PAL restructures US sales offices

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 22 2014 07:53 AM | Updated as of Dec 22 2014 03:53 PM

MANILA - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) of taipan Lucio Tan is restructuring its sales offices abroad while budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of tycoon John Gokongwei is introducing new services to serve passengers better.

PAL president Jaime Bautista said the airline is currently restructuring its sales offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu by expanding PAL’s US contact center as part of efforts to streamline US sales operations.

Bautista said the system-enhanced PAL contact center – 1-800-IFLYPAL (4359725) – would take over the functions of the airline’s traditional ticketing offices starting Jan. 1 to allow wider access by North American and Hawaiian customers.

Under the restructured operations, PAL passengers in the US and Canada could conveniently transact practically all their travel needs by phone. The one-stop contact center could handle flight bookings, ticket issuance, refunds and payments using credit cards.

“The enhanced capability of our contact center will provide added convenience to our North American customers when transacting with PAL, as part of preparation for our return to the US east coast by March next year,” Bautista said.

In the coming months, he added that PAL US contact center’s connectivity with various PAL systems would enable it to handle almost all types of transactions from passengers based in North America and Hawaii.

The full-service contact center would complement the many features of the PAL website where customers from around the globe can book and buy any PAL ticket.

On the other hand, Cebu Pacific rolled out its mobile check-in option in time for the Christmas season.

Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution of Cebu Pacific, said mobile check-in joins web check-in, self check-in kiosks at the airport, and Agent Xpress (roving airport agents equipped with tablets) as alternate forms of check-in for Cebu Pacific flights.

“With the peak travel season upon us, Cebu Pacific introduces more check-in options, so guests will be empowered to manage their trips,” Iyog said.

She added that the official Cebu Pacific mobile app is now available on the Apple Store and would soon be available on Android devices.

Mobile check-in is available from 72 hours up to four hours for international flights, and up to two hours for domestic flights.

“We also remind guests to be at the airport at least three hours before their flights, and prepare for possible high volume of traffic during this time,” Iyog added.

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