Monday, October 17, 2005

Time crawls when you're flying PAL

Places where one could keel over and die of old age while waiting: government offices/agencies, doctor/dentist clinics… and Philippine Airlines Ticketing Offices. After today, I am never buying plane tickets myself again (so this is what people pay travel agents for: to go through this torture for them).

I went to the PAL Cubao branch this morning to pick up my parents’ e-tickets which I purchased online for them (I ask you, what's the use of buying e-tickets if you have to pick them up personally anyway?? paging the freakin' geniuses at PAL!). Like the conscientious idiot I am, I arrived half an hour before the office opened so I’d be one of the first in line. Unfortunately, that only meant I added a half-hour of waiting to the hour and a half before I actually got called to the counter. To think I was in the express line! Imagine the suffering the poor shmucks in the regular lines have to endure. Apparently, it is not enough that PAL is known as “Plane Always Late”, they want to be known for excruciatingly slow service as well. Aside from the looooong ticketing office lines, it is also an extreme test of patience to get through any of their 24-hour hotlines (no matter during which hour out of the 24 you call, you get put on hold for at least 10 minutes listening to annoying recordings), and their online booking service takes days to send a reply to a simple email (public service warning: don't ever be lured into buying e-tickets online-- it's NOT as convenient as it sounds!).

The quality of service of our flag-carrier is a sad reflection of the efficiency of our people. My experience this morning made me wonder whether Filipinos are innately slow, or just really, really tolerant of long waits.

The upside to all this: I racked up some monster Text Twist points while waiting. Booyah.


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