Flexible bookings, 'contactless' flights: How Cebu Pacific is adapting to 'new normal'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2020 03:20 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2020 06:03 PM

MANILA -- Cebu Pacific recently announced improvements in its policies for passengers and flights as it continues to adapt to the "new normal" caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

In a virtual media huddle, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and customer experience Candice Iyog said the airline has extended its travel fund validity to two years from the previous one year.

The travel fund, or Cebu Pacific's virtual wallet, is one of the options offered early this year to passengers whose flights have been cancelled, as well as to those who wish to forego travel plans because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Iyog said it can now be used to book flights up to 12 months ahead as long as the transaction was made before expiration, adding that the two-year validity will be applied retroactively to customers with existing travel funds.

"Potentially, customers can use their travel funds to fly in 2023," she said. 

Aside from the extended travel fund validity, Cebu Pacific is also allowing customers to avail of unlimited booking of their flights without paying any rebooking or charge fees. 

Iyog said this new rule is applicable for travel until November 30 this year, and that minimal fare differences may apply depending on the travel dates selected. 

Those who do not wish to rebook or put the full cost of their tickets in a travel fund, meanwhile, still have the option of getting a full refund. 

DISINFECTION, 'CONTACTLESS' FLIGHTS

Iyog assured that Cebu Pacific will continue to implement strict safety and sanitation protocols from check-in to boarding, as well as the actual flight.

Aside from regular full aircraft disinfection, cleaning will be implemented every 30 minutes and after every use of passengers. The airline is also using hospital-grade filters that refresh cabin air every three minutes. 

Contactless processes such as the use of websites, apps, and mobile kiosks, will be maximized, with masks required for all passengers, crew, and personnel.

According to Iyog, middle seats will still be left empty to comply with physical distancing measures, except for families and groups that are traveling together.

She added that in-flight food service has also been limited to minimize contact between passengers and cabin crew.

Passengers will also be expected to practice self-disposal of trash at the end of the flight, and to stow and retrieve their own hand-carry bags in overhead bins. 

Cebu Pacific currently operates 23 domestic flights and one international flight to Dubai.

On August 6, it will resume flights between Manila and Incheon in South Korea.