While AirAsia is widely credited for revolutionizing air travel in mainland Southeast Asia, in the Philippines, that honor has always been held by the country’s largest airline, Cebu Pacific Air.
For the longest time, the phrase low-cost carrier had been synonymous with Cebu Pacific. They might have even coined the term “piso fare,” any mention of which is sure to get any budget traveler excited. For years, Cebu Pacific has brought flying closer to more Filipinos. We know this because our blog, in its early years, was powered mostly by these piso fares!
In fact, we flew Cebu Pacific on our very first trip as bloggers. We were able to snag a roundtrip ticket from one of their seat sales. Back then, there weren’t that many additional fees. Promo tickets back then cost no more than P100. Today, Cebu Pacific continues their tradition of making air travel more affordable. Although I sometimes find their year-round fares pricier than other airlines’, what I like about CEB is that when they say they’re giving away big discounts, they mean it. They don’t slash just a few hundred pesos and call it a massive sale for PR. When they do it, they do it with a BANG.
If you’ve been trying to score Cebu Pacific promo fares but always fail to pin down any, it’s time to sit down and check if you’re doing it right. Here are some tips!
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Understanding Piso Fare Sales
Airline promos are legit. They’re not trying to fool you when they announce a sale but you can’t find any promo seats. The problem is, it’s getting tougher and tougher to snag them because thousands of people are gunning for a limited number of seats.
- Only a limited number of seats are put on sale. If it’s not obvious, the number of seats on a plane is not infinite. And as much as we would love for airlines to put all of them on sale, it’s just not gonna happen because they need to make a profit too! If you’re a big group and you want to be on the same flight, good luck with that.
- Published rates often refer to BASE FARES only. Base fares are the costs of the seat, minus all the government taxes, terminal fees, and other surcharges. Base fares are the biggest chunk of the price that are actually within the airline’s control. When Cebu Pacific says PISO FARE, what they mean is that the base fare is only P1. Add all the taxes and other fees, and that’s the total amount that you need to settle to complete your booking.
- You need to be early. It’s first come, first served. Even when the selling period lasts several days, don’t expect to see promo fares on the last few days. Chances are, others might have already booked those precious seats way before you. The good news is, Cebu Pacific now makes SOLD OUT announcements.
- You need to be fast. Each customer is given only a limited time to book per session. The specific seat you’re eyeing might be gone in a matter of minutes (or seconds).
Be the First to Know about Seat Sales
The first step to grabbing a promo fare is knowing when the sale is going to be.
- Like Cebu Pacific Air on Facebook. Seat sales are usually announced on Facebook first.
- Like THE POOR TRAVELER on Facebook. Yep! We always announce major seat sales and promos not just by Cebu Pacific but other airlines as well. If you really want to make sure you don’t miss the sale, prioritize our posts on your News Feed. To do that, simply visit The Poor Traveler FB page, hover on the FOLLOWING button. On the list of options that will be revealed, choose SEE FIRST.
Things to Prepare Before the Sale
Booking a promo fare is like going to war. Haha. Thousands of hungry bargain-hunters will be fighting for a very limited number of seats. Prepare for battle!
- A fast, reliable internet connection. The faster the connection, the better. Airline’s websites slow down during sale because of the sheer number of people and having a sucky connection would make matters worse. Fortunately, Cebu Pacific’s website has improved drastically over the past few years. It’s actually much easier to book now and you can see multiple dates at once, unlike before. Even at peak moments, downtimes rarely happen.
- A Cebu Pacific Air/GETGO account. GetGo is Cebu Pacific’s loyalty/rewards program, and being a member has its own perks. If you have a GetGo account, you won’t need to type your personal and credit card details when booking a flight. Time is very important during a seat sale. Having an account will save you time and effort. Some sales are also exclusive to GetGo members; some give them early access or early notification.
- Your travel details. Your target destination, travel dates, and preferred time.
- Your PLAN B details. In case your first choice isn’t available anymore, having an alternative destination or date ready will make the process go more smoothly. It will help to check the number of promo seats available. The list is usually posted on the promo page of the website hours before the actual sale. This will help you see which routes have more discounted seats, hence more chances of getting promo tickets.
- Your companion’s personal details. These include their full name and birth date. Usually, passport number isn’t a required field. You may also ask your companion their seat (aisle or window) and meal preferences beforehand.
- Lots of patience. Booking promo flights isn’t easy. It takes a lot of patience and determination, hahaha. When the site crashes or your connection fumbles, don’t give up easily. Just keep your game face on!
How to Book
- Visit Cebu Pacific Air’s official website: www.cebupacificair.com.
- Choose your origin, destination, travel dates, and number of travelers. Book by small batches. This is one thing I have proven so many times. When you book for so many people at once, the site doesn’t display promo fares. But when you book for just one or two people, you can have that same flight (same plane, same day, same time).
- Click SEARCH. If there are too many people accessing the site, you will be asked to wait.
- Choose your flights. Once you make it through to the results page, you can choose the flight. You can also scan other dates. The lowest fare is displayed just below the date (tab label). Once you find a promo fare on a date that you want, click on the price and choose your add-ons. You may choose to add a check-in baggage allowance and/or meals. Then click CONTINUE (the blue button on the lower right corner of the screen).
- Enter the details of each traveler. They will need your full names, birth dates, and nationality. Click CONTINUE.
- Choose your add-ons. (optional). These include additional baggage allowance, seat preference, meals, and insurance (TravelSure). Click CONTINUE.
- Review the booking details.
- Pay. You can pay via credit card, debit card, Paypal, or AliPay.
That’s it! Once the payment is accepted, you’ll receive the itinerary and confirmation in your email.