PAL’s 10 Hour Notice: The Story of the Cancelled Flight

After three and a half years, we finally are going to set foot on Antique again! While our travel plans will just be for a week, I’m still excited to be spending Christmas there again as the last time we were there during Christmas was way back 2013.

The night before our flight, at about 8:15 in the evening, I logged on to my email account to retrieve our booking reference so that I can check-in online. However, my attention was immediately caught by the numerous emails from Philippine Airlines (PAL) in my inbox.

Eight emails from Philippine Airlines on 12/18/19

Four of the emails were about the changes in our seat assignments (because I paid for choice seats to ensure that we sit together with our kids) while the other four informed us of the changes to our upcoming flight due to adjustments in their flight operations.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that they, indeed, changed our flight schedule. No, it wasn’t just a slight adjustment in the time; they rescheduled us to a different date. What is so incredulous about the situation is that PAL rescheduled our flight to the same date of our return trip!

Still unbelieving, I went back and reread each of these eight emails. My eyes weren’t fooling me. Indeed, my hubby, my daughters and I were all scheduled to fly not tomorrow (19th) but next week (26th)! After Christmas!!!

I mean, SERIOUSLY?!

I immediately called my sister who’s also going with us on that trip along with her baby. She was unaware of any flight changes. She’s actually getting ready to travel to Angeles from Metro Manila as we were speaking, since our early morning flight tomorrow will be at the Clark Airport.

In panic mode, I checked the time when they sent the emails. They were all sent at 8:01 PM of December 18, merely 10 hours before our scheduled flight at 6:00 AM of December 19.

10 hours! Is that even allowed? During the first week of December, there were flight cancellations due to Typhoon Tisoy. However, weather is expected to be good today and for the next couple of days. Definitely, this is not a cancellation due to bad weather.

To PAL’s “defense”, they gave us four options if we do NOT accept the new schedule,
  1. Call the Manila Hotline Number at (632)-8855-8888.
  2. Visit any Philippine Airlines Ticket Office in our area.
  3. Contact their travel agents directly if booking was issued through them.
  4. Approach any of their ground staff if we are at the airport.
Since the nearest ticket office was already closed, our tickets were purchased online, and we’re still not at the airport, option # 1 was the only feasible choice at that time: that is, to call PAL.

Continue this story at The Unwelcome Phone PAL. but if you want to cut to the chase, read the short version here: Our Stressful Quest to Fly After a Flight Cancellation.

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