Monday, November 16, 2009

tortured by seair

I never take Seair. I usually take Zestair because of a sense of loyalty-- we know the former owners, the pilots, the sales staff. But since I have to bring Teddy to the dog groomer, I had no choice but Seair. Only Seair still accepts live animals and they're the only airline allowed to fly Caticlan. All other airlines have to use the Kalibo airport, which is a 90-minute drive away.

The day started out nice enough. The weather was great. I was not rushing. Teddy was well-behaved.

My flight was 9am. I was at the check-in counter at 7:30am. The Seair girl looks at my ticket, makes an annoyed face and says, "Your flight was moved to 6:45am. Weren't you informed?"

That was the first lie. My flight was NOT moved. Come on, just say it, you didn't have enough passengers, so you CANCELLED my flight and inserted me somewhere else. Also, you people have my email address and phone number. You just chose not to inform the passengers.

I said, "So? What time am I flying now?" She replied, 9:35am, which was not so bad. Only 35 minutes delayed. I check Teddy in and wait.

My poor baby.

At 9:20am, a Seair plane arrives, but it's not my plane. Ten minutes later, which was the time I was supposed to be inside the plane already, the Seair girls inform us that we have to go to Kalibo airport, which is a 90-minute drive away!

I ask, why? This is the second lie: Because of the weather daw. Did I just mention that the weather was great?

Here's the problem. I was fasting for a blood test. The fasting period is 10 hours, maximum-- meaning beyond 10 hours, I would be "over-fasting" and couldn't take the blood test anymore. I figured with my 9am flight, I should be in Manila in plenty of time if I started fasting at 3am. After all, the flight is only 40 minutes. As long as I had my blood drawn before 1pm, I should be fine.

So I start making a fuss at the Seair counter. I show them my doctor's instructions. I explain the situation to them. I'm also worried about Teddy, who was stuck inside his cage.

As I'm talking, one of the Seair girls yells to the other one, "Dalhin mo siya sa opisina! Nagrereklamo!" Literally, that's "Bring her to the office! She's complaining!"

I could hear her. I could understand her. She knew it. She didn't care.


So I get on the bus. Teddy's nose feels hot and he looks a little carsick. Finally, we arrive in Kalibo. There's another Seair girl herding us. She tells us to get in line and pay the terminal fee-- which we already paid in Caticlan. I ask her why. She says, "Oh, this is a different airport, ma'am. You have to pay again."

I said, no way. She gets on her walkie-talkie and yells, "Yung isang pasahero dito, ayaw magbayad ng terminal fee!" There's a passenger here, she won't pay the terminal fee!

I'm standing right there. I can hear her. I can understand her. She doesn't care.

We go into the pre-departure area. We have no idea what time we're flying. Nobody says anything. More importantly, we are not given anything to eat or drink. Not even a glass of water. It's already 12 noon.

We get on the plane. We take off. At this point, I have given up on the fasting. Obviously, I'm not going to make my 1pm deadline. I wait for some nourishment. In the middle of the flight, the attendant gives us... peanuts.

The windshield was filthy.

Seair, do you know how many lives you ruined today? Of course you know. You just don't care. You think that since two-thirds of the passengers don't speak English, you can get away with shet like this.

I believe in karma. To each and every one of you Seair people who was involved in today's fiasco: Someday, you will be starving and all you'll get to eat will be... peanuts.

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