Cebu Pacific is arguably the best provider of cheapest flights in and around the Philippines and South-East Asia. And with its frequent flight sales, especially the famed PISO FARE, not only was it able to boost local tourism but it also gave the average Filipinos the opportunity to travel across South-East Asia with it’s regular flights to Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. A lot of my friends became travel junkies — visiting the Philippine islands and the neighboring countries in Asia — all because of Cebu Pacific.
I first learned about the cheap flights being provided by Cebu Pacific Air in 2009 when a reader sent me a link about an airline offering really cheap flight tickets from Manila to Shanghai. At that time, I’m still working somewhere in Jiangsu province in China and my family is scheduled to visit me so I had to check an article post on September 14, 2007 in Asia Pulse.
Cebu Pacific Inaugurates Manila-Shanghai Service
Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific has started its direct Manila-Shanghai service. The new service is scheduled to operate daily to and from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
The Manila-Shanghai service will be operated using CEBs 150-seater A319 aircraft. The flight leaves Manila at 8.05pm, arriving in Shanghai at 11.45pm. The flight then departs from Shanghai at 12.30am the following day and arrives back in Manila at 4.10am.
The lowest “Go” fare to Shanghai starts from P2,999 (US$64) one-way.
That’s how I got curious with all these cheap flights from Cebu Pacific Air and on December 12, 2008, I had my first Cebu Pacific experience. And though it has not been a very happy experience as I got nauseous during the flight but it was mostly because, for some reason personal reason, I was able to sleep during the flight and I’m not used to being awake in the entire duration of any flight. Sure, the fact that the plane was considerably small and the seats are a bit cramped has contributed to my condition but it really wasn’t all because of that.
If I remembered right, I had two more international flights (all of them between Manila and Shanghai) with Cebu Pacific but that was it as I have decided to leave China for good. And just last year, prior to the earthquake and tsunami incidents in Japan, I was able to book a flight to Osaka for only PHP 1,010 when the airline had their 10-10-10 promo but I was not able to go as my application for a travel visa to Japan was revoked.
Cebu Pacific got a lot of negative reviews on blogs and other social media and networking sites in the past, especially between 2009 and 2010, primarily because of delayed flights and poor customer service and I believe they’ll continue to have more bad feedback in the future. After all, Cebu Pacific is not a first class airline and even the most prestigious airlines in the world can’t have a zero passenger complaints. I, myself, had my worst in-flight attendant experience on a North-West Airlines flight to Tokyo in 2006. In 2011, though I don’t have enough data to prove, the amount of complaints and negative remarks had considerably decreased as there were only a very few blog posts and social media statuses proclaiming how unhappy they were with their Cebu Pacific flight experience.
I’m currently working here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and I’ll have to be here for at least another one and a half years but as early as now, I’m already planning for a two-month travel itineraries with my two kids as I want to be able as much island in the Philippines and around South-East Asia when I return home. And with all these plans for a major island-hoping, Cebu Pacific will definitely be of much help if they would continue offering the cheapest flights to major cities in the Philippines and across Asia.