PAL late again

Thanks, but Philippine Airlines is late again.

Many airlines have been cutting their fuel surcharges as early as two or three months ago as prices of crude oil in the world market started to tumble. I delivered a privilege speech at the City Council September 9 urging local airlines to adjust their fuel surcharges in fairness to their passengers.

PAL is heeding this call only now. Just like big oil players, which have been slow in adjusting fuel prices corresponding to the decline in crude prices by more than 50 percent from a high of $147 to $69 per barrel recently, PAL has been shortchanging its passengers.

To add salt to our financial injury, PAL is lowering its fuel surcharges not today but “early next month.”

Oh well if there is highway robbery, then this one is sky robbery!

The Civil Aviation Board should look into this matter. There ought to be a law that should automatically peg the increase and decrease of fuel surcharges to the rise and fall of crude prices in the world market.

This practice of milking passengers with high fuel surcharges when prices of oil and gas are substantially falling is patently criminal.

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3rd in the World

This is another slap on the face of Save Our Skies (SOS) coalition which is opposing the entry of foreign air carriers in the country via the “open skies” regime. SOS raises the bogey that this would kill the domestic airlines.

Well, here’s another proof that SOS is lying like the Palace occupant.

The Philippines ranked 3rd in the world in air travel growth after India and Mexico. Our No. 1 airline Cebu Pacific recorded a whooping 47 percent growth rate. And this happened in spite of four years already of the Clark experiment on “open skies.”

Proves once more that the fears of SOS are unfounded.

See related posts under “Open Skies

(6:20 a.m.)

Hidden cost

Lucio Tan’s airlines have followed the successful seat sales of Cebu Pacific with Air Philippines offering P88 seats. Philippine Airlines has its discounted fares too.

CebuPac started the seats sales war with its popular P1 and now P8 fare.

These prices are, however, misleading. Excluded from this incredible prices are fuel surcharges, insurance and other fees. From P1 as advertised, the actual fare Davao to Manila actually cost passengers more than P2,000.

In Australia, the government is drafting legislation requiring “component pricing” to advertise the final cost. Hidden charges mislead consumers from such fantastic offers.

We need this kind of law too in disclosing the actual price of airfares. We are only fooling ourselves in believing that airfares are as cheap as P1 or P8 or P88.

Here is more to understand Air Fares Aren’t Fair at all.

(5:51 a.m.)