priced fares, but that shouldn’t follow cheap service. There is no concept of customer service with this airline. The industry relies heavily on customer service, I can’t believe no one dares to question them or shame them and that they are still operating till present. This article is on point, if there is no investment in people, then that’ll show even if you cover it up. I guess no matter how many articles we write, or news reports we see on TV, this company will continue to operate and offer horrible service until we stop ‘patronizing’ them. I say boycott the damn airline. If ‘reklamos’ and news reports can’t force them to improve on their ‘customer service’, then why not bring them down and let them learn the hard way. We (filipinos) should learn the value & importance of good service over cheap promos. The change should come and start from us (the people).

  5. Amelia Pulvera-Agbayani says:

    Thank you Oliver for this blog. I shared it in Facebook with the following comment:

    “This is the airline whose flight 387 crashed in 1998 carrying my husband and 103 other passengers and crew. They breached a contract to fly direct to Cagayan de Oro from Manila, Philippines, by stopping at Tacloban airport and authorizing its pilots to fly over unaccustomed air route over the Mount Sumagaya mountains where the airplane crashed. It is the same airline who scrimped and lost written material and photos the crash victims’ families painstakingly gathered as keepsake and (in hindsight) foolishly entrusted to them for publication. We need more proof that they have learned their lessons that an airline (or any business) is not just a profit center but a covenant of service to its clients.”

  6. Dexter Marlowe says:

    i see there’s plenty of sour grapes to go around here. sadly, the author’s inexperience shows here. Cebu Pacific maybe horrible in many ways, but they’re not alone! PAL have been awful on countless occasions. making references to Air Asia doesn’t help your cause either.

    what’s with the ageism, man!? do you have anything against the elderly? you think, that with your youth, you feel more capable and smart? the only thing you have more than the rest of us is time to research all your “facts” and make assertions out of mere conjecture.

    rant all you want, but nobody’s forcing anything down your throat. if you don’t like something, just look the other way. to state the existence of horrible airlines does not preclude the existence of horrible passengers. mumbling and complaining over something you could avoid just makes you look like an utter imbecile.

    • airline lurker says:

      you must be an idiot yourself, your comment is nothing more than nonsensical statements stringed together. I would think your parents are brother and sister and that accounts for your disjointed logic. Let the author rant if he wants , it’s his blog, so what if PAL is also shitty, at least they take care of their passengers a lot better than cebu pacific. But I agree with you on the comparison with Air Asia and the “aged” remarks so you have hope pala of living a semi normal life.

    • Lorenzo Sevilla says:

      The problem is you are taking his arguments personally. Age does play a huge factor. I honestly can’t see my 80 year old grandfather innovating and coming up with strategies to improve customer service.

      And also, since we’re in the Internet I’d like to comment on your grammar, man. Your argument looks weaker since you’re posting like a 12 year old. And yes, we young people are able to, in general, accomplish more and do it better than you lot. Why? if I have to explain that to you, then you clearly don’t know what has been going on for the past few years.

      Lastly your argument re: terrible airlines not precluding terrible passengers… That is a fallacy. Those two things are not comparable. So what if passengers are terrible? Does that give Cebu Pac the right to diss them?

      “if you don’t like something just look the other way” sounds like something an old person would say. Well done, Edmund Burke would be proud of you.

  7. Ramon Ang should buy Cebu Pacific. Then, we would have a domestic airline that works. PAL is also now run like a sari-sari store with the Kapitan back at the top. Kawawang mag Pilipino. Panay gago ang meringue airline!

  8. “[…]the airlines would only make 37 cents per passenger trip on average”

    This seems hard to believe: For a trip with a hundred passengers, the air line would net a whopping 37 dollars, which implies so poor a ROI that air lines would not be considered a serious use of money.

    Could you clarify and/or expand on this?

  9. To everyone defending this POS airline: my father died on Flight 387. I hold them responsible for his death because they made an unscheduled stop in Tacloban to drop off a mechanic(!!!), forcing their pilots fly unfamiliar territory, leading to that crash. They treated my family like crap. They never once apologized or took responsibility for what happened. I will never, ever fly that airline agin. I’m glad some people are finally seeing what a horrible airline it is!

