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RTC orders Cebu Pacific to pay ₱2 million to passenger

Aviation Updates Philippines - The Pasay City Regional Trial Court ordered Cebu Pacific to pay a total of ₱2 million for moral and exemplary damages to Rev. Magnolia Nova Mendoza, who suffered Psoriasis four years ago.

Cebu Pacific Air planes in Terminal 3
(PHOTO) Cebu Pacific Air

According to the ABS-CBN News Channel, Mendoza was an ordained minister and professor at the Silliman University Divinity School. Mendoza supposedly took her 8:50 a.m. Dumaguete to Manila flight on March 11, 2010.

"Meron tayong trauma, every time sasakay ng eroplano, naku baka ma-bump off na naman ako," Mendoza told ABS-CBN. "We need to evaluate the case properly, check if we have overlooked facts, and see if there are other points of law which can still be exploited," Cebu Pacific Vice President for Corporate Communications Juan Lorenzo Tañada said.

What really happened? 

The check-in personnel did not allow Mendoza to board the plane because of the rashes on her face due to Psoriasis. However, Psoriasis is not a communicable disease; it only shows scaly patches in different parts of the body whenever you're infected.

"It is defendant's policy not to require the presentation of a medical certificate for its passengers afflicted with psoriasis. However, it appears that defendant's check in agent do not know." Edwin R. Ramizo, a judge said in a 39-page decision.

"When an airline issues a ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular flight on a certain date, a contract of carriage arises, and the passenger has every right to expect that he would fly on that flight and on that date. If he does not, then the carrier opens itself to a suit for breach of contract of carriage," the judge said.

However, Cebu Pacific Officials booked her for an afternoon flight without additional expenses as long as she could give a medical certificate before she could be allowed to fly. Finally, Mendoza was allowed to fly that afternoon, but let her sign a Special Handling Form.

Mendoza's victory is also a victory for passengers who suffered psoriasis. "I am thankful for the decision. I hope this will be a lesson for CebuPac [Cebu Pacific] and for all psoriasis sufferers to fight for their rights." Mendoza told dzMM.

This victory is not only for her, but for all air travelers who suffered Psoriasis and was rejected for the flight. Meanwhile, the International Federation of Psoriasis Association Treasurer Josef de Guzman also lauded the decision.

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