Fortun to sue Cebu Pacific over cancelled flight

Atty. Raymond Fortun has threatened to sue Cebu Pacific for a cancelled return flight to Manila that got him and his family stuck in Saigon.

In a status message posted Thursday, November 19, on Facebook, the lawyer expressed disgust over the airline company's "incompetence," lack of compassion, and the hassle it caused them.

We took the liberty of reposting Atty. Fortun's post, verbatim:

Cebu Pacific Airlines, i am suing you. Itaga nyo sa bato. And i am doing this to teach you people a lesson.

My family and i planned a trip for Ho Chi Minh from Nov 16-19.

On Nov 14, CebPac sent an email, saying that Mla was a no-fly zone from 6am-6pm on Nov 19 because of APEC. Because it was a Saturday, i wanted to contact CebPac by Monday morning to confirm if the flight was canceld. There was a chance that the flight was still a go since the plane would have landed in Manila at 4:45am on Nov 19, or outside of the no-fly zone advisory.

On Nov 15, CebPac sent an email that i could already web check-in for my return flight (Saigon-Manila). I assumed that this was a confirmation that the flight was a green and go. I was able to secure boarding passes for our return trip. My 2nd son was participating in a chorale competition this Saturday and initially wanted to back out from the trip; we convinced him to come along as there was now a confirmation that he would be back by Thursday morning.

On Nov 18 at 10:45pm, we were at the CebPac counter at the airport and ONLY THEN were we told that the flight was cancelled. The staff claimed that we were sent an email on Nov 17, that the flight was canceld. We did not receive that email.

We're stuck here in Saigon now and incurring expenses. So many plans this weekend that are now gone. I was supposed to treat my nephews (who had flown in from the US) to golf today and tomorrow. Gone. I have choir practice this weekend because my choir is singing in our priest's sacerdotal mass. Gone. I'm supposed to do a photo shoot to celebrate the female body regardless of curves. Gone. My son is despondent because his music teacher/choirmaster would be furious at him. We will have to reuse our soiled clothes as we only brought clothes good for 3 days.

You could have just diverted our flight to Clark. You'd rather just see Filipinos stranded, without paying for the inconvenience caused.

What aches my heart is the plight of the other passengers on our cancelled flight, who no longer have money to remain in Saigon. CebPac did not even have the professionalism to provide for temporary shelter and for meals until they provide for a return flight. I argued with the manager to give the other passengers shelter and food, but he could not speak for CebPac management. Well, i didn't expect him to, as he was just an employee. And he was Vietnamese.

How could they do this to their fellow Filipinos in a foreign land? Maybe if your incompetence is exposed, you will realize that "providing a service to the public" requires something else: compassion.

See you in court. Send your best, it ain't gonna matter.

Atty. Fortun also posted copies of his Boarding Pass.

On Thursday afternoon, Cebu Pacific released an official statement relative to Fortun's concern.

CEB sincerely apologizes to passengers with cancelled flights, who still received a system generated email prompting them to check in online. The email message was automatically sent to all passengers with flights departing within 72 hours. This resulted in some passengers going to the airport, despite their flight being cancelled.

Passengers may refer to the list of cancelled flights for CEB and Cebgo before heading to the airport. This applies to all passengers including those who have already checked in for their flights online or through the mobile app.