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  11. anonymous says:

    On point 1. – In terms of experience, the average and median tenure of the CEB board is 12.9 years and 12.7 years, respectively. Compare that to the tenure of 3.3 years for AirAsia Board Members. Obviously, the numbers don’t tell everything. While it is far from being an ideal board, seems competent and experienced enough relative to other companies.

    On point 2. – You could be right. Several CEB senior managers were transferred from other JG entities. The appointments may have been done to reward loyalty rather than competence. This is mere speculation on my part, of course. Anecdotally, the former CFO of CEB used to be head of Legal and Audit as well – obviously too much work for one person.

    On point 3. – One trouble with an LCC operating in the Philippines is that it needs to spend on human capital, whereas in other countries they spend on technology.

    For example, EasyJet and RyanAir sell almost 100% of tickets online. A high percentage of people check-in online as well. Due to lack of education and infrastructure, Philippine carriers still sell a large amount of tickets via ticket offices in malls.

    That said, worse case is when an airline spends on neither human nor technological capital.

    On point 4. – Highly unlikely. Valuations take into account more than short-term bottom line. A decline in the Cebu Air brand impacts future profitability. Events that cause massive consumer complaints also lead to higher regulatory risk. My prediction – Cebu Air shares will rise, not because of its ability to keep costs low, but because oil prices have crashed. JG seems unlikely to sell Cebu Air, although the entry of a strategic partner is possible.

  12. nandy says:

    Lousy article. They started with a couple old planes and a handfull of people. They now have the youngest fleet and employ thousands of filipinos. How many do you employ aber?

  13. @Nandy: if you are gonna come and post criticism, at least have SOME approximation of a valid point. Who gives a crap about how many Filipinos Cebu Pacific employs? If a corporation hires many people, does that mean they can never be held accountable for wrongdoing? And what was your point about asking how many people the author employs? Are you trying to insinuate that his points are invalidated simply by the fact that he is not a CEO of a big corporation? Sheesh. Crawl back into your hole, troll, and don’t come out until you have some cogent points to make.

    • Lorenzo Sevilla says:

      Guy’s probably a call center agent who is up at 12 MN to buy promo fares. Nothing against BPO workers but, yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

      Either that or he’s benefitting from Cebu Pac (family member works there, etc). That company is s***

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  15. llara says:

    obviously the writer has no management experience yet it is he who judges.

    top level management mr article writer are bottom line thinkers(read: income). They leave it upto operations personnel to come up with “better service”.

    Also, stand by with what you write. After a few days you came up with an excuse that you only had a day to come up with it..With made people think as the real reason you wrote the article – you didn’t give a damn until you had experienced it and tried to become the hero.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been doing mystery shopping with a company for Cebu Pacific as their client for 3 years. Guess what? Their customer service never improved since my first assignment 3 years ago.

    • ‘Profits’ drives the company more than customer satisfaction, safety, and concern for them. Not surprising . . ., and as the author of the blog states, no one obviously, is hands-on managing operations.

  17. nandy says:

    @lovesongwhatever .Its lousy coz it was probably written in a Starbucks while on free Internet googling company and personal profiles. How does that make him an expert in determining the performance of an airline aber? You think you can do a better service to the pinoys? Crawl back into a hole ? My whole ‘hole ‘is a 66million usd piece of machinery you can only dream of touching .

    • He did say “I’m no expert in the airline business, but I’d like to believe I know a thing or two about how companies work.” For me this qualifies the article as an outsider’s point of view – to be taken with a grain of salt. The fact is that CebuPac has been experiencing a lot of customer complaints. Let’s see your 66M USD analysis on the whole thing. That should also be interesting.

    • Lorenzo Sevilla says:

      Hi, it’s “a ver” not aber. Stop embarrassing yourself. And I highly doubt that that 66m usd “hole” is yours anyway. If you were that rich you wouldn’t even be here, posting.

      This backs up my argument that you are probably benefitting from Cebu Pac in some way. Are you a mechanic? A flight steward maybe? A pilot? hah. You amuse me.

  18. @Nandy: You are delusional. You have no idea who I am and what I do. It’s not worth my time to get into it with you, your flaccid arguments, and your “66 million usd piece of machinery”. LOL.

