Gee, Seair's Nikos Gitsis must be thanking his lucky stars he didn't accept the buy-out offer of Zest Airways' Alfredo Yao.
Here's the email:
On Tue, 11/25/08, Marge Polintan <******@yahoo.com> wrote:
Customer Relations/ZEST AIR:
We are a party of 17 (15 adults and 2 minors) who all took the Manila-Caticlan on Nov. 22 and returned to Manila on Nov. 24 via Kalibo-Manila when our return flight was diverted from Caticlan to Kalibo.
We checked in all 17 of us at Caticlan about 4:10PM only to be told that we have to motor to Kalibo as our flight was diverted. When we asked why, we were given the most stupid reasons that only a moron can accept. Your MR. RODEL URGUELLES informed us that the plane could not take off as sunset was at 5:20. (1) Our flight was supposed to leave at 5:00PM so clearly we would have been up in the sky when sunset was supposedly setting in. (2) Another stupid reason given to us was that the Caticlan airport had no runway lights making it impossible for us to take off!!!! Why in heaven's name do you schedule late afternoon flights knowing that the Caticlan airport is not fitted with lights (I seriously doubt if is this is true). (3) We also asked why we were not contacted to let us know that they were moving our flight earlier. They were able to contact us before we left Manila that our departure was moved to an earlier time. (4) We informed your Mr Urguelles that we had a pregnant lady in our party and were concerned about the long trip from Caticlan to Kalibo. We were asking for a guarantee that should she suffer a miscarriage, the airline will be made answerable for it. Of course he could not give any guarantee. Having no choice we took the risk and motored to Kalibo for a good one hour motor ride. Upon reaching Kalibo, we found out that two other Zest Air flights were likewise diverted. We were made to wait some more as the planes coming from Manila were delayed. I surmised that this was the main reason why our flights were moved from Caticlan to Kalibo.
We were finally herded to an airplane for our flight to Manila. With grumbling stomachs and exhausted from the trip from Caticlan, we had to make our way inside the airplane in darkness. When we asked the flight attendant why there were NO cabin lights, we got another STUPID response and were informed that they are conserving energy and therefore we have to grope for our seats in darkness without any airconditioning. Madilim na Mainit pa!!!!!! What would have been a one hour flight seemed like an eternity as it took us about an hour and a half to reach Manila in darkness.
Having undergone all these nerve wracking experience what was more irritating apart from the stupidity of your staff is the fact that they did not even offer any apology for all the inconvenience we were experiencing. I think you should all go back to school and take courses on basics of good manners, effective management and people skills. Your staff is sorely lacking in all of these!!!!!!
This is our first and last time we are flying ZEST AIR. You can be assured that the 17 of us will be your worst advertisement and will make it a point to inform all our friends and other concerned agencies.
MARGARITA S. POLINTAN
LUIS MANUEL S. POLINTAM N
MIA MARGARITA S. POLINTAN
JOSEFINA S CRISTOBAL
MARIANO CRISTOBAL III
RIZZA JOIE CRISTOBAL
GABRILLE ERIN UBIADAS (Minor)
BERNARDO AGALOOS III
ANDREW NEWELL (Minor)
AFTER two weeks, below is the response of Zest Air's Customer relations department. Geez, not even a personal call to apologize to Ms. Polintan? No offer of a comp hassle-free trip next time? How totally lacking in respect for their passengers. Tsk, tsk.
From: Customer relations
To: Marge Polintan <****** @yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 3:53:54 PM
Subject: Re: [stcqchs'65] Fw: ZEST AIR/ASIAN SPIRIT NEVER AGAIN-A HARROWING EXPERIENCE
I apologize for the inconvenience and have noted your concerns and complaints, the old planes will be grounded and 5 new planes will be in placed.
NOW I know Rodel Arguelles, who has been Asian Spirit's Caticlan station manager for the longest time. I've never had a problem w/ him. He has been one of the more efficient employees I know in Asian Spirit. So I'm not so sure what has happened to him. Could be a reflection in the change of management style and their policies.
And yaaak! Ipis! I've also heard that the planes' toilets are not cleaned well. Plain soap and water are used instead of that blue toilet-duck product. So Zest Air management would rather cut expenses that make sure their passengers are safe from health risks huh? Sweet.
There was a time when Asian Spirit was one of the best and most efficient budget carriers in the country. Now that it's been transformed to Zest Air, it is just sh**. Sad.