Thanks for the “free” flight, Philippine Airlines! Now how do I redeem it?

By | March 26th, 2017

When Nathan Thompson’s flight to Manila is subjected to numerous delays, Philippine Airlines promises him a “free” ticket. So why won’t it honor its promise?

Question: I need your help with a problem I’m having with Philippine Airlines. I recently experienced several lengthy delays when I flew from San Francisco to Manila.

Among the issues were inept ground crew, ongoing maintenance problems, inadequate meal and hotel vouchers, and arrogant, condescending staff.

All told, we were delayed by an entire day. In response, Philippine Airlines offered a “free” flight in the form of 64,000 miles as compensation. But that compensation never came.

I’ve tried sending the airline a message on social media, but so far, nothing. Can you persuade Philippine Airlines to honor its promise? — Nathan Thompson, Sacramento, Calif.

Answer: Philippine Airlines should have sent you the “free” ticket immediately, and by “free” ticket I mean a positive-space voucher for a round-trip flight — not miles that may or may not be usable. Not that it matters. Despite your protests on social media, the airline would not send you the promised points.

I would say I’m surprised, but based on your lengthy account of the delay you experienced (edited for brevity) I’d say this was standard operating procedure at Philippine Airlines. To say it’s not the most efficiently run company might be an understatement. The carrier didn’t seem to know “up” from “down” during your delay, which might be a problem when you’re running an airline. The antics continued after your trip, too.

I list the executive contacts for Philippine Airlines on this site. They might have been useful in resolving this.

Related story:   How much is your "free" award ticket costing you?

Even more useful: insisting that Philippine Airlines honor its promise of a “free” flight right then and there. Fortunately, you had something in writing — but still, it’s better to get the actual voucher before you leave the airport. Remember, out of sight is out of mind.

By the way, the miles you would receive are no guarantee of a ticket. Seats booked through a loyalty program are subject to limitations, including seat availability and blackout dates. I sincerely hope that miles will translate into your “free” flight.

Our advocacy team sprang into action when they heard about your day-long delay and Philippine Airlines’ refusal to honor it. We contacted the airline on your behalf, and it issued the 64,000 missing miles. Good luck redeeming them!

  • PsyGuy

    Agree with Chris the LW settled for very little in the form of “miles”, I doubt those miles will get the LW a free seat too.

  • James

    I have my doubts, too — but one minor advantage may be that the miles may be usable on other airlines, whereas a voucher for the airline itself may not be,

  • PsyGuy

    They might be able to work on their partner airlines but there aren’t any big airlines they partner with that are going to be of huge value:
    Etihad Airways
    Cathay Pacific
    Gulf Air
    Malaysia Airlines
    Turkish Airlines

  • Michael__K

    The Phillippines is one of those countries with an air passenger rights law….

    At a glance, it seems to me he is entitled to compensation in cash for the value of the sector(s) delayed 6+ hours.

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