  19. Juan Dela Cruz says:

    Hey how are you? It’s New Year I hope you are doing well and I wish I could say the same to you. I’m very exhausted, drained to the very core, sick and I can’t afford to file for a sick leave since it’s going to feel like filing a legal case in a Court Room.
    As most of you know, Cebu Pacific is always having weekly cabin crew walk-in interview (Thursday-Friday) at their office in Domestic Rd because they are really short of manpower and the resignation is extremely high. I noticed that they do not value their crew, no matter how long you’ve worked for them; they know that they can hire new ones and train them.
    Everyday feels like I’m preparing to fight for a war. Our office is the last place I want to be in, healthy people become ill and the environment cause people to have physiological responses to fear and anger. If you’re going to let me choose between facing irate passengers in a delayed flight or be in the nice comfortable office, I’d chose to calm down the passengers and take all their rage. We experience the reality of bulling bosses, poisonous people and soul-crushing culture on a daily basis. They will call your attention if they feel like it and tell you what they think is wrong. I have a friend who gets her waist and hip measured since she looks bigger compared to the other girls. Well, she is taller than me, her weight seems proportioned to her height and if her Body Mass Index is right I say leave the lady alone. Don’t shout out her and call her fat in front of all the people in the office, give us some respect. People have different body types, if you didn’t like the way she looked like you should’ve not hired her in the first place. Also, please be consistent, I see other girls who looks worse, they don’t even look good in the uniform. Ahhhh! The uniform, orange and yellow, probably not the worst Cabin Crew Uniform ever designed. But… common! Just because we’re a low cost carrier doesn’t mean you have to make us look like one. Your lovely cabin crews are reluctant to be seen beside other flight attendants in Dubai and Sydney, well even here in Manila, and it isn’t a wise choice to make the ground attendant’s uniform almost the same as us, you can’t even tell the difference. The ugly Bench mark logo on the uniform makes it look tacky, and last 2012 we were only given 6 pairs of shirt, 1 jacket, 4 skirts, 1 belt, 1 pair of shoes, 1 hand bag and 1 trolley for 2 years. I’ve heard the previous crew(more senior than us) were only given the same amount of uniform which lasted until last year, so that’s 4 years of using the same 6 pairs of shirt, 1 jacket, 4 skirts, 1 belt, 1 pair of shoes, 1 hand bag and 1 trolley, some where also given the wrong shoe sizes. I’ve also heard why the office immediately released a lot of uniform last year because Lance(Gokungwei) saw one crew on the flight he was at, wearing a faded jacket which didn’t match her skirt’s color. He then asked her how many sets of uniform were given to us, she told her its been 2 years since she was given a new set, when it should’ve been 2 sets of new uniform every year. Where did the budget for the uniform go?
    Flying was only a childhood dream, that’s when I used to think being a Flight Attendant seems easy and glamorous. I thought wrong, it is a tough job, where you have to keep the safety of the passengers(our main job) and also to render a really great service. Our monthly roster (schedule) is like a death threat to all of us, the scheduler gives us messed up schedule. It doesn’t really make sense why they send out this printed schedules when they change it anytime they feel like. A normal roster pattern is something like 6/7 days on and 2 days off(3 early morning flights- sign in time 2-4am and will touch down till 12nn-5pm and 2 afternoon/redeye flights- sign in at 6/7pm-12mn/5am). Your last working day will touch down early morning around 6am and then the last day of your off, you will have to sleep early because you to wake up by midnight to get ready for your early morning flight. If you think about it, you only get 1 and a half-day off. Unlike normal working hours your duty hours goes 12-18hours every flight including the preparation for work until you get back home(including the delays and endorsements). Also, you work during holidays.

