Public Angered by Cebu Pacific's Treatment of Sick Baby

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is facing yet another public relations fiasco after a cardiologist revealed on social media how the carrier nearly placed the life of a six-day old baby that suffers from congenital heart disease in danger after what the cardiologist referred to as "heartless" treatment.

Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Dr. Josephine Dela Cerna, a pediatric cardiologist, revealed in a post on Facebook on Sunday night, that she was accompanying her patient for emergent cardiac surgery in Manila. Dela Cerna, along with the baby and father, were to depart on a Cebu Pacific flight from Cagayan de Oro to Manila at 6:30am.

According to Dela Cerna, upon arrival at Laguindingan Airport, Cebu Pacific staff advised them that the oxygen cylinder they brought for the baby could not be brought on board the aircraft. 

Image Source: Facebook
The father was left with no choice but to return to Cagayan de Oro in search of an electric oxygen concentrator, which could apparently be used on the aircraft. But after obtaining the equipment, they discovered that it was incompatible with the electrical outlet on board the aircraft. 

After what became a nearly ten hour ordeal, Cebu Pacific allowed the baby to travel without the oxygen tank. But Dela Cerna vowed to never fly Cebu Pacific again. "Heartless is the word. Why can't they bend the rules for service and compassion?" said Dela Cerna. "Can't fly because the baby is six days old? The doctor is already with the baby!"

Officials at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines stated that Cebu Pacific made the right call. According to Captain Beda Badiola, Executive Director General of CAAP, Cebu Pacific was right to not permit the oxygen tank inside the aircraft, citing that the Civil Aviation Authority holds each carrier responsible if it was found to have violated its operations manual.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cebu Pacific's Corporate Communications Manager, Michelle PestaƱo-Fojas, stated that the airline apologizes to the infant and father "for not being able to fly them sooner." In a statement, Cebu Pacific reiterated that it follows all safety protocols for the safety of the flight and its passengers. The budget carrier asked for the public's understanding as compliance with safety procedures is a priority on all flights.

Meanwhile, Dela Cerna is not the only passenger that has recently vowed to never travel with Cebu Pacific again. Max Sangil was attending a forum of the Philippine Councillors League in Caticlan, when his Cebu Pacific flight was delayed twice before eventually being cancelled. Sangil was forced to board another flight the following day, which was also delayed by two hours but eventually flew to Caticlan. On the way back to Manila, Sangil endured much of the same frustration as the carrier repeatedly delayed and cancelled several flights. Sangil joins the growing number of people that have been disappointed by what many passengers now refer to as "Cebu Pathetic."

27 comments:

  1. Yes, it is for safety but when it comes to that, the Airline should find ways to satisfy the customers NEED. That will never happen if it was PAL. They would help in providing an electronic bottle. I'm not so sure, but I think they have one ready.

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  2. Correct! Pal would also not have allowed the oxygen, but the crew and ground would have known how to explain it in a nice and professional manner to the dra and father. They know about the notoriety of cebu PAC but insist on flying with them. Chech the other website, cebu is not cheap!

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  3. Cebu Pac treats everyone like shit, including it's employees. Their main purpose is profit, profit,profit!

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  4. The 5J ground crew should be highly commended for standing firm for safety. It is apparent the Dra nor anyone contacted the airline before travel. I would not want to travel with the Dra if her she wants to "bend" the safety rules. 5J would have been in big trouble if they have cave in to "bending" the rules. It is all this bending cause us to be blacklisted by EU and downgrade by FAA years ago. As for PR providing better service, that is doubtful. They are not in a business of carrying around spare medical equipment either. Perhaps, they could have help source the right equipment as they are full service carrier anyway unlike the LCC 5J. The Dra did NOT say that they were treated unprofessionally, only they were very firm on following safety regulation. Note that 5J did take a risk of a medical diversion by flying the Dra and her party.

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    1. I am an aviation safety engineer. Yes, for safety it should be strictly followed that non-electronic oxygen bottles are not allowed. But 5J should have assisted the family to get an electronic bottle immediately. The Airport Manager can use the company vehicle to dispatch and look for an Electronic one. Or any other means to resolve the problem immediately. Not that they just let the family undergo such an ordeal (7hours). I am a father too, and I would take extra measures if that was my child. 5J could have gained reputation if they took an extra mile. Instead of bashing they could have received praises and commendation!

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    2. Safety is a priority. But after safety, its Customer Service! I guess, taking the extra mile means more cost for them and they should make their operations "efficient."

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    3. You are an aviation safety engineer.... which department? Maintenance, operations control? Safety Management?

      You of all people should know the limits and the costs for operating this industry. Perhaps you should get your own airline and have your company vehicle spend precious fuel and manpower or better yet delay the flight just to give extra mile to passengers that do not do their homework and find out what they can and cannot bring on an airplane.

