Vice Ganda Calls Out PAL Over Delayed, ‘Overbooked’ Flight; Airline Cites ‘Unserviceable’ Seats
The comedian contested the airline’s explanation that the flight was not overbooked, saying it was what their staff told her in Bangkok.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) was called out by “It’s Showtime” host and comedian Vice Ganda for an allegedly delayed and overbooked flight to Manila late on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The comedian expressed her frustration in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter). She was on a business class flight aboard PAL’s PR 737 from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Grabe ka @flyPAL!!! Grabeng pangaabala at perwisyo ang dinulot mo sa masaya sanang trip na ito!!! Bakit kayo ganyan??? Ilang beses nyo kaming pinaranas ng overbooking sa puntong di nakasakay ang kasama namin. Ngayon ako naman ang nawalan ng upuan, (PAL caused such a huge hassle for what was supposed to be a happy trip! Why are you guys like that? In the past, me and my friends have already experienced overbooking, and one of them was even offloaded. Now, it’s me who has lost a seat!) ” Vice lamented.
The comedian described PAL’s service as “napakapanget” (very ugly). In a follow-up post, she also reminded the airline of the stress that overbooking causes for paying customers who can end up being offloaded.
“May damdamin pa ba kayo ng malasakit para sa pasahero? Pera pera? (Do you even feel any concern for your passengers? Or is it just for money?)” Vice said.
Vice recalled running through the airport just to reach the flight, which she almost missed due to the incident. She added her partner Ion Perez had been waiting for her by the airplane’s door as he was not willing to leave without her.
PAL immediately responded to Vice’s post. It first apologized to the comedian, adding that were already investigating the issue with its Bangkok station after retrieving her booking details.
“Your concerns about overbooking have not gone unnoticed. We are here to assure you that we take your feedback to heart and are committed to looking into this matter immediately,” PAL told Vice on X.
Hours later, the carrier clarified the flight was not overbooked. But rather, two business class seats were deemed “unserviceable” and were “
“As a result, you were among the passengers offered a seat downgrade to economy class, a decision made to ensure safety and the operational integrity of the flight,” PAL said, again apologizing to Vice.
The airline said two other passengers eventually accepted their offer to downgrade to economy class. This supposedly allowed Vice to return to the business class seats she booked.
Vice, however, contested the carrier’s statements. “Hindi yan ang sinabi sakin sa counter! Ang sabi ng staff (That was not what was told to me in the counter! What the staff told me was) ‘THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED AND MY SEAT WAS GIVEN TO ANOTHER PASSENGER’,” she stressed early on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
In another post, she reiterated that PAL’s system replaced the happy memories from the trip with stress and sadness. She lamented that if the airline cared better for customers, travel would have been happy instead.
Alongside her It’s Showtime co-hosts, Vice is on a temporary break after the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board’s (MTRCB) 12-day suspension for the noontime show took effect last Oct. 12.
After a trip with co-hosts to Hong Kong last week, Vice and Ion had a separate trip to Thailand, based on the latter’s Instagram posts.
PAL has yet to respond to Vice’s most recent post.
But on its website, the carrier explained that overbooking is an industry practice as a “buffer for confirmed passengers who do not show up for their flights.” In the event of an overbooking, carrier personnel would ask volunteers to give up confirmed reservations for rewards offered by them.
“In case there are not enough volunteers, confirmed passengers who are denied boarding may be entitled to compensatory payment in accordance with Carrier's Tariffs,” their conditions of contract page reads.