Friday, November 14, 2014

Why you should NOT go to the PAL travel fair this weekend

I'm a travel junkie.  Besides food and shopping, traveling is my next hobby.  But before you go and think that I have unlimited funds, I assure you, I do not.  What I usually do is book early and make the best out of those piso-fare and travel fairs happening whole year round.  Hey, the less money you spend on fares, the more you have for shopping, right?  So when I read that our country's own flag carrier is having a travel fair, I immediately scheduled it on my calendar.  That day was today. 

See the ad above?  That was all it took for me to drag my butt out of bed early, skip work and venture to Macapagal on a Friday morning.  Thanks to Friday traffic, we arrived at 10am.  By then the line was already outside - they had stopped people from going inside for crowd control.  We patiently lined up for about 15 minutes, wondering how long it's going to take before we can actually step foot inside the Banking Hall.  You see, after the line outside, you'll proceed inside to line up again.  And after the line inside, you'll be directed upstairs, where there is (guess what?)  yup, another line.  Luckily, Mom had to go to the bathroom.  Why lucky?  Because of the way back from the bathroom, she got hold of the flyer with all the "promo rates" for the ongoing travel fair.  This is what it looks like:

International Flight Rates During Lean Season

International Flight Rates During Peak Season

We were supposed to get the tickets to London, and the dates we picked out happens to be part of the peak season.  1 "discounted fare" round trip ticket to London will cost you $1053.  I crossed check this with the current rates on the Philippine Airlines website (without the discount) and it comes out at $1228.  What was supposed to be a 50% discount on fares has just become 15%, according to calculations.  And there is no way I'm going to brave those lines for such a small discount.  Read the ad copy again (first photo) and tell me what's wrong.  Spot it yet?  It says "get 50% off on our domestic and international destination".  GET 50% OFF, not GET UP TO 50% OFF.  Those two words make all the difference.  Why stoop so low, Philippine Airlines?  Do you really have to go that low to dupe all your loyal customers?  Seriously, even if you're not going to give an all-out 50% off, you could at least give something more than 15%.  It's simply not worth it.  So yes, I am therefore boycotting ALL PAL-sponsored travel fairs from now on.  Please, count me out.  I'm better off in one of those legit travel fairs with REAL discounts.

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