      I am an airline pilot and a dangerous goods instructor and i am damn proud and happy that this airline did not bend the rules and instead followed their company regulations to the letter. This is how it should be.

      Filipino "pwede na yan" and "makisama ka sa masa" mentality is what kills people and has kept this country from moving forward. Fortunately for everyone there are a few people out there who hold the line, stick their necks out for what is right and refuse to be a sheep for stupidity.

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    4. To Egz Aguilar, you clearly have both a good mind and a better heart.

      To Anonymous @5;37 AM, we agree that passenger safety is paramount, we are saying that airlines should NOT bend rules. The Airline knows the equipment not allowable, the public does not. Therefore, the Airline should provide in anticipation what the appropriate equipment on standby to the passenger in need of it and charge the passenger. So the airline still get the profit. Right, Pilot?

      Mr. Aguilar is spot on to say that passenger safety and needs are paramount. In fact, that what you as a Pilot and the Airline should obsess about. Now, if there is a delay, a life is worth it, right Pilot? And a single life is as important as any of your passengers', isn't it, Pilot?
      Mr. Aguilar, you clearly know your responsibility as a safety engineer and we need your sound mind and heart, speaking as a passenger and a wife of a pilot as well.

      As to you Pilot, you may know how to fly but we need your brains and heart where it should be as well. Again for your understanding, we do not bend rules, we anticipate mishaps and provide for it so we protect the general public. Para umunlad ang Pilipinas, dapat proactive din tayo, hindi lang by the books.

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  5. Sangil joins the growing number of people that have been disappointed by what many passengers now refer to as "Cebu Pathetic."

    It seems people have finally agreed with my saying that Cebu Pacific is CEBU PATHETIC. Yet, you pinoys are still excited when this yellow ass airline comes out with piso piso fares. LOL.

    This pathetic airline deserves the bashing treatment. Fucked up customer service up the ass.

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    1. Mr. Hong Kong, I could not swim the mighty Pacific Ocean, therefore, if Cebu Pathetic flies to Hawaii soon with piso piso fares, I still will fly them.. I want to save, save, save even though I could afford CX's business class. Tks Mr. HK for your understanding! Pls start being friendly with CebuPac now...they may give you a free ticket to USA in the near future!

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    2. Short and simple than everybody making there own rule and criticism.. The hospital first of all should have know, and before the father when making his reservation he was told to come with a portable 02, but what he comes with a bigger one, and of all thing Dr. Josephine Dela Cerna, wasn't she traveling with them, she should have know.

      I work for an airlines, and we allow POC, and also passenger traveling with oxygen have to let the airlines know ahead of time, also airlines do have on aboard, but it's for a cost. Yes they also use it for emergency on the aircraft, and yes that was a emergency, but I and the airlines I work for and it's one of the top 3 airlines, we would have charge the father for the oxygen on board.

      So it not being rude or not having customer services, that is airlines policy, and anytime you flying with a medical problem you need to know and also let the airlines know, coming up to the counter and springy this on them will not get you on the aircraft. Remember safety in the air is what the airlines care about, not only the passenger but the aircraft too.

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  6. Wala ba sarilng medical oxygen tank ang CEB na pwede ipahiram? Alam ko ang PAL meron for a fee. Dapat complete ang info na binibigay ng ground crew regarding sa oxygen tank ano bawal at hndi and sana yung passenger dapat nakipag coordinate ahead of time na may medical condition amd they need oxygen tank sa flight.

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  7. 5J runs the airline just like how they run MiniStop/Robinsons lol

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  8. Read the Facebook post of Dra carefully.... i don't think they were so upset and disappointed for not able to fly with the 6:30 flight. If the Dr didn't check if the airline regarding the oxygen, then there was no reason for them to get upset. BUT when the father went back to the hospital, Cebupac didn't specify what kind of oxygen is allowed. That's the issue

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    1. They only accept portable oxyhen concentrators. These machines normally use standard AC sockets that normally plug into regular outlets.

      You want to know what I think happened? They probably purchased one of these devices only to find out during the flight that the device has a plug that fit an AC socket from thailand or something (hey im sure youve bought an appliance and realize that it doesnt work at home and needs an adapter)

      Again not the fault of the airline. This couple should have done their homework before taking the flight.

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  9. Typical Cebu Pathetic !

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  10. Customer service means the attendants steal off you on Cebu

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  11. Doctor should have known from the very beginning ano dapat dalhin and gawin. There are protocols to follow when transporting a patient on a commercial flight. hindi pwedeng hayaan lang yung parent nung bata ang makipag-usap with airline dahil tuliro na yun. kawawa tuloy siya lalo. the baby was put in more danger because the doctor and hospital staff were inefficient.

