Cebu Pacific has been discriminating the Persons with Disabilities too much!
First blind and crippled Kathrina Segundo, on a flight from Dumaguete to Manila. Then, about ten Deaf Filipinos
and foreigners from Manila to Boracay. Next was wheelchair-rider Nonoy Concha from Cebu to Manila. Now, they did it again to a special child from Hong Kong to Manila!!!
The case Ms. Segundo filed was dismissed by the fiscal, arguing that there was no such discrimination by the airline simply because she was allowed to fly in the last minute! I bet the same situation will happen on the latest case that was filed if media stops covering this.
Mrs. Alcantara’s child was travelling with his mother, so, Cebu Pacific could not argue that he was “Unfit to travel unaccompanied” . Was the child a security or health threat? Did he have a bomb attached to his body? Was he a carrier of some infectious disease? What makes the airline think that their so-called company policies are above and beyond our constitution’s Bill of Rights?!
A boycott in the offing?
In the latest Business Mirror article, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. on Thursday denounced Cebu Pacific Airlines for its policy that disallowed a special child and his mother from boarding a Manila-bound flight from Hong Kong on December 23.
Pimentel prodded the aggrieved mother, Mylene Alcantara, to file a damage suit against Cebu Pacific to prevent a repeat of the incident.
“A case for damages can be filed against the airline,” he said, even as he expects human-rights advocates to also raise a howl of protest against Cebu Pacific’s alleged discriminatory policy.
“I cannot understand why a special child should be made to get out of the plane,” Pimentel said. He added that Cebu Pacific has a lot of explaining to do as it put the airline in a negative light.
In a separate interview, former senator Tito Sotto urged travelers to “boycott Cebu Pacific for the obvious discrimination the airline inflicted against the special child.”
“A boycott of Cebu Pacific is called for because what they did to Mrs. Alcantara and her son is not right,” Sotto said.
Cebu Pacific Apologized (Again and Again?)
It was also learned that Cebu Pacific management had conveyed its apology to Alcantara and her son, as well as other airline passengers who were inconvenienced by the incident that caused a one-hour flight delay.
In a statement, Cebu Pacific said it has no policy that discriminates against persons with special needs.
“The attempt to offload a passenger with developmental disability on a December 23 flight from Hong Kong to Manila was a result of the cabin crew’s misinterpretation of government regulations designed to assure the safety of passengers.”
The statement said that Cebu Pacific has apologized to the passenger and sincerely regrets the incident. It has also taken all the necessary measures to make sure similar incidents do not happen again and that passengers with special needs are properly attended to.
In my blog post dated January 22, 2009, Mr. Ivan Gaw, Head of Cebu Pacific Airlines Guest Services already made a long apology letter to Mr. Kevin Ray Chua, a prominent blogger from Cebu and a supporter of Sen. Mar Roxas.
He even promised that, “Rest assured that it’s not the intention of Cebu Pacific to discriminate anybody. We value all of our guest irregardless of gender, status, and condition.”. Hmmm….. oops they did it again! When will they ever learn?