No need for PAL to sound apologetic; it was tardy passenger’s fault
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES should not have backed down on its rules just because a certain “international supermodel,” Karlie Kloss, tweeted to her 1.2 million followers that it “has the worst customer service of all time….”
The Inquirer’s news story “PAL: Karlie Kloss missed check-in cut-off time” (Inquirer.net, 6/8/16) on Kloss’ online rant revealed the very important detail that she missed her 12:15 a.m. flight to Canada via PAL on June 7 because she arrived at the JFK International Airport at 11:40 p.m. on June 6. It was her fault, and therefore, PAL did not need to make amends with an apologetic offer to refund the amount of her ticket.
Allow me to share my experience with another local airline last April 19. I missed my 4:30 p.m. flight to Davao because I arrived late at Naia Terminal 3 in Pasay. At the check-in counter around 4:10 p.m., I was told that I could not be allowed to board the plane in adherence to the airline policy that passengers should check in 45 minutes before the time of departure. I was not my usual persistent self in pleading with them because, as the personnel politely pointed out, the rules were printed on my ticket or flight information brochure, which I took for granted and did not read. In the end, I unfortunately had to pay a whopping amount, more than P8,000 so I could be rebooked for the 7:10 p.m. flight. It was an expensive lesson learned by a nonfrequent flier.
Going back to PAL, it was a wrong move to offer a refund for Kloss’ ticket. In response to her potentially damaging tweet, PAL could just have issued a statement to media explaining why she could not be permitted to board the plane because she was late. This would have also taught her a lesson that she cannot expect to get special favors all the time just because of her stature. “Rules are rules”—that’s all you really have to go by.
—CLAUDE LUCAS C. DESPABILADERAS, [email protected]
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