Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Rant on 5J - Cebu Pacific!

Okay, now before I continue with my post, let me make it clear that I love 5J! I've been flying with Cebu Pacific Air since 2006, and so far, so good. I mean, they do give out great deals and you get what you pay for. I only get irked when they contradict themselves. Forget that they made me pay 3000+pesos in excess baggage just so I can transport breastmilk back to the Philippines from Hong Kong. I offered to have them taste it to make sure it wasn't dangerous, but they wouldn't let me carry it because I didn't have a baby with me. I mean, breastfeeding advocates should push for breastmilk baggage allowance on flights! Who wants to pump and throw??!! Gaaah!

Anyway, last year, when traveling with RL, A and their nanny back to Manila from Hong Kong, we were told that RL's stroller counts as part of my baggage allowance of 15kg! Uh, hello.... your website specifically says that a stroller is allowed carriage ON TOP of the baggage allowance, provided that you are travelling with an infant. I had posted the following on the 5J complaint thread over at PEx last year, right after the incident, because I had tried to get a clear explanation from their call center, to no avail.


On top of the free baggage allowance, we allow carriage of:
Baby stroller (only if traveling with an infant)

^^^where does it say that a stroller is counted in an adult's baggage allowance of 15kg? the lady at the counter in chek lap kok ATTEMPTED to charge us excess because of the stroller we had. We were traveling with a 7-month old baby! we were 4 in our party (including infant) so we had a total of 45 kilos baggage allowance. our baggage weighed a total of approx. 36-37 kilos, so we had about 8 kilos to go. i had wanted to transfer some of the stuff from our handcarry so that we won't be lugging things around HK's huge airport, but we were told that if i move more stuff to the baggages, we will be over the limit because according to the lady at the counter (she's cantonese), and i quote "FOR BUDGET AIRLINES, THE STROLLER IS COUNTED IN THE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF THE ADULT BECAUSE INFANTS DO NOT HAVE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE!"

i have been flying with 5J for the past 3 years, and this is the first time i am traveling with an infant. on my previous trip last March 2009, i was charged an arm and a leg for the expressed breast milk i HAD to check in OR "THROW AWAY" (again, i quote 5J's Filipina employee at the check in counter in HKIA). she told me i can only transport such when i am with an infant. but then NOW with an infant, i cannot bring a stroller???!!!

hey 5J!!! i even quoted the website baggage conditions, but your employee refused to listen stating "you travel budget, budget airlines do not allow same allowance with other airlines." wt? was she insulting MY CHOICE OF AIRLINE?!!! YOUR employee just insulted YOUR customer for choosing YOUR airline to travel to and fro HongKong! isn't she familiar with your conditions? your website says ON TOP of the baggage allowance... so did i read your conditions wrong? i will be traveling to Hong Kong again on September 2. with an infant and a child. i expect that your employees will be more familiar with your regulations!

i just called the call center, and according to my BFF call center agent, Jun... that's how it works. they were instructed that a stroller is counted. so if my stroller weighs 15kg, i can no longer bring clothes. grrr. i am pissed. then i asked, do they need a copywriter to write their conditions, because obviously, their website and e-ticket state otherwise? management daw kasi ang naglalagay sa website ng conditions, tapos sila daw, ininstruct lang ng supervisor nila. so lamang sila at supervisor nila sa management na sumulat ng patakaran sa website? susmio. 5J, you are NOT baby friendly.


So today, I decided to give 5J a call because I checked their website on this and it was nowhere in sight! I had wanted to print out the regulation to avoid the hassle when we go on our trip next month. I will be traveling alone with the kids, and I don't want problems. After about 5 minutes of waiting, the call center agent gets back and tells me that it is the same regulation... "on top of your baggage allowance, ma'am". So I went a step further and said, "it is not on your website anymore. Can I get something printed out or sent to my email, so I can print it out and show the check-in officer, just in case. I don't want the hassle kasi." So she puts me on hold to check. 5 minutes later, the line went dead. She hung up on me.

So, Cebu Pacific, I am blogging about this in hope that someone from your end replies. I've tried emailing you, calling you, ranting about you on threads, but no one has ever replied! Please answer my concern. I still appreciate that you've allowed every Juan to fly, and I still love your airline... but please, sometimes, you need better people representing your company. Your frontliners are... well... not knowledgeable. More training perhaps? Sayang ang 50.6% market share kung di niyo inaalagaan ang market niyo.


  1. Hi Kaye, we have not encountered that problem with 5j regarding the stroller. Did you check in your stroller? What we did was my son was on the stroller while checking in, and we just asked for the baggage tag to be placed on the stroller. Then we leave the stroller before boarding the plane. We retrieve the stroller at the plane side after disembarking. No extra charge/ overweight limit. The last time we used 5j with baby and stroller was holy week to Osaka. We went to Macau last year via 5J also. Grabe naman if that is a new regulation. It's like telling you to either bring a nanny or don't bring your kids abroad. Kahit budget airline ang pinili mo.

  2. no, I wasn't asking for them to check in the stroller. we brought it with us 'til the gate too. but the girl at the check-in counter STOPPED us and asked if we were planning to take home the stroller, and that I should get it weighed kasi if it exceeds my 15kg allowance, I get charged excess.

    so I was like, "huh?" carriage of a stroller is free if traveling with an infant, so what's the deal now? and she said it's not free.

    I want to avoid that on this next trip. hopefully no bad encounters. :)

  3. How cheap are the rates in 5J anyway? I stopped taking 5J after my first try in 2006. Not worth it. I stick with PAL ever since. I just buy econolite.

    I feel like riding a bus with wings when I ride 5J. And the service sucks BIG TIME!!!

  4. The cheapest tickets I got for HK cost 2,700 inclusive of taxes and travel insurance. That's for all three of us na. :)

  5. Hi! I just wanna ask did they charge u 3000plus coz u are transporting ur bmilk, or plus ur excess?:)

    1. We weren't overweight except for the breastmilk. So yes, the P3000 was for all the milk I had to check in. It was packed with cool bags in a fridge to go cooler, hence the weight.


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