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    1. I agree with you that there was a mistake in the doctor's part. However, after they were denied boarding on the first flight and spoke to cebupac crew or ground personnel, they were not told what specific outlet is allowed. Cebupac should be very careful and gave detailed of instructions by that time, to avoid another delay. In short cebupac staff were inefficient!

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  12. transport of sick patients with medical escort whether oxygenated or not should be coordinated with the airline first.
    The airline will provide there own oxygen bottle that can give pressure of only up to max of 5L/min. I use to work as a medivac physician. the airline is not an air ambulance. It is not equipped to handle medical emergencies like an air ambulance can.

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  13. Kudos to the airline staff for following their company policy and regulations and not giving in just for the sake of pakikisama. If you wish to research on what oxygen cylinders/generators do to an airplane when they explode read up on the Qantas 747 that made an emergency landing in Manila and almost desintegrated after one of their oxygen tanks exploded in mid air. You might qant to check up on the valujet crash in florida that killed over 100 people after several oxygen generators caught fire and the airplane went down in 7 minutes after takeoff.

    As background I am an airline pilot and dangerous goods instructor in the industry. My job is to educate employees in making sure these items are not accepted on board and aircraft for any reason.

    I am deeply dissapointed by the replies of people on this board including those who advocate that the oxygen be accepted for humanitarian reason. These people vlearly do not understand the risks associated in air travel and why rules are strictly implemented. We run a very expensive industry in which airplanes lose money when they are not flying. Everything is done with clockwork. Passengers should do their homework and find out what they can annd cannot bring on board an airplane. You know the issue with the oxygen concentrator adapter not working on board made me laugh. Typical in the Philippines that you buy an appliance last minute only to find out that the adapter works only for a wall socket from eastern europe or thailand or wherever and you need to go to a hardware store to get an adapter. Again this could have been avoided if the passengers did their homework. The restrictions are clearly mentioned when they purchased their tickets and the airline can only do so much in caring for these people who dont help themselves and expect to be spoonfed.

    Again kudos to the staff for doing their jobs and for Cebu Pacific for doing what is right by following regulations and policy. The airline industry is a high risk environment and the "pakikisama sa masa" and "pwede na yan" mentality so prevalent amongst the Filipino people is what kills people. The public is lucky to have a few people who stand up for what is right and choose not to be a sheep amongst a stupid herd. We got out of the ICAO and FAA downgrade and the dark ages becaude of these few people who hold the line against enormous political and external pressures from people who dont know any better.

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    1. I'm with you that proper procedures and safety regulations MUST BE FOLLOWED, BUT Ceb Pac being in the service industry, you must bend forward and back to be able to serve your clients. It doesn't mean that for them to allow the oxygen tank, but for the ground staff to be able to explain and guide the party with regards to the do's and don'ts of their case.

      Yup, you can applaud the airline for safety, no doubt about it, but in the PR side, probably dismal or even pathetic.

      You cannot expect everyone to be smart enough or well versed enough for these kinds of matters. Reality check, you're not in Mars.

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    2. You can talk dangerous goods all you want because you are well versed. But analyze how far you have gone to educate the riding public. You can gauge it on how much the public know.

      The father would have brought the right equipment. But unfortunately did not in spite of his baby on emergency situation. A father will do a "pwede na yan" oxygen to compromise his baby? I doubt that.

      An airline is also an ambulance.
      A life saving vehicle.
      It provides necessary means - ride, equipment on board, on standby so when one single soul needs it, it is provided.

      Go back to your mission and vision.
      Do you just provide a ride or go extra mile to help?

      Analyze your value as a person and as a company. Its value shows during trying times. Nothing is more rewarding and humane than helping others even if the flight gets delayed, Not just profit and high pay.

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    3. I meant an airplane is also an ambulance

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    4. Kudos ka dyan! Wehh! Kung hindi ka piloto at ikaw na lagay sa sitwasyon na yan, KUDOS pa rin sasabihin mo sa mga crew ng CEBU PATHETIC?
      Fortunate for you, pero hindi lahat ng public fortunate like you.
      Wala ka nang credibility wala ka pa ring kakampi. Siguro piloto ka ng Cebu Pathetic!

      Matulog ka na mapupayat ka pa sa midnight shift mo. Hahaha!

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  14. Thats why PAL is losing money... an airline can only cater so far to passengers who dont do their homework and insist on being spoonfed.

    Go fly PAL :) I hope they find their way and compete with other legacy carriers. Cebu Pac is not a legacy. It is a low cost carrier with a more streamlined operations. You are comparing two very different animals.

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  15. Presently you can likewise settle on your having so as to bless decisions individual the name and conception date of the child engraved on them Carmela.

    ReplyDelete

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