Pinoy Tourism Charter Flight Dubai to Manila Experience
Pinoy Tourism Charter Flight experience.
Finally, we landed safely in the Philippines.
The moment hubby and I decided to go home we started preparing a lot of things. We get ready not just for our stuff but ourselves as we know this will not be an easy exit.
Don and I are realistic people who know when to fight or give up. Like our unplanned exit from the UAE, we know that we are not fully ready to live in the Philippines because of many obligations. But due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have any choice but to move forward going back home.
Because of our worries, our last days in UAE was very busy not just in packing but also in planning. We are constantly discussing our next steps once we reach our home town.
Our efforts reach a concrete plan, the list of to-do is now in our hands. Hopefully, with the help of God, we can finalize it gradually.
But before that, we need to face the harsh reality of exiting the UAE at this time.
One of the challenges as of this time is getting a flight from Dubai to the Philippines. Unlike the normal flight, all flights now are special flights only, and because of that, all the flight ticket cost suddenly increases.
In addition to it, I faced a lot of headaches with some travel agents who are hard to deal with. I am not sure if it is because all the booking steps now are new, or maybe it is their normal personality.
Anyway, I would like to share with you guys my experience in terms of airline booking with Pinoy Tourism, to set your expectation.
Normally ClearTrip is my favorite booking search engine when checking flights and comparing prices. I already used their services many times that is why I trusted this website.
But the rate that advertised at that time was unbelievable. The one-way ticket price starts at AED6,000 and above, I was nervous as I know my company would not agree to those prices.
Though a free airfare ticket is my right, I know this price is beyond the company’s capacity, it is too much.
I decided to check the price in different booking portals and from the travel agency.
While browsing, I saw the FaceBook page of Pinoy Tourism. They have an advertisement regarding a guaranteed flight, so I called.
The agent picks up the call, and so the inquiry part started.
They gave me the price of AED3,000 for one way flight, and that rate is applicable either Cebu Pacific, PAL, or Emirates Airlines.
Then she informs me that the given price cannot be found on the online booking site as it is a special flight only. Prices can only be avail only through a travel agency (one of them is Pinoy Tourism)
Now, it makes sense why all rates from booking engines and airline websites are expensive.
However, there is new information given by the agent which is not fully clear to me, such as:
– the flight is guaranteed, but the airline may change the flight schedule a few days before the flight
– because the agency or airline should have a permit from the Philippines to secure a flight on the set date
Sounds easy to understand, but I was a bit lost and confused so I have a lot of reconfirmation and questions.
Since the ticket will be paid by my boss, I need to know even the smallest details. I need to be readily justifying with them the reason for the high ticket cost.
My company is aware of the normal ticket price to the Philippines so I know I need to be ready with all the questions.
The agent and I conversation continued with what’s up so I can send her my passport copy to make a tentative blocking.
Few Pinoy Tourism Agent are a bit headache
The agent’s way of explaining and answering my question is a bit irritating. She is always reiterating and saying that she had already explained that details to me.
At first, I was calm, but when she did it a couple of times I told her I don’t like the way she assisting my concerns.
I told her to please do not be annoyed with me, as I am not working in a travel agency. Not all people can easily understand these rules, I need to be clear on all details especially that the past days the news contains much information about flight delays and cancellations.
She just simply said she was not annoyed, she is just explaining.
Though I have an option to change the travel agency, I chose to continue my transaction with them as I happened to know that my husband’s company will be buying his ticket at the same agency.
So I decided to just patiently deal with my agent as I know it will be easier for me to monitor my ticket and my husband’s to be on the same schedule. That”s what I thought.
I never thought that the two agents that handle our transaction would be a little bit headache. The way they work and handle questions is not professional. A simple question will always have a complicated answer. They are lack of initiative to update me, I always need to follow up about my pending concern.
People may say that I might be overacting or demanding, but I know in the tourism industry the key to success is good customer service.
Six years back I was working in the tourism sector, the training and the golden rule that I always remember from them is the value of customer service. We never leave our post or client with pending concerns. Maybe I was just expecting to see it from them as well.
Complaining or telling them my issues was useless, the moment I did it they are taking it in another way. Either personal or in a literal way.
Our flight’s original schedule was July 20, 2020, via Cebu Pacific by 12:10 am. Don and I are preparing ourselves to be at the airport on July 19 at 7:00 pm
However, until July 19, we didn’t receive yet our ticket copy. Despite this, I was confident that our flight will push through as I’ve seen on the Pinoy Tourism Facebook page that the schedule is still on.
Around 12:00 noon on July 19 the agent called and update me that there are changes. Our new flight will be via Emirates Airline with a time of 03:10 am on July 20
We are ok with it, at least we have enough time since Don’s passport was not yet with us. Their company rule is, the passport would be handed over only on the day or a day before the flight.
So our plan was, collect his passport by 4:30 pm, eat, then go to the airport and be there by 09:00 – 10:00 pm
Plans were perfect and on time, we got his passport by 4:30 pm.
Around 5:00 pm the agent called again and unbelievably told me;
“I am sorry mam, the flight I gave you was wrong details, it should be via Philippines Airline by 07:40 pm of July 20”.
To calm down is the first thought that came to my senses, I don’t want to stress myself. Since they told me initially that passengers should be flexible on the flight since the agency doesn’t have any control over it.
But this part seems is their negligence.
My energy at that moment is not enough to complain. I just agreed on the new time and told her to make sure Don and I flight are the same.
After dinner, we drove back to our house in Ajman. All residents of Sharjah and Ajman would understand the traffic we need to face at the time of 6:30 pm onward from Dubai.
Around 8:15 pm we reach home, my phone was ringing with an unfamiliar number. Ohh… It was the agent again!
She said that they manage to put us in flight via Emirates Airlines on July 20 at 03:10 am flight. I agreed as I don’t want to delay it again.
In her explanation, it seems there was really a miscommunication with their team internally.
Though I was exhausted I hurriedly drove back to Dubai again. I was rushing due to I need to bring the car we are using to my friend’s residence. Then my friend accompanies us to the airport.
Around 10:00 pm we reach Terminal 3.
Thankfully the flight pushes through, with no cancellation or delays. But the effort we’ve been through with the way the agent handles our transaction was exhausting.
I am just thankful that at least we have a car to use driving back and forth. It is easier for us to catch the time. But I don’t know for those who are taking public transportation, I am not sure how they will react to it. The cost, energy, and effort are not a simple as that.
As of now, we are thankful that we are finally in the Philippines.
This post is not to create any issue with the agency, but just to let the passenger know what to expect during this time so they are ready whatever the circumstances happen.
Just bring a lot of patience from the start of your inquiry until your flight. With that long patience, you can reach your home.
Have a safe flight for all OFW bound to the Philippines.
Food we had at the quarantine facility