Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunset Limitations? Bayaran Niyo Laing Ko!

Recently, I had the misfortune of getting my first ever crappy airplane experience. Long story short, there was much turbulence, a cancelled flight due to "sunset limitations", and incredibly horrible customer service all around. It was interesting enough to warrant an errant blog post, and I am personally surprised that things like this actually happen on a daily basis. Still, in the spirit of being tactful enough not to bash any person or company, I  am not going to be mentioning any names in this one;  I will however say that the airline rhymes with "Best Fair" and that the name makes me think of oranges and lemons.     

By all means, I am not an experienced flyer, but here are some tips I can give to whoever is crazy enough to take them and a few realizations.

Ticket prices for airplanes change by the minute. 

This one is probably as helpful as I can get, so for anyone actually expecting real advice you can pretty much stop reading right after this one. I don't have the slightest clue on how airplane ticket prices go, but from my experience, a P98 ticket one day can become P4000 within a span of a few hours, which explains how I ended up with "Best Fair" in the first place. If you want to get cheap tickets for a good airline, plan way ahead, always be on the lookout for crazy sales, and never ever fly with "Best Fair".

Despite how realistic it may look, that pig is just a product of my insane photoshop skills. 

Angry customers are craaaazy.

Here's a short list of the people who completely freaked out when our flight was cancelled:

  • A staff member of "Be Careful With My Heart" who had props for a Magnolia commercial set for the next day. Living proof that most angry gay men can be quite intimidating and fluent when mad. Don't know what happened to him, but I hope he made it in time for his appointment.   
  • "Tito" and company. This was an older gentleman who simply could not wait to talk to the manager that he ducked into the hole meant only for check-in bags. It almost turned  really ugly when security stepped in while his niece and nephew were trying to get him back out. Quotable quote: "Pasukin mo si Tito!" 
  • Mayon groupie and high blood chick. One of my fellow Mt. Mayon picture-takers (who waited about 3 hours just for the crater to peek out from behind the clouds) apparently has a sister with some high blood pressure problems. Said sister was eventually rushed to the hospital, no thanks to the sluggish response of the "Best Fair" crew.
Cebu Pacific ground crew saying bye-bye!
  • Maalala Mo Kaya media guy. He was the one who was obviously trying to stir things just to get good news material.  He was also the one responsible for calling in the press. He was absolutely no help at all, in my opinion.
  • Laing group. *See below.
Bring Bigg's. 

An announcement of a cancelled flight always results to a stampede of furious customers. If you don't want your blood to boil and want to just watch from the sidelines, just do what I did and clutch some Bigg's takeout to your chest. With the aroma of delicious chicken and burgers wafting up into my nose, I was the calmest person in the room and was able to patiently wait until the angry customers managed to shout us into free lodging and a free rebooking. Bigg's is just that awesome.

Bigg's Diner - Philippines
The best stress reliever ever.

A "Laing Refund" needs to be mandatory for airlines.

Apparently, one group that I was scheduled to fly with bought and cooked an assortment of seafood as well as some Laing to take to Manila as "pasalubong". Obviously some people with a sense of humor, their joking scream of "Bayaran niyo ang laing namin" was the funniest moment of my whole experience. I'm no expert, but I think that this just further proves that flyers with food are generally more relaxed than those without.

As for the Laing group? I ended up taking a group picture with them and sharing a hotel room with one of them.

The last piece of advice I would give is to try out every other airline before booking with "Best Fair". Sometimes, you are going to have to stick to a rigid schedule, and by booking with a consistently unreliable airline (I checked online), you are taking a HUGE risk which is way more trouble than it's worth. I have come up with hopefully the newest tagline for this wonderful airlines: "Come fly with Zest Air 'Best Fair', but I'm telling you, the plane is never there!"

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