Tag Archives: travel

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.

Cebu Adventures Part 1

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I have been to Cebu last July. It’s my first real vacation for a long, long time. Actually, it was a business trip. The first food trip that I wanted to do was eat dimsum and pasta. We arrived in Cebu at around 5:30 p.m. It took us nearly an hour to get to out hotel at Colon Street. We were tired from the flight so going to the mall was out of the question. After dinner, we went to see the bustle of activities at the Colon Night Market. I did not take any picture for fear of snatchers. They are known to snatch your celfone away…hehehe.

The road was filled with makeshift shops selling everything from clothing to accessories, from kitchenwares to all kinds of food stuff. I saw a vendor selling qwek qwek, quail eggs coated with orange colored coating. wow sarap…my two companions did not dare eat it. Oh well, they missed this delicious street food delicacy. A few years back, when my whole family was vacationing here, we bought qwek qwek from a vendor in the middle of the road. At the same time, the traffic enforcers were rounding up illegal vendors. The vendor ran, along with our purchase. We ran after the vendor and got our precious qwek qwek. Hahaha…what a happy memory. After that, we went to Gaisano and window shopped. I made a mental note of what I will buy there in case we would go back the next day. Then we headed back to the hotel and rested.

During my second day in Cebu, we attended the opening program of the conference and then headed off to Chong Hua Hospital, where my boss looked for an Eye doctor to have his eyes checked. We did not know anybody and so we asked around. The hospital staff were courteous enough to make suggestions. We decided to return in the afternoon. Then we went to Ayala Mall and ate lunch there. These are photos of several food stores at the food court. I ordered rice toppings at Dimdum Break and my boss ordered lechone and dinuguan at C n T Lechon. Mmmmm…delicious. C n T Lechon serves the best lechon in Cebu. I even saw Koreans and other foreigners sampling their delicious lechon and rice wrapped in coconut leaves.

Then we went around the mall. I bought a few things for pasalubong. We headed back to Chong Hua Hospital. I waited while he had his eye checked. The check up lasted for two hours. My butt was numbed from sitting and my back was aching from the air conditioned environment. The hospital has first class amenities, just like a five star hotel. My boss had eight kinds of equipment check his eyes. And he paid P1,000 for all the tests. After that, we headed to SM Mall. We troured the mall first before eating dinner. Time is just too short to enjoy a leisurely tour around the mall. Maybe tomorrow we can have the time.

yummy seafood

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On a recent trip to Dipolog City for an official travel, our team was fortunate enough to dine for lunch at Ann’s Seafoods. We were actually planning to eat at Grandma’s, another cozy resto that serves continental fare such as pasta and sandwiches. Upon the insistence of our teammates and hosts, they took us to Ann’s. The place at the ground floor was full, as it was past 12 noon when we arrived. We headed upstairs to their conference room.

Our group ordered grilled blue marlin, kinilaw, calamares, chopsuey, and fish tinola. It took a while before our orders arrived but it was worth the wait. I even forgot to take pictures before we devoured the food. Boy, were we hungry. I can see by the look on my friends’ faces that we were more than contented. Thanks Mam Evelyn for bringing us here. Thanks, also, Mam Meriam for the libre.Hehehe…

For all you travellers out there who will pass by Dipolog City, do try Ann’s Seafood. It’s the best tasting, freshest seafood dishes I have ever tasted. Bon Appetit.

mixed emotions

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my youngest brother left for the US of A via nagoya, japan early this morning. my mom and dad accompanied him to the airport. my other siblings and i did not go with them due to budget constraints. i feel sad coz he’s really close to me. he’s going to a very far place but thanks to modern technology, we can still be closer through emails and text messaging.that is why i’m going to get a phone connection so we can communicate throough internet…

this is all for now…i’ll get back to you when my emotions are sorted out…