Our Manila-Davao flight was on December 20, supposed to be at around 11 a.m. In around September, I booked our flight. The airline I chose was ZestAir because 1) I wanted to try the new kid (or airline) on the block; and 2) it has the flight schedules I want. So imagine my consternation when, two days before our flight, a customer service rep (CSR) from the said airline called and told me that our 11 a.m. flight will be cancelled and we would have to choose between the 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. flights! Que horror! Technical reason daw kuno…This is such a letdown because, if you know me, I scheduled our activities around this (“Ay sa Monday ko gagawin kasi kinabukasan noon flight namin”…”Ay pwede sa Sunday ng gabi kasi flight namin ganito, etc.)!
First, my Mom got my brother and his family the 10 am Philippine Airlines Manila-Cotabato flight on the same day, so they could hitch a ride with us to the airport in Manila. Because of this, my brother and his wife had to take public transport to the airport with their baby! Imagine how difficult that is…palipat-lipat ng sasakyan!
Second, my parents have already arranged hotel reservations for us in Davao City. Remember people that this is mid-December, near peak season! Hotels usually let you check-in after noon.
Third, we scheduled a birthday bash for our beloved Master Erwin Escobar on December 18, which, as expected, went on until the wee hours of December 19. So of course, we rise late on December 19 despite that we have to do so much before we leave the next day. We can’t take the 6 p.m. flight because we expect heavy traffic to the airport.
Fourth, naman, we have a baby with us! This means we rouse Raviv at 12 midnight because we leave for the airport at 1 a.m. (as we have to be there at most an hour before our flight).
I voiced these sentiments to the CSR I talked to, and demanded that Zest Air do something more—book us with another airline, give us free tickets or hotel accommodation or something. As expected, the poor CSR “can do nothing about it, wala po kasi ‘yun sa policy.” He suggested I email someone, but this was already Saturday night and we’re supposed to leave on Tuesday. If I email the person of authority, he might read it on Monday, and may tell me that my request was denied. So what choice do I have? After talking to my Mom and arranging our new hotel booking, I called Zest Air and confirmed the 4 a.m. flight. At eto pa: “Ay Ma’am ‘yung pabalik po ninyo na 1 p.m. Davao-Manila, cancelled din po…options po 4 a.m. and 9 p.m.” Fart, FArt, FARt, FART! Again, what choice do I have? Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that my Raviv will celebrate his birthday there (arrangements have been made a lot earlier, of course), I would have cancelled our stupid flight with Zest Air!
THE UNREFRESHING EXPERIENCE BEGINS
On the aircraft, I noticed something: ang konti naming passengers! Thus my theory is that the 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. flights were super under booked, so they “forced” the 11 a.m. passengers to be distributed between the two flights. It’s so not because the aircraft has engine problems (naman, they still had several days to do something about it ‘di ba? Especially the returning flight!)
Ito pa, after a long time, this was again the first time (after a looooong time) that our (hubby’s and mine) ears hurt a lot! Super! We were woken up from our deep slumber (natural, 12 midnight pa lang gising na kami papuntang airport) because of our painful ears! I know know that this is normal, but this hasn’t happened to us recently. I don’t know whether it’s because of the aircraft, basta it was really painful! I was worried my Raviv might start crying. Thankfully, Raviv is usually pain-tolerant and perhaps, too sleepy to care.
Aside from that, I think we hovered on the air for quite sometime, as in for 15-20 minutes, we were not moving.
THE UNREFRESHING EXPERIENCE CONTINUES
On our flight back, we were sent off by my Dad to the airport. Again, major major inconvenience because my parents had to book a hotel room in Davao City…currently, the road to Davao City is in bad shape as it’s under construction (itinaon pang Christmas season, hay!). The usual 2.5 hours Kabacan-Davao City trip became a maalikabok and malubak 4-5 hours trip! So obviously, they can no longer go home, as it’s already late.
Upon our arrival in the city proper, we had to eat of course. We went to an eat-all-you-can restau (I’ll try to feature it one time, I hope I still have the time!). And because we didn’t want to be late for our flight, we weren’t able to really relish the 20+ dishes (viands + desserts) at our disposal.
And then when we got to the airport at 7:30 p.m., guess what…our flight was announced as DELAYED! Instead of leaving at 8:55 p.m., we were to leave at 10:15 p.m.! Que horror!!! Poor Raviv is already so tired and just wanted to sleep but can’t, with all our going from one place to another.
To be fair to Zest Air, other flights were also delayed. BUT! As in a big BUT–Cebu Pacific served snacks to its patrons! We Zest Air passengers were on the same terminal with them, and then sila may pagkain, kami tunganga lang!
This is really annoying. With all the additional trouble and expenses we experienced and incurred, buti pa nag-business class na lang kami sa PAL! First plane ride pa naman ni Raviv!
Tell me what you think!
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