    To give you an idea of how it works, let’s say you have 4legs Cagayan CGY-CGY (this means 1 leg is 1 trip so 4 legs is MNL-CGY, CGY-MNL, MNL-CGY, CGY-MNL) your sign in time is at 7am, you have to wake up at 2-3hrs before sign in (30mins-1hr for preparation, depends on how fast you get ready and 1.30-2hrs for transportation (traffic here in manila especially outside NAIA!!!). You get to the office and you sign in(your sign in time is 1.30mins (for domestic and 1.45mins for International) before your ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) this gives room for briefing of you Lead Cabin Crew and Captain’s Briefing, take the shuttle that will take you to NAIA 3, Walk the loooooooong busy Terminal 3 to get to your boarding gate, take the shuttle that will take you to the aircraft, climb the stairs to the aircraft, change to your cabin shoes, stow and check ALL your EMERGENCY EQUIPMENTS, Line your trash bin, ensure that the aircraft is SAFE for all passengers, make sure that the cabin is CLEAN, count the products that you will sell inflight and make sure that the checklist is right or you will pay for the missing ones, be ready for the boarding, board the passengers and help them, do safety demo, Make sure everyone is ready for take off). Everything SHOULD HAPPEN in 1hr and 30 mins, imagine that. So we take off at 8.30, that’s when our duty starts (we get paid by hour flying time once we get airborne) you have to stay alert for any emergency that may happen and do your duties like selling, serving etc. If CGY is 1.30min flight you will touch down at 10am, you will ad 30-40mins till next Departure(to make room for passengers to disembark from the previous flight, CLEAN the aircraft, and board passengers again) So for this duty you do 4 boarding/deplaning, 4 announcements, 4 safety briefings and demos. After your last flight, you have to clean the aircraft, endorse it properly to the next crew, wait for the Catering personnel to sign your Food Trolley(which most of the time you have to wait extra 30mins-1/sometimes 2 hrs), ride the shuttle to Terminal 3, take the shuttle to the office, endorse the money from the food/drinks you sold from your Food Trolley(this is also a concern, there’s only one person that will take your money and checklist, so you will have to fall in line which will take you 30-2hrs to finish, please hire more people to do this!). You drive to get home which will take you 1-2hrs or more depending on the traffic. So to sum it up, you wake up-5am, go to work-6am, sign in-7am, depart MNL 8:30am, arrive CGY-10am, depart CGY-10:40am, arrive MNL- 12:10pm, depart MNL-12:50pm, arrive CGY-2:20pm, depart CGY-3pm, Arrive MNL-4.30pm, deplane pax/endorse aircraft to next crew/wait for the catering- 6.30, get to the office-7pm, endorse your money-8pm, get home-9pm. Your sign in next day would be 6.30 am onwards, it has to be 12hrs rest from you ETA Estimated Time of Arrival. The scenario I gave you is an ideal schedule; imagine if there is a flight delay or more time for waiting for endorsement of money? Which usually happens.

    You will eventually get sick, no matter how many vitamins you take. And the truth is you would rather fly even if you were sick than go to the office to file for sick leave. To file for sick leave you present yourself to the office doctor right? NO, you present yourself to the big boss of inflight so that she can make sure that you are really sick. When did she become a doctor? She will also tell you all sort of thing, and will get mad at you form missing your assignment cause you got sick, as if you really wanted to get sick. Last time I check, sick leave is a privilege. I have a friend who lives in Bulacan got so sick she couldn’t afford to get to the office so she went to her doctor the same day she missed her duty and fax the medical certificate to the office but they didn’t consider it and ordered her that she should’ve went to the office instead. The girl was dead sick, like what they usually say to us “Kahit ano pang mangyari, kahit feeling mo mamatay kana, kailangan mo pa din magpakita sa office para ma excuse ka sa duty”. Crazy how they treat us. You will get minimum rest all the time since we are so short of manpower now.
    I hope the management for Inflight Services in the office changes, it badly needs major major make over including the 5j Standard look(Smokey eyes, Major Blush on, Major major HOT RED LIPS and Black Hair). Red lips just don’t go with orange uniform and clearly its not for everyone. Just because most of all the airlines are requiring their FAs to wear red lips, doesn’t mean it works for Cebu Pacific too, it probably goes with their uniform. Also don’t force us to dye our hair black if our natural hair is brown. I feel like you purposely want your Cabin Attendants to look ugly.
    I wish someone would stand up for the cabin crew and other Cebu Pacific’s operation crew and make a Union to help and stop the bosses from treating them like Puppets. Earn the respect of your crew from doing what’s right and just not because of fear. I hope you all know who you are. Its time for a change.

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