Philippine Airlines - Downgraded on business class flight
yes you read it correctly, I recently booked a business class flight from manila to sydney and when I arrived at the airport I was told the plane was full so they could only offer me a economy seat, I was offered a free return flight from Manila to Sydney, as compensation. I live in London and was on a once in a lifetime trip with my family the compensation would have been useless as to use the ticket i would have to take extra flights, this was a family vacation not a everyday trip. I paid full price for the tickets, and didnt upgrade using airmiles or anything to reduce the price.
I had booked myself, my wife and our two small children aged 7 months and 3 years business class seats for the night time flight from Manila to Sydney PR211. I had logged in in the morning of the flight to check us in and changed our seats from the randomly allocated ones to seats 2A, 2C and 1D, all being front row seats according to the seat plan to ensure we could sit with the children and have access to a bassinet for the baby. I had prior to this sent a number of requests to ensure that we had this available.
We arrived at the airport over two hours before the flight in order to take advantage of the business lounge, feed the children and get them settled ahead of the flight. When we got to the check-in desk however, there was a note on the desk informing passengers that business class had been overbooked and asking for volunteers to downgrade their seats. We didn't pay attention to this as we knew it was not an option for us.
As we started to check in, the attendant seemed to get increasingly distressed and took a long time. She informed me she was struggling to place us all together, although she showed me on the screen that there were still places available in business class. As I waited, other travellers were checking in at the kiosks next to ours. After about 10 minutes she informed me that she was going to see her manager to check something. More time passed and I started asking other members of check in staff what was going on as my young daughter was getting increasingly hungry and ready for bed she usually sleeps @ 7.30 hence why we had booked this flight as we knew she would sleep on the flight. After almost an hour the attendant returned to say that there was only 2 seats in Business and that one of us would have to sit in Economy. My daughter by now was crying a lot, there was nowhere I could go to feed her and she was getting increasingly upset.
I was starting to get angry and ask for the problem to be fixed again the attendant went away. Eventually she returned and I asked to speak to a manager to be told I couldn’t and that nothing could be done, we were offered a free return flight from Manila to Sydney. To me this is useless I live in London and could never use the ticket. By now my son was in tears as he knew I was upset, my daughter was screaming. Quite frankly the way we were treated was appalling and not what I would expect from a business class check-in at the carriers home airport. Whilst we were being kept waiting with no information, more and more people were checking in. Both of my children were visibly upset and only getting worse, no one offered to help or made any effort to pacify them, what should have been a happy time after all a 3 year old gets very excited to be on an aeroplane even without the business class service we expected was turning into a horrid unpleasant situation.
Eventually the manager of the airline emerged and continued to tell us there was nothing that he could do and was extremely unhelpful. By this time there was only one seat left in business class, and the time that we would have had in the lounge was gone. Whilst I and my wife were trying to ascertain what options were left to us, one of the attendants offered to find out whether anyone already allocated a business class seat would be willing to give it up; she came back to say that they were unable to offer this. In the meantime, the manager attempted to convince me to accept the "free" flights despite my repeatedly telling him they were of no use to me.
With not long left before the flight was due to leave, it was clear that neither our children's nor our distress or appalling customer service experience meant anything to this manager nor his staff. We had no choice but to accept the seats in economy class offered under the proviso that our flights from Manila to Sydney would be fully refunded for all 4 of us which the manager agreed. I felt we had no option if we wanted to get to Sydney than to accept the offer of a refund, However even at last minute he attempted to get me to sign an acceptance of the replacement Manila – Sydney- Manila flights; and we later found out that a couple of people had offered to give up their seats to us but hadn't been allowed to...
If I had wanted to travel economy I would have booked it I paid a huge premium to have the luxury of business, for what was a once in a lifetime experience.
We ended up being the last to board the flight having only gone to security 15 minutes before the scheduled departure, we were the last people on the plane by some considerable time, you could tell just how settled people were and from what I was told but the other passengers.
Even on the flight there were problems the seat we were promised that had the basinet for my 8 month old daughter didn’t fit, so my daughter was placed on the floor wrapped in my blanket, the aircraft was so cold, I have flown a lot and never been on a plane so cold, people had head scarfs on and were wrapped up like they were going outside. There was no entertainment system, ipads were offered to bossiness class but not to my wife or son sat in economy even though I asked for them they weren’t offered the business class meal that I had requested. I had booked a Child's business class meal for the flight so this should have been on board.
The flight although scheduled to leave @ 2135 actually left 2 hours late and arrived 3 hours late
I feel I have been treated extremely badly and offered no compensation even though I clearly didn’t get the service I paid for.
This person wrote the review because of problem with delivery at Philippine Airlines. Reviewer claimed that he or she lost $10000 and wants Philippine Airlines to issue a full refund.
The most disappointing in user's experience was service, complaints procedure, staff attatude and quality of flight. Author liked the most direct flight from london. The author asks this business to immediately contact him/ her to briefly discuss his/ her negative experience with the company.
We collected other reviews about products and/or services offered by Philippine Airlines and philippine airlines flight 211 for you to read. This information may help you with your purchase decision.