IN FAIRNESS TO, IN DEFENSE OF CEBU PACIFIC

Manila, August 12, 2003 (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo  - A character known as Mystica has been all over national television trying very hard (the way I perceived it) to gain public sympathyĖin vain, I must sayĖfor what she described as her "humiliating" experience on a Cebu Pacific flight from Davao last Saturday. She was on Startalk that same afternoon and on The Buzz (live!) and S-Files (taped) Sunday afternoon, as usual trying very (desperately?) hard to gain publicity mileage from that "humiliating" incident, details of which I presume that most of you know by now.

The character known as Mystica has said her piece. Not only because Robina Gokongwei (whose family owns Cebu Pacific) is my friend, I want to present the other side now that that character known as Mystica has said her mouthful.

Here is an eyewitness account by somebody I know (name withheld upon request but will be made available if and when the whole incident ends up in a legal tussle):

Dear Ricky,

Last Saturday, Aug. 9, a person called Mystica talked to Rosanna Roces on live TV through the Startalk program of GMA network. She talked about being degraded by Cebu Pacific Airlines and decided to air it in public right away.

In reference to this, I would like to tell you some facts in defense of Cebu Pacific. First, the Mystica entourage was booked on a later flight to Manila that day but they asked the airline if they could take the earlier flight and the Cebu Pacific graciously allowed them to do so. They were the last boarding passengers on that flight using the Boeing 757 plane which has the business and economy class sections.

The Mystica entourage had purchased economy class tickets so they were supposed to be seated on their assigned economy class seats. Mystica decided to seat herself in the business class section which was not full. Not satisfied with this, her brother decided to change seats also from the economy to the business class. The cabin crew had to tell them to go back to their assigned seats. He complied for a while but decided to change seats again. The cabin crew had to tell them to go back to their assigned seats and this was when all hell broke lose.

Mystica started ranting and raving, shouting, making such a fuss that the pilot had to come out of the cockpit and talk to her. Apparently, she and her brother stood their ground not to go back to their assigned seats. All the captain could say was that they should put on their seat belts so that her ravings would stop because he had to go and land the plane but she would be reported as an unruly passenger. I forgot to mention that all this happened during flight.

After landing, the Cebu Pacific ground personnel was waiting for her and this was the time she called Rosanna Roces. The airport police was also there but they did not arrest her. They were merely there as back-up if any untoward incident would occur for there was a report of an unruly passenger. She bragged about reporting all this fuss to the media and suing the airline, calling her lawyer.

They went to the airport police headquarters and argued there for four hours. She wanted a public apology from the crew of the airline so that she would not sue (for what, I donít know). The crew did not concede, telling her to sue if she wanted to. In the end it was she who conceded and said, "Ayusin na lang natin ito".

In this times of airline bombings, terrorism, etc. the crew was only following standard procedures and protocol. People should not put themselves in a VIP position, thinking they could get away with anything at all. And even VIPs go through and follow procedures. If Mystica wanted to seat herself in the business section of the plane, why didnít she buy the appropriate ticket? I would think that she could afford it being a celebrity that she thinks she is. She should be thankful she was not handcuffed during flight unlike in some international airlines. She should also be thankful that the plane did not crash during her ranting for every crewís attention was to pacify her.

Thanks,

Mrs. "D"

My comment? If I were an airline employee in charge of security and I didnít know this character known as Mystica, first thing Iíd do is bar her from the flight. Why? For three reasons, to wit:

l. She wears her red nails too long (more than two inches) that Iíd consider them a "security risk" because they look to me like deadly weapons. She could gorge out your eyes if provoked, you know, or even if not.

2. She wears heels this high that those, too, I would classify as deadly weapons. (She admitted on The Buzz that she at first refused to take off those dreadful shoes as part of pre-boarding safety check.)

3. She can cast a murderous look at you far more intensely than any terrorist can.

Luckily, Iím not an airline security/safety employee. But as a frequent flyer, Iím wondering: Was it the first time that character known as Mystica rode a plane? If not, how come she didnít know the seating procedure?

Thankfully, the Cebu Pacific flight attendant and pilot (bless them!) didnít politely ask her to "split" out of the plane, she being noted (notorious?) for her "splitting" talent.

If I were the flight attendant or the pilot...well, she should thank her lucky stars I wasnít!

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph )


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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