True Story: Warning to Zest Air Passengers and Potential Customers

I don't really want write this to my blog but lately, I thought it would be beneficial for many people to know what happened to me and my friends late last month.

We Booked  Zest Air Tickets Cebu-Davao

We had an event in Davao around the middle of this month. To save money we looked for promo fares from   local airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Airphil, and Zest Air. But because it's just a month before the event, we had trouble finding one, thanks to Zest Air who advertised a 88 Pesos promo Cebu - Davao flight. Here's the promotional poster from their website.



We were so glad about it. Five of my friends were able booked a one-way ticket to Davao.


Zest Air Cancels the Flight and ONLY Offered Refund 

Everything's fine until we received this email from Zest Air last April 23, two weeks before the travel date.
Dear __________________,

ZESTAIR FLIGHT ADVISORY: Please be advised that effective May __, 2013 onwards flight Z2-____ from CEBU to DAVAO has been CANCELLED due to Operational Requirements. For more information you may call our Manila Office Tel: +63-02-855-3333 from Mon to Fri 07:00am to 11:00pm. Sat and Sun from 7:00am to 9:00pm or Email us at flightadvisory@flyzest.com.Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you

Sincerely,
ZestAir
After receiving this email, we went to Zest Air's office in Mactan-Cebu International Airport to demand for us to be booked with other airlines on an agreed date. But the officers there told us that they only offer full refund of the tickets. What? Is that all?

Why Refund is NOT Enough?

In my perspective, Zest Air treated us unfairly and ILLEGALLY. Here are the reasons:

  • By cancelling the flight two weeks before the flight, we lost our chances of booking a new promo fare. Should they just refund us the discounted fare we paid and just leave us alone when they decided to cancel the flight? Oh com'on Zest Air, you know well how unfair is that.
  • What Zest Air did was ILLEGAL. Here's the reason why. I will quote Chapter 4, Section 11d of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights
Right to compensation and amenities in case of Cancelled Flights
a. In case of flight cancellation attributable to the airline, the passenger is entitled to:
- be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger, and provided that space permit such re-accommodation;
Provided, that in case a carrier cancels a flight less than twenty-four hours before the ETD, it shall not be liable for the forgoing amenities, except, it shall be obliged to notify the passenger, and, in accordance with the preceding provisions, to rebook or reimburse the passenger, at the option of the latter.
Reference: http://www.dotc.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=454 h
 Air Passenger Bill of Rights

Poor Customer Service

Knowing our rights as a passenger, we didn't took the offer of refund. Instead, we filed a complaint. Asked them when will they respond, they said after 2-3 days. But after two-three days, we received none.

One of my friends sent  a complaint through their Facebook Fan Page, but after a day, she was apparently blocked from accessing the Page. 

We called Zest Air hotlines and office numbers several times, but again and again, we were just passed on to different personnel and none helped us.

Our next move then is to file a formal complaint to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Filing a Complaint to DOTC and DTI

They have exhausted all our efforts to fix this mess between us and them. It's about time to let authorities know how they operate their business. We are hoping that DOTC and DTI will hear our case.

______________________________________________
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Comments

  1. by purchasing a promo fare, you have WAIVED your rights to the air passenger bill of rights. isnt it clever? i really like it when people purchasing promo fares will just skip the "fine print". crazy huh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are wrong. Promo Fares DOESN'T waive a passenger's right. Please read the law again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "We didn't took the offer of refund" hehe typo po :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. before you book your ticket always read terms and conditions. zest air is known for cancellation of flights long time ago.

    3. On Flight Misconnection

    The Carrier shall not assume any responsibility for any flight misconnection booked on other airlines.
    On Flight Disruption (Delays or Cancellation)
    a. Due to technical and operational issue, Zest Airways, Inc. will refund the
    amount equivalent to the air ticket paid.
    b. Due to Force Majeure or Acts of God, Zest Airways will rebook the
    passenger on the first available flight.
    NOTE: Land and hotel arrangement are the sole responsibility of the package provider.

    4. Conditions of carriage for journeys entirely within the Philippines apply.

    5. Seats are bookable and time limit (system generated) for ticketing applies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry but your quoted terms is outdated: here's the latest one attached to the ticket I purchased.
      ON FLIGHT MISCONNECTION. The Carrier shall not assume any responsibility for any misconnection on flight; either international or domestic, as booked on other airlines. Passengers are advised to book their return flight at least a day later to avoid flight misconnection.

      Delete
    2. They might've changed the TC to align with the superior dotc Joint Administrative Order known as the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights. BTW, the order was just passed last year amidst the airport brawl of celebrities.

      Delete
  5. So my right po talaga kayo.kung di kayo na rebook nila.

    ReplyDelete
  6. you better boycott the airline.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have the same experience.. The moment I received the cancellation notice, I immediately called their Manila office and much of a hassle because I'm based in Davao.. So there, it was April 23 when I received the notification and immediately processed the refund, but up until now, May 16, no refund was made by the airline..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karl. Thanks for sharing your story. In our case, we didn't bought-in to their offer. After much effort and hassle, they gave us a new flight Cebu-Manila-Davao. You can read the story here: An Update to My Cancelled Zest Air Flight Story

      Delete
    2. Were you able to send your complaint to DOTC?? It was a 7-party flight btw.., and I decided not to have a new flight. I just want my money back! :)

      Delete
    3. Nope. We didn't proceed with the complaint because they really did followed the law. For the hassle and wasted time though, we decided never to book Zest Air flight again until such time that their services becomes better.

      Delete

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