Another ‘offloading’ incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is making the rounds on social media recently; which involves a woman who was supposed to travel to Singapore as a tourist on June 17.
According to Julianne Dee’s post on her Facebook account on June 18, she was scheduled to board the Cebu-Pacific Flight 5J803 from Manila to Singapore. A photo of her ticket accompanying her post indicated her seat as 9A.
Unfortunately, she was held for nearly an-hour-and-a-half at the Immigration office supposedly for a ‘brief’ interview. Ms. Dee (whose real name as indicated in her ticket is Julie Ann Dela Cruz) claims she spent more than one hour waiting for an Immigration official to finally start the interview.
Every 10-20 minutes, she would remind about her boarding time but would only be told several times: “Saglit lang, ma’am! Iinterviewhin lang naman kayo niyan. Mabilis lang yon!” (Just a moment, ma’am. You will just be interviewed. It will just be quick.)
Ten minutes before boarding time, someone finally accommodated her and started going over the required documents. Five minutes before the schedule, the Immigration official suddenly demanded proof that the person who invited her in Singapore is a relative.
Since Immigration requirements, according to Ms Dee, only include the invitation letter and ID of the person who invited her (apart from visa, passport and ticket, of course), she presented all the documents. At this point, a Cebu-Pacific representative reminded her the plane door is already closed.
But this supposedly did not stop the Immigration official from demanding more proof and even asked for the birth certificate of Ms. Dee’s grandfather, since the surname Dela Cruz, he said, is fairly common.
“Hindi pa siya nakuntento, biglang nanghingi ng birth certificate o NSO ng lolo ko. Na-shock ako!! Sabi ko yung lolo ko patay na! Tsaka napakaimposible ako yung bibiyahe pero siya yung hinahanapan mo ng papers,” she wrote. (Not contented, the official asked for my grandfather’s birth certificate or NSO. I was shocked. I said my grandfather is dead. Besides, it’s impossible as I am the one who will be traveling and they’re asking for his papers.)
“Ang sabi ko naman, pag binigyan ba kita ng birth certificate ng lolo ko nakalagay ba dun na granddaughter nya ako,” she added. (I replied, if I could give you my grandfather’s certificate, would it indicate that I am his granddaughter?)
Ms. Dee lamented over the fact that she was offloaded because the particular official demanded documents that were never mentioned in the Immigration Handbook in the first place. Besides, she said, who, in their right mind, would bring documents of another person, and a dead man at that, other than those required from a traveling person.
But her story does not end there. Her offloading was obviously not her fault; if her story is to be believed. Worse is that when she tried for a re-booking, she claimed she was charged P9,000 by Cebu-Pacific which is more than the price of her original ticket.
The airline supposedly told her the ticket was already trashed after being offloaded by Immigration due to a failed interview.
Ms. Dee named the Immigration official as a certain Ms. Rezano, but failed to get her full name.