Category Archives: Rants

Beware of “Throw-Away” Plane Tickets

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This is the first rant article of my blog. Why such title? This is the full story. Last August 2009, I purchased a plane ticket from Asia’s First Airline thru the internet. I was chosen as one of the three delegates from our cooperative to attend a convention at Olongapo City last September 23-25, 2009. Given a tight budget, I canvassed for the lowest plane fare that I could find. I called up ticket agencies and surfed the internet. If you compare ticket prices between ticket agencies and the internet, the latter’s price is lower. Of course, you have to purchase it using your credit card. That’s what I did. I booked three tickets for me and my companions using my own credit card.

The plane e-ticket that I purchased was a promo fare ticket with lots of restrictions. That was okay with me because it was within my budget. Little did I know that the FINE PRINT written on the e-ticket would make my life miserable. The night before I was to leave for Manila, my eldest son had high fever, headache and was vomiting. I was really worried about his condition. My anxiety was heightened when I thought of the convention that I had to attend. I called the regional coordinator from CDA, explained my situation and asked her advice. She suggested that I look for a replacement so that my registration fee of P7,000 will not be forfeited. Next, I called my boss, who was one of my companions on the trip, and told her about my situation. She told me to stay and take care of my son. Being a mother herself, she told me that family should go first. Encouraged by her advice, I called another friend and asked her if she could go. She declined since their house was flooded due to heavy rains a few days before.

Finally, I was firm in my decision not to leave for Manila. I was also  not able to find a replacement in such a short notice. Mind you, I did not sleep well that night partly because I was monitoring my son’s condition, and the other part was thinking of how to seek a refund of my registration fee and plane ticket. The next day I sent a text message to one of the organizers of the convention and again explained to him my situation. Thanks to his good heart, I was able to refund part of the registration fee.

On September 25, 2009, I went to the airline’s ticketing office at the Zamboanga City Airport and referred the matter to the ticketing officer. When he read my ticket, he told me point blank that it is a non-refundable ticket and that is it equivalent to a “throw-away” ticket. Wow, that’s a new term. They should have added that to the many fine print that this particular ticket has. I was in the verge of tears. How can I “throw away” P4,400 just because I was not able to leave for Manila and use my plane ticket? I let him read my letter to the manager explaining what happened. He further said, “Ma’am, kahit ano pa po ang mangyari, hind nyo pa rin pwedeng i-refund ang ticket nyo. Ang iba nga, hindi nakasakay dahil namatayan nang kamag-anak pero hindi pa rin na-refund ang ticket nila.” Ganun? Oh, stupid me. It is a “throw-away” ticket so why argue. I asked him if I could see the manager and he gave me directions to his office.

I went to the manager and submitted my letter request along with my plane ticket and the medical certificate of my son. By the way, he had Intestinal Influenza, which explained his vomiting and fever. It is an illness common during the rainy season. Back to the manager, he searched his computer for the policies regarding my ticket. He told me that my ticket is indeed non-refundable. I told him that it is okay with me if I cannot refund it as long as I can still use it. He said that he would refer the matter to his superiors but cannot promise me if I could still refund or use my ticket.

After two weeks, I called him up regarding my request. In a diplomatic tone, he explained to me that it is indeed a non-refundable ticket and there is no way that I can refund my P4,400 or use it for another trip. As he was explaining, I fought back the tears in my eyes. He stopped in mid sentence and asked me if I was still on the phone. Yes, I told him but, my mind was screaming. “Yes, d***it, I’m still here and I still could not figure out how P4,400 could just disappear in thin air.” Oh I remember, even if the ticket holder died before he could board the plane, his relatives could still not refund the plane ticket because it is a “Throw Away” ticket and the fine print expressly states that “Fare and surcharges are non-refundable, forfeited if ticket is unused, non-rebookable, non-endorsable and non-upgradable.” Silly me for hoping that the management of the Asia’s First Airline would understand my situation and grant my request.

This serves as a warning to everyone who plans to buy a promo fare ticket. Don’t buy it unless you are 100% sure that you will use it. Also, read the fine print. Sometimes, we tend to disregard the fine print but in the end, it is the same fine print that would prevail in any given situation. I should know. It cost me a princely sum of money just to get the message across my head. So, to all of you out there, good luck on your plane ticket purchase, read the fine print and do buy the one that says it is refundable, rebookable, upgradable and endorsable.

Health Watch: Target Weight 75 kilos

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weighing scale

Last Saturday, I finally went to my aunt’s clinic for a medical check-up. For the past week, I experienced headaches and gas pain in my stomach. I thought it was the usual symptoms of eating late and getting ‘kabuhi’ (gas pain), or it could be my eyes due to extreme eyestrain brought about by looking at the computer monitor for hours on end (hala ka…facebook) or it must the extreme weather condition, too hot one minute and rain showers the next. For two straight days, I went straight to bed upon arriving home because I can’t bear the headache. Hubby ordered me to have a check-up and I said I’ll go during the weekend. Thanks to his hot cups of tea, chicken soup and tender, loving care, my headache was somehow bearable.

After my preliminary check-up, I was asked to have a blood and urine test to determine the true nature of my discomfort. The test results showed that I have Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and was prescribed antibiotics. The good news is, it was just a mild case of UTI. I also found out that my weight increased to 2 kilos within 6 months. So I mentally told myself that I need to decrease my weight to 75 kilos by the end of the year.

According to the websites of Mayo Clinic and web MD, a urinary tract infection is an infection that begins in our urinary system, which is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Any part of your urinary system can become infected, but most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the urethra and the bladder.

Women are at greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection than are men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders. You may be more likely to get an infection if you do not drink enough fluids, have diabetes, or pregnant. The chance that you will get a bladder infection is higher if you have any problem that blocks the flow of urine from your bladder. Examples include having kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland.

Not everyone with a urinary tract infection develops recognizable signs and symptoms, but most people have some. In general, urinary tract infection signs and symptoms develop rapidly and can include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) or cloudy, strong-smelling urine
  • Bacteria in the urine (bacteriuria)

Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor will usually cure a bladder infection. It may help to drink lots of water and other fluids and to urinate often, emptying your bladder each time. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take the pills exactly as you are told. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to finish taking them all so that you do not get sick again.

Thanks to Mayo Clinic and Web MD for the information. You can check out their website here and here for further information about the illness and other illnesses as well.

With strong determination and your support along with the will to live longer and healthier, may I accomplish my weight goal by the end of the year. So help me God!