Buhay OFW

Cebu Pacific denies check-in to a passenger with connecting flight over missing ‘visa transit’

cebu pacific - agulan

cebu pacific - agulan

Buhay OFW

Cebu Pacific denies check-in to a passenger with connecting flight over missing ‘visa transit’

A certain AB (Anne Belle) Agulan missed her flight to New Zealand after Cebu Pacific denied check-in due to “insufficient document”. She posted online her wrath at the airlines after she got offloaded that caused her inconvenience, anxiety and money.

Miss Agulan was supposed to travel to Auckland, New Zealand from Manila, Philippines. She bought two tickets from two different airline companies: Cebu Pacific which is from Manila to Sydney, and a connecting flight from Sydney to New Zealand via Jetstar Airlines. Her waiting time at Sydney would not exceed eight hours based on her itineraries.

According to her after providing them with all the documents that she had, the personnel at Cebu Pacific check-in counter asked her to provide a ‘transit visa’ from the Australian government since the flight she bought would send her to Sydney. She insisted that she has been travelling conveniently from Manila to New Zealand with stops at Singapore, Melbourne or Sydney without any ‘transit visa’.

Below is her screenshot of Australian government website showing that there is no need for an eligible traveller like her to secure a ‘transit visa’. But Cebu Pacific personnel maintained that it is still needed as they are required by the Australian government being a low cost airline.

AB Agulan

Source: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1

Sensing that she could not take the scheduled flight, she asked Cebu Pacific to provide her a document “stating that Cebu Pacific being a low cost airline needs to have their passengers provide a transit visa for connecting flights.” She said that she would use the document to process the transit visa the airline is looking for and also as a support document for rebooking her ticket with Jetstar. But according to her, Cebu Pacific did not provide that document.

She then asked to rebook her ticket but was told to pay ‘rebooking fee’ of approximately Php 5,800. She asked to waive the rebooking fee but with no success. How about cancelling the ticket? Again, no, since the ticket is a promo hence it’s non-refundable as per policy by the airline.

To ease her disappointment and anger, Cebu Pacific transferred Php 8,436.91 out of the original ticket price of Php 13,636.91 to a credit that she can use for international or domestic flight within 90 days with the airline company.

She asked Jetstar to cancel her flight but no refund is applicable.

What lessons can we learn from this? What can the government agencies like OWWA and POEA do to help law-abiding travellers avoid this unlikely experience? What can we do as members of the Overseas Filipino Workers?

AB Agulan1
AB Agulan2
AB Agulan3

Source: AB Ercilla Facebook account


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4 comments on “Cebu Pacific denies check-in to a passenger with connecting flight over missing ‘visa transit’

  1. jose aizpuru on

    In my experience, she has to have a transit visa as Cebu Pacific being a low budget airline means she will disembark in a different terminal in Australia to catch her Jetstar flight to NZ. If this is the case, the 8 hour window won’t apply as she will be passing through Australian Customs in order to go to Jetstar terminal/lounge to check in. The moment you pass through Customs, you are officially stepping on Australian soil which obviously requires you a corresponding visa, eg., Transit Visa, etc. It is the traveller’s responsibility to know and provide all documents necessary in situations like this.

    • jay vee on

      i pity the passenger, this was not explained to her properly by 5J staff. TV exclusion is only applied if pax won’t leave the transit lounge within the 8hrs transit given

    • Cubano on

      Jetstar is also a low budget airline and both airlines are using the same terminal….I once deplaned at Gatwick and transfered to Heathrow for a connecting flight to the US. I was given a transit visa at Gatwick….

      • jose aizpuru on

        Ye, s they are both budget airlines ( Cebu Pacific and Jetstar) but I’m pretty sure they don’t belong in the same terminal going to NZ bud. I once flew (Jetstar) from Singapore to NZ via Sydney and have to disembark and go to another terminal to catch my flight to NZ.


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