Friday, January 8, 2010

In Hot Water: Cebu Pacific's Discrimination of Special Children

My flights, though very seldom, have always been with Cebu Pacific. While I have never had any problems with them, I continue to hear a lot of negative feedback about their service - from booking, to boarding, to their engines, you name it. But just because I've never had a bad experience with Cebu Pacific doesn't mean that I am going to turn a blind eye on their service, and their seeming lack of action to address these concerns.

Like any service, any airline is bound to experience problems and make mistakes, which, to some extent can be understandable. But what I especially could not believe (and accept) this airline would get in trouble with is its refusal of special children on board the plane. I feel for the two mothers of these children.

My cousin is also a special child. Everyone in the family loves him. He's an adorable boy that never fails to make people smile. And while his behavior may be different from his 'normal' peers, he is far from being mentally ill.

I stress this: Special children are not mentally ill.

If anything, I'd think of the airline crew to be mentally retarded for simply not using their heads. There is a huge difference between a mentally ill person and one with developmental delay, as seen in special children. Any person with half a brain knows that. But what gives? They have a 'manual' anyway.

Whether Cebu Pacific Air crew just doesn't think or their manual makes them think that way, I really don't know. To a total stranger, it takes a lot to understand and deal with a special child, given his many unusual manifestations; but it only takes just a little bit to be sensitive to one's feelings, especially of the mother and her special child as well.

Cebu Pacific should immerse its crew on sensitivity training. Offering free tickets (a rather measly attempt, by the way)to assuage the pain and humiliation these passengers experienced just doesn't cut it at all.

Cebu Pacific should really strive to improve its service, if it doesn't want to lose its 'valued passengers'. Offering very low rates just would not do the trick if they continue to treat passengers that way - with a lack of respect and sensitivity. Cebu Pacific should not wait for the time everyone flies in some other airline.


  1. That flight attendant surely needs a refresher course. But what shocked me more than the attendant's stupidity and plain insensitivity, was a report that some of the passengers sneered at the situation and even called the two kids names.

  2. so unacceptable. i thought CP was a kid-friendly airline. probably explains why they always have low rates. they also have poor service. tsktsk

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  4. So true it is, badly drowned...

    I cannot believe that Cebu Pacific isn't broke already from all the charges against them... HOW CAN AN AIRLINE W/ SUCH A REPUTATION RISK TREATING CUSTOMERS LIKE THIS? I've read hundreds of reports w/ people's flights being canceled, their refunds delayed or never arrived, they rebooked because their flight was canceled and the weather was fine, and then their rebook was canceled somehow, they were not allowed on board because of ridicule circumstances... How come people still fly w/ them? I mean, low prices isn't nearly as great as some respect to those who pay them.
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