Last year, several blogs pointed out the issue regarding Cebu Pacific’s lopsided policy regarding deaf passengers, which involves no less than two incidents, one in April in a flight to Caticlan, and another in December in a flight to Cebu, involving several deaf passengers.
Through the efforts of blogger Kevin Ray Chua, the issue caught the attention of Senator Mar Roxas, who sent a letter to Cebu Pacific asking them to explain the above incidents.
Finally, Cebu Pacific’s Guest Services Head Ivan Gaw was kind enough to respond regarding the said issue:
This incident had been an eye opener also for our company. With this incident, we revised our procedures for carriage of Deaf passengers and still not compromising safety. Since July 2008, Cebu Pacific accepts unlimited number of unescorted Deaf/ Mute guests in all of our aircrafts provided that they shall be properly briefed by our Cabin Attendants about safety, the use of seatbelt, oxygen mask, life vest, route to the nearest exit, etc. The only condition is that they must not be seated at any emergency exit rows.
I’m also happy to inform you that we are coordinating with the group of Sir Nonoy Concha and party for an awareness seminar about proper handling of passengers with disabilities. We are targeting mid-February. We also would want to include our learning’s from this awareness seminar to the front line training program. I am constantly in loop with them.
Rest assured that it’s not the intention of Cebu Pacific to discriminate anybody. We value all of our guest irregardless of gender, status, and condition. [Filipino Deaf from the Eyes of a Hearing Person]
Kudos to Cebu Pacific for their policy changes! I hope that this will set an example not only in the airline or transport industry, but to all industries and service providers, in understanding and handling the needs not only of the deaf but other persons with disabilities.