Online booking and ticketing is making its way into Philippine homes. Convenient! Or so I thought….
Our 2 boys are headed for the province soon so the other night, I logged on to Cebu Pacific’s website and began booking their tickets. It was a cinch! The pop-up windows first showed me the available promo rates for the date I chose, then after my selection, it began asking me for passenger details. Processing my credit card did not pose any problems at all. Soon after processing, the e-tickets of the boys were emailed to me pronto! Wow, I thought to myself, what a comfort to do things from home rather than have to troop to a ticketing office.
I thought too soon. Our niece who came to Manila for a convention and who was traveling back home with our boys needed to have her e-ticket rebooked. I went through the website. Nope, there was NO ONLINE WAY TO REBOOK! Egads!
There was a 24/7 telephone number though so I promptly dialed it. A friendly customer rep assisted me with the rebooking. Okay, so far. But then, here came the bad news. The e-ticket had to be reissued and it could not be done online. I had to go to the nearest ticketing office to get it done. Huh? May record locator naman. If they could email me a newly-purchased ticket, why couldn’t reissuances be done online via email as well? Beats me…
So yesterday, I went to their Galleria ticketing office. Sheesh! With their P1 promo just announced, the place was packed! I took a number — 69. But to my dismay, the guard pointed me to the number being flashed above, which said 99. In other words, it was about to revert back to zero, meaning 68 people were still to be processed ahead of me.
I was there at 5pm, had to kill time walking around the mall (and doing a bit of shopping). After an hour, I returned to discover they were only processing #10. I was resigned to the possibility I would be there till they closed at 9PM. Thankfully, on my second return at 8pm, the number had jumped to 59 (probably because some of those ahead of me did not bother to wait and left). I got out of there by 8:30PM.
Here’s what I wish Cebu Pacific would consider. They should not only making initial ticket purchases easy. They should do the same for rebookings. After all, it is a fact of travel life that passengers have to rebook under certain situations. But to put us, their traveling clients, through hell to rebook after tasting a bit of heaven in purchasing their tickets is, I think, a big disservice.
In this day and age of online transactions, a simple thing as a rebooking and reissuance of an e-ticket, which should take no more than a few minutes, took me 3 hours and a half.
Are we still in the IBM stage? (Meaning….It’s Better Manual)? I have flown on Singapore Airlines and have done everything from the comfort of my home, including selecting my seat on the plane. Why can’t we go the distance here?
Cebu Pacific, wake up! If you shape up your online ticketing system to make it truly an online system in all respects, I would gladly change my review of your company.