PAL warns travelers against buying ‘cheap’ tickets online

October 07, 2018
Philippine Airlines

IF you are buying Philippine Airlines (PAL) tickets make sure you transact at PAL ticket offices and with accredited travel agents only. 

Yesterday PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna warned the public against buying “cheap” airline tickets being sold by scam artists on social media sites such as Facebook.

According to Villaluna, the scheme involves bulk-buying of tickets that are then sold at low rates via social media sites.

“Individuals who are enticed to purchase these tickets are eventually informed that the tickets are in the name of fictitious people. The buyers are then offered fake IDs for presentation at airport check-in,” Villaluna added.

PAL express head of security Rear Admiral Jorge Amba said the number of passengers caught using fake IDs increased over the past months and that as of October 5, 2018, a total of 68 apprehensions were made in different airports around the country, with a particular concentration in Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Bacolod and Clark.

“Since the tickets were bought online in bulk under different (fake) names, passengers who bought cheap round-trip tickets were also supplied with fake IDs by the sellers.  Our airport front liners are trained to distinguish counterfeit IDs so that if you presented a fake ID, you will surely miss your flight and will have tons of problems,” Amba added.

Apprehended passengers using fake IDs can be charged with violation of the  Revised Penal Code, particularly  Article 178 or ‘Using Fictitious Name and Concealing True Name’ which carries a penalty of one month jail term and Article 172 or ‘Falsification of Public Documents with the corresponding penalty of two to six years of imprisonment.

The law has been in existence for decades, but advancement in technology and social media has enabled these fraud schemes to flourish, Amba said.

Thus, he said individuals who patronize the scam are warned and advised to buy their (own) tickets from PAL ticket offices and accredited travel agents only.

Villaluna said PAL’s airport frontliners are highly trained to identify counterfeits and that to avoid hassles and serious legal trouble, “we are advising the public not to deal with scammers on social media.”