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CoA audit of Cebu Pacific sought over non-refund of terminal fees

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday said he would ask the Commission on Audit (CoA) to review the books of airline companies, particularly Cebu Pacific, over non-refund of terminal fees paid for cancelled flights.

In a radio interview, Alvarez noted that if a passenger misses his flight he would need to buy a new ticket, with the terminal fee incorporated in it. However, Alvarez said there is no indication the airline firm refunds the terminal fee the passenger has paid for his previous ticket.
“If you’re late for your flight, your ticket is already canceled, so you have to buy a new ticket. They are so strict with that but they don’t tell the passengers that they are again paying for terminal fees. They have to refund them,” Alvarez said.
If the airline firms have failed to refund the terminal fee for missed flight, Alvarez said he wants to find out where the money goes.
“I’m not sure. That’s why I’m asking CoA for a special audit because passengers are paying for terminal fees. If they will not refund them, they have to remit them to the airport authority because they are public funds,” Alvarez said.
Each passenger for domestic flights pay P200 for terminal fee while passengers for international flights pay P500 each.
Aside from non-refund of the terminal fees, Alvarez also said the riding public is hit by a double whammy as Cebu Pacific also imposes an additional charge for collecting the fee.
Likewise, Alvarez said he would call for a review of the necessity for the payment of the travel tax which is separate from the terminal fee.
“We should also remove the travel tax. I will have it reviewed,”Alvarez said.
Alvarez reiterated his earlier criticism of Cebu Pacific for refusing to use the passenger bridge, commonly known as the “tube,” to cut cost at the sacrifice of the safety, convenience and comfort of the passengers.
He recalled an incident he witnessed sometime in 2016 of a woman with one-month-old baby who got wet in the rain because the Cebu Pacific airplane did not use the tube.
Alvarez also noted that unlike other airlines Cebu Pacific imposes additional fee for passengers who wanted to take an earlier flight from that indicated in his ticket even if there are vacant seats in the departing airplane.
Alvarez also reiterated that Cebu Pacific should move its domestic operations to Terminal 2, which is designed for domestic air traffic, and the excess flights the Manila terminal cannot handle to Clark International Airport within the 45-day deadline or face possible cancellation of their franchise.
Alvarez also bared that there were overtures from certain firms, which he refused to identify, hinting at monetary offers for him to go easy on proposals that would affect their business interests.
Alvarez said he refused to entertain such overtures.
He stressed his advocacy to promote the interests of the people, particularly the poor and powerless, is non-negotiable.
“This is non-negotiable. This is for those who cannot fight,” Alvarez said.

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