Advances in airline online booking

After introducing an air ticket booking service that’s completely online and automated, Cebu Pacific has introduced new features into their Web-based reservation system. This is one thing that I’ve long been pining for ever since I started using this airline’s Web site: the facility to not only book tickets but reserve seats as well. And now they have it.

Booking for my flight to Manila in October, I noticed that the Web site’s interface had undergone slight changes — some layout changes and minor improvements in the user interface. Then I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with the Seat Selector screen (screen capture below).

It’s pretty neat! But, it’s a premium service — meaning, it ain’t free. After choosing my preferred seats, I noticed an extra charge of P448 on my total airfare. Oh well. Anyway, reserving seats isn’t compulsory. But at least passengers now have a choice, especially people who are particular about seating, like me.

Another change that I’ve noticed is an option to prepay for excess baggage. I find it deplorable that Cebu Pacific lowered the baggage allowance to 15kg per passenger on domestic flights, and this new online service doesn’t really alleviate the pain. However, I do appreciate it that the airline has put in place this measure that makes it less of a hassle for passengers to check in.

CebuPacificAir.com also now has a way for passengers to donate to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines). To quote: “Your donation will be used to support the WWF-Philippines climate adaptation work in Mindoro. The amount is based on the estimated carbon dioxide emission versus the actual flight distance being purchased.”

Kudos to Cebu Pacific!

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10 Responses to “Advances in airline online booking”

  1. MiGs says:

    Finding my preferred seat has been a nightmare for me… that’s why i always arrive early at the airport to be able to get the seat that i want… With Leg room, beside the window, and before the plane’s wing hahahahhaha

    see!

    Now, with this tool.. i will not have to worry about having my preferred seat whenever i travel!

    yey! Yey!

  2. Blogie says:

    I’ll get to see this 3Oct how efficiently this seat reservation system works when I check in… nerd

  3. Randy C says:

    BUT have they fixed their foreign credit card issue? The one that makes it impossible to book online with a US credit card, but they don’t tell you what the problem is?

    Any improvements are appreciated, though.

  4. Blogie says:

    @Randy C — Don’t know about that. Actually, I’m also having a problem using my UnionBank EON card there.

  5. Blogie says:

    I made a mistake when I made that booking. The part about paying for excess baggage, it’s not that after all… Apparently, another way for Cebu Pacific to keep their fares low is to remove the baggage allowance entirely! So when you book a flight, you choose from three options for your check-in baggage: 5kg, 10kg or 15kg, and you can pay in advance for the weight allowance. Hmmm… I’m not sure how passengers will take to this.

  6. BongSeg says:

    I’m not very picky on seat assignment as long as it’s next to the window. I always get it when I ask, being a handicap also has it’s “perks” I almost always try to use it in things like being the first to board the plane, priority in checking in, less hassles in inspections/baggage search (yes can be a bit lenient to handicap people)

  7. Jon Limjap says:

    Hmmm, baggage weight issues would likely mean that I have to get a UMPC/netbook instead of lugging my laptop around. :(

  8. Blogie says:

    @Jon Limjap — Hi there. I don’t think hand-carried items will matter: they won’t be considered excess baggage. :)

  9. Charles F says:

    That is not true, I tried booking flights all day long one time and it kept on giving me a Credit card decline. I used at least 3 cards and they all got declined and one time, I thought it was successful because I got a confirmation and total cost from the CC company, but when I called them, Their response is that they declined it because they do not have the capabilities to authenticate any CC transactionss here in the US. WHAT a WASTE of MONEY in their banking and financial systems. SOOOO Backwards.

  10. MiGs says:

    Koya Charkes,

    Dito sa office namin, maraming nag bo-book online – using credit cards. and wala naman kaming nagiging problem.

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