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Saturday, January 11, 2020

How to Refund Your Airport Terminal Fee?

Are you someone who gets excited during seat sales from Cebu Pacific, books a flight immediately but finds out later on that you cannot make the trip or flight because of an emergency or a sudden change of plans? 

Well, I am guilty. In fact, it happened twice already. 

Just like last December 2018, I was able to book roundtrip tickets from Bacolod to Davao for only Php 600+ for July 2018 (7 months in advance) but later on canceled due to workload. (boo!) 

I know that it's just a small amount but getting it refunded is very much welcome. Unfortunately, the cancellation fee or the rebooking fee (if allowed) is much higher compared to the purchase price, which means it is more practical if you just forfeit the ticket and let it go. 

If you are lucky, there are instances that Cebu Pacific also has sudden changes in their flight schedule or cancellations. If these cancellations are initiated from their end, this makes you eligible for a full refund of the ticket price, however, if you're the one who canceled, then technically there will be no refund.  

But wait....  not everything is lost. :)  

Many of us forget that our airline tickets for domestic flights already include terminal fees in the amount that we paid during booking. Terminal fees are collected by Cebu Pacific at the time of booking and payment of flights on behalf of the airport authorities for the use of the terminal facilities. This means that since we did not take the flight, we are actually NOT required to pay the terminal fee. 

According to Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), passengers with unused Cebu Pacific (CEB) and CebGo tickets from Feb. 1, 2015, to the present may refund their terminal fees.

Based on my experience, I was able to refund the terminal fee for my canceled July 2018 Cebu Pacific trip in full and with no administrative charges. I have yet to check if we can also do this with PAL. 

Anyway, here's how you can request/ process the refund of your terminal fee: 

Option # 1: Go to the Cebu Pacific website and fill out the Guest Feedback Form
Under the Type of Feedback, select "Request" 
Under Category, select Refund of Taxes for Unused Tickets" 

After submitting all the information, you will receive an email confirmation with a reference number that you can use to follow up. 

Option # 2: Contact the Cebu Pacific hotline at +632 702 0888 for Manila or +6332 230-8888 for Cebu) This is not really advisable due to the long wait time. If you are not based in Manila or Cebu, calling these numbers would also entail long-distance charges.  

Tip: If you have an internet connection, you may also call their US toll-free number via Skype at +1-8555-232722. It is available from 7am-10pm (PH local time), daily. No long-distance charges. :) 

Option #3: Through the Travel Agent where the ticket was purchased. 

To manage your expectations, the processing of refunds usually takes 4-8 weeks. The refund will be made directly to the passenger's credit card, Paypal account, via the travel agent, or in form of cash, depending on the form of payment that was used to purchase the ticket. I was able to get mine after a month while Val's refund is still in the process even though we sent it the same day. 

Please keep in mind that they will only refund this upon request. It would be ideal to request a refund of your terminal fees as soon as you can. 

If you have any experience refunding your terminal fees, feel free to comment below. 

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