The 2013 "Airline of the Year" Award Goes to… Zest Airways!

In an attempt to somehow reunite with my beloved Alma Mater, I joined the Out-of-Classroom-Learning-Activity (OCLA) participated by UP Diliman Tourism students, my friend Erick being one of them. Upon hearing that this year’s OCLA is a CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon tour, I immediately signed up.

Honestly, when I decided to go, I was imagining a stress-free vacation in paradisiacal Camiguin, not caring too much about Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro. Never did I think this was going to be the most stressful trip I ever had in my life.

It all started pretty smooth: straight after doing night shift at the office, I hung out at the Early Bird Breakfast Club and Bugsy’s in The Fort while waiting for my 5:40am flight. After a couple of beers, I headed to NAIA Terminal 4 to meet up with Tourism friends. We checked in, waited, and finally boarded, but a few hours after…

… we arrived BACK IN MANILA!

The culprit? Zest Airways! We were unable to land in CDO because of the foul weather; we just hovered for a couple of minutes above the clouds, desperately hoping that the storm would vanish in an instant! When it didn’t, the captain decided to fly to Mactan instead. The same thing happened in Cebu! Dizzy with too much turbulence, I fell asleep and when I woke up, I was back in Pasay City!

Not a Zest Air fan. Not a hater, either. *sweet smile*
We deplaned and scattered around Terminal 4 like poor, miserable evacuees. You’d think Zest Air would be quick to address the problem, but no, we waited there for almost 5 hours just to be informed that we would be flying the next morning!

Erick: "Will I ever fulfill my dream of seeing the White Island?"

Erick trying to be bright and sunny, assuring me we will get there ... someday.
So basically, I was in the sky for 3 hours for a supposedly 1-hour flight, then I waited in the airport for 5 hours to get my ticket for the next day, and effectively, lost one day off my vacation.

Paradise, right?

What else is there to do but take random pictures?

To add insult to injury, I have already paid my CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon tour in full (STUPID ME!), so that’s added stress for refund issues.

(In addition, the OCLA organizers weren’t quick to response to problems as well. They were incredibly helpless that I was tempted many times to just leave and threaten their lives and demand for refunds. Oh wait, I was just a saling-pusa in this OCLA. Besides, this is a blog, not a school reflection paper!)

FORTUNATELY, the next day, everything became bright and sunny and we were able to land in Cagayan de Oro successfully! Yes, our Zest Air plane, which had no air-conditioning until about halfway through the trip, landed successfully—omigod, congratulate them! We landed alive as well! Yipee!

Dance for Joy: rejoicing that we arrived ALIVE in CDO!
mandatory airport pic
Hey, I just read that Zest Airways operations have been suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority because of safety violations. Missing fuel caps, fuel overflow, defective flight controls, missing personnel licenses—kind of makes me want to throw a huge party right now and celebrate my prolonged life and the end of Zest Airways.

Luckily, Camiguin salvaged the entire trip. But that's for another blog post! Tune in for the next posts in the "CDO-Camiguin Series":

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