Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Zest Air - Marinduque Flight

Zest Air (former Asian Spirit) is known for bad reviews. But despite that January fiasco at the Caticlan runway, we still booked flights with Zest Air last February for Holy Week since it's the only airline going to Marinduque and we didn't want to compete with the ferry crowd at the Lucena Port.

We didn't expect much for the P1k fares but were surprised (and happy) that it wasn't that bad too.

Of course, contacting their Reservations Hotline can be quite a task. Yes, you may wonder if they only had one phone line to service all incoming calls. And yes, nobody responds to e-mail inquiries from their end. Still, if you call the Reservations Office around 8 AM< you're more likely to get connected to an agent.

Calling to reconfirm flights is very important. The flight schedule for Marinduque supposedly leaves at 6 AM from Manila but after reconfirming, it has been moved to 8 AM. We were asked to board the plane at around 8:20 AM (so yeah, the general airport practice of checking-in two hours before departure time sucks, especially for planes that are as small). I miss the one-hour grace period of old (for domestic flights, that is).

Zest Air was handing out free flavored water at the airport, and I liked the Apple one.

Anyway, the trip takes around 30 minutes only. The plane used to fly us can accommodate 30 passengers. No snacks were served (unless maybe for those holding P3k tickets? because I did see the stewardess with a tray carrying three juice packs?). The seating is a little cramped but for a short flight, it's negligible inconvenience. The air conditioning was working, I didn't hear of complaints about dripping water, and any of the others i've been warned about.

The runway in Marinduque is short and non-smooth so we really felt it when our pilot landed the plane. But it wasn't so bad and i've seriously had worse jeep and cab rides.

The crew were friendly and accommodating. They were the ones that offered my son a chance to meet the pilots, and the pilots were more than happy to have him sit in the cockpit (son didn't want to let go of Mommy though).

Terminal Fee at the old domestic airport is P200. It's just P20 at the Marinduque airport but you also pay a service fee of P50 per passenger for the Zest Air agents there.

The return trip was just as uneventful. And we're planning on flying to Marinduque again in May... and Boracay in July. So shall I recommend the airline to others? Absolutely, if they can afford to be realistic with their expectations and really want to cut on travelling costs.


Nedekcir said...

I was born in Marinduque, however I hardly go back there. My parents, siblings and other relatives still lives there. I heard so much complained about going there during holidays. Vacationers always complain but nothing is being done about it. I hope they will to boost up the tourism in the island.

I hope your family had a wonderful time, nonetheless.

David B Katague said...

I agree that sometimes, it is hard to connect via telephone to the Zest air office in Marinduque. But the short flight is worth it. If you watch for promo fares, it is even cheaper that the door to door service. My family spent six of the year in Boac( so this air service is god send.

Clarence said...

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igan said...

Good to know you enjoyed your Zest Air experience. I agree that their cabin crew are quite professional, they're always ready to serve with a smile. However, our recent flight from Kalibo to Manila wasn't that perfect. Upon claiming our baggages, we saw our bags wet! At first we thought maybe it is only due to the heavy rains, but after picking up our luggages, we found out that our bags are not just wet but they are fishy wet!! it was as if they were soaked in PATIS or BAGOONG! worse was after following up our complaint, we learned that for cases of lost and damaged baggages, Zest Air would only pay 40pesos per kilo if ever they have proven it is really their fault. According to their customer service manager, the initiative of informing them about the worth of our baggages should have come from us. She said we should have declared it beforehand. Great customer service isnt it? We then have to wait for ten days for them to finish their investigation and get to know their response.

Mec said...

IGAN... i'm so sorry that happened to you guys... and actually, our flight to/from Kalibo was also not as smooth and wonderful as the ones we had to/from Marinduque

Unknown said...

ahm anung # ng reservations nyo?????and How much poh?????

Mec said...

jeffrey.... go to the Zest Air website po :) I am not from Zest Air, I jsut reviewed their flight...

Ito said...

Most of the comments or experiences are way back. At present, how experience?

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