Thursday, June 9, 2011

Zero Plane Fare: Is it worth it?

Cebu Pacific had announced yesterday in their website that they are offering ZERO fare to all domestic and international destinations up to June 10 or until seats last. I have always seen this advertisements but somehow haven't really availed of it. It's either all those zero fare seats are already sold out (maybe they just offered 1 or 2 seats per flight and were already taken by friends of Cebu Pac employees who have advanced info?) or you get a zero fare one way but have to pay full fare on your return trip or vice versa.

This time, I tried again hoping against hope to get one. I tried booking for November on my daughter's birthday on the 29th. As I am sure very popular destinations like Boracay or Coron would be sold out already, I tried a not so known, but very good, destination: Dumaguete City. I tried the Saturday to Wednesday (Nov. 26 - 30) sked. Saturday does not have the zero fare but the Wednesday still has some. I tried the Sunday leaving for Dumaguete and voila it still has zero fare seats. Not knowing much about the place, I booked seats for my wife, daughter and me. Well getting there is half the fun, eh and I still have much time to research about the place.

So, how much did the zero fare seat really cost? Let's have a breakdown of the hidden fees:

The zero fare actually costs P1,164.00. Well, it's still a good deal if you have time to spend on weekdays and besides, November 30 is a holiday. To cut on costs, I did not include baggage allowances for my two girls and instead, will share the 20 kilos check-in luggage I alloted for myself. Their fares amounted to P664 each or P1,328 for the two of them. Our total fare would cost us a whopping P2,492.00 for a return trip to Dumaguete City or about P830 per person making it about the same cost as taking an airconditioned bus to Baguio City.

Well, I still have to make an itinerary for our travel to CDO - Camiguin this August, which I got from Air Philippines at a whopping P2,658 (P886/pax). And the good thing about Air Philippines is that each of us has 15 kilos baggage allowance (as if we're planning to buy 1 sack of rice there, ha ha ha) which would comparatively be cheaper than the zero fare of Cebu Pacific.

We only started flying around the Philippines when we got back from Australia in 2006. We also got hooked to those promo fares while living in Brisbane. We took the Pacific Blue going to Auckland, New Zealand and JetStar to Melbourne.

Thanks a lot for the air fare war, as Cebu Pac's line go: now every Juan can really fly.

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