An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who reported a dubious money request regarding her excess baggage for her flight to Thailand last week has resulted in the placement of an agent at an airline’s check-in counter on preventive suspension.
According to a report by Vonne Aquino on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday, Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s flag carrier, said it is looking into the incident and will take the necessary legal action after learning about Maryclair Reyes’ social media post in which she claimed the check-in agent tried to convince her to send the excess baggage payment to their personal bank account.
“For now, the concerned check-in agent has been placed on preventive suspension, and we are working with Macro Asia (the agent’s employer and our service provider at NAIA Terminal 2) to enforce PAL’s strict policies against any form of fraud or irregularities, and to prevent any recurrence,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.
“Rest assured that we do not tolerate the necessary actions to protect our customers and safeguard the integrity of all our operations,” she added.
Reyes claimed that she was asked to pay P11,000 for her excess baggage of 12 kilos as she was only allowed 30 kilos while checking in for her flight to Thailand on Thursday afternoon.
“Sabi niya, ‘Ma’am, okay lang na magbayad kayo ng ganitong halaga?’ Ipinakita niya sa akin ‘yung phone niya… Nakita ko na lang P11,000. Sabi ko ‘Ha? P11,000?… Ang kaya ko lang P5,000’,” she said.
This was when Reyes handed her a paper napkin with a personal bank account number written on it.
“Inabot niya ‘yung boarding pass sa akin… Doon sa likod ng boarding pass, may tissue… ‘Dito niyo na lang po ilagay sa account ko’,” she said.
Reyes said she was allowed to enter the immigration area despite not paying the fees, but the check-in agent approached her even as she was already at the boarding gate.
When she asked if she could only pay P2,000, the agent replied that they would have to call and meet with their supervisor. The agent then walked away, and Reyes boarded the plane without paying the fees.
“Sa mga OFW na katulad ko, maging aware, malaman, alamin kung anong mga karapatan natin… ‘Yung mga proseso na paano mo babayaran hindi basta sa tissue lang,” she said.
“This was attempted fraud and (passenger) refused because she knew it was unusual to be asked to forward payment to a personal account. That of the check-in agent… Eventually, the agent did not insist and processed flight check-in of (passenger),” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.
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