“You need a credit card to avail of our promo fare.” - this is the explanation of the AirPhilippines call center representative when I asked them why I can't book for their 888-peso promo flight. This answer made me feel frustrated and caused me to book online at Cebu Pacific airline.
My beloved ask me to help her book a flight from Iloilo to Davao last month. She specifically told me that I book the cheapest flight that I could find because her budget is limited. The flight is for her parents (and my future in laws), who are now going home for their short vacation from Iloilo. Following her instructions strictly, I searched for cheap flights from all the budget airlines in the Philippines. I am fortunate to find an 888-peso promo fare from AirPhilippines, which prompted me to book through the AirPhilippines website. Everything is OK until I reached the “Payment Options” page where I discovered that the only available payment option is through credit card. The bad thing is that I don't have a credit card because I avoid having one.
I called the AirPhilippines hotline to book the 888-peso promo flight. The call center representative told me that I am not allowed to reserve for 888-peso promo fare. Only the regular (and more expensive) fares are the only available ones available for those who doesn't have credit cards.
AirPhilippines promo fares are not open for the general public. I believe that this is the reason why AirPhilippines lags behind Cebu Pacific. AirPhilippines promo fares are only available to credit card users while Cebu Pacific promo fares can be availed by anyone. Cebu Pacific allows anyone to book their cheapest fares and still give them the chance to pay through credit card or payment centers like LBC and Banco de Oro.
It is understandable that AirPhilippines is reducing the risk of unpaid booking reservations for its promo fares. This is the possible reason why they only allow credit card users to avail the AirPhilippines promo fares. This is good protection for the airline but it causes frustrated clients like me to book flights in Cebu Pacific.