“GetGo” – an almost perfect flight redemption experience
GetGo is the lifestyle loyalty rewards program by Cebu Pacific Air. Yesterday I finished the bookings of our overseas trip in autumn. The only thing which was left to do, was booking the flights from Camiguin to Cebu and back.
When yo live on such a small island like Camiguin you do not have a big choice for travelling. As we’ll leave the Philippines from Mactan-Cebu, I could not choose SkyJet, because they fly to Manila. PALexpress has this silly 10kg prepaid luggage limit. 10 kilograms aren’t much when you travel to a rather fresh country and want to bring tons of pasalubongs. So I chose Cebu Pacific Air. They allow 20kg of prepaid luggage.
Years ago I stopped collecting miles because of a really frustrating experience with Qatar.
I’ll explain this experience at the end of this article. When Cebu Pacific statrted their “GetGo” program, we got the member card because we were and are frequent flyers. At that time we had absolutely no choice. 5J Cebu Pacific Air had been the only company flying to Camiguin. So we slowly started to collect points (miles) flying to Cebu and back. There were also some trips to Manila, Legazpi and Naga City. Four years ago we found the direct flights to Siem Reap in Cambodia as well as flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam. We love these places.
Because the “GetGo” member website is so comfortable, we automatically earned miles and more miles. It is comfortable because almost all our data is stored in this application. Booking a flight takes less than 5 minutes and a few clicks. Only credit card information has to be entered for security reasons.
So I logged in to the “GetGo” website and started my redemption. I was impressed my the smoothness of the booking and the quick response time. After 4 minutes I had our 4 flights, all with 20kg of checked luggage. I only had to pay now. I was aware that the quoted fares (in points) were exclusive airport taxes and fees. This had been fine-print lines on the very first page. But fuel surcharge and webadmin fee are both imposed by the airline and not by the government. Fortunately I know that I am living in the Fee-lippines.
Because of these taxes and fees I had to add some pesos to my points. With a credit card it’s no problem. But if you collect points without a credit card, you have to hurry. “GetGo” allows you exactly 24 hours to pay the missing amount at a CEB office or a cash point. Otherwise you loose your reservation and the spent points are booked back to your account.
- Book as early as possible.
For the flights in September we had to shell out 3700 points each. The flights in October did cost only 1400 points. There are only few seats available for redemption. The value of one point can therefore be between 37 centavos and 1 peso.
- Have an eye on your points level.
The current number of points is always updated (decreased) by any booking or add-on you enter. It is displayed on the right side of your screen.
- Think of these @§##??@! taxes and fees.
This notorious extra charges make a calculation almost impossible.
- A positive surprise.
It seems that “GetGo” points do not have an expiry date. Since I get my periodical updates from CEB, I never had been informed that some of my earned points will expire by a date in the near future. I hope I did now not wake up sleeping wolves.
- Create Shares and Circles.
You can create a pool of family members or friends with “GetGo”. Up to seven (7) people can put their earned points into a common pool. You then can quickly offer a flight to one of the members. Make him or her smile.
- Keep looking for promos.
Yes, you can also book promo flights with your “GetGo” points. Promos make your smile even brighter.
My overall rating of the “GetGo” program by Cebu Pacific Air is 9 out of 10. It is easy to use and really customer friendly. If you often fly in the Philippines, sign up with “GetGo”. You get a discount of about 6%.
As promised in the second paragraph above , I tell you briefly the story of my Qmiles (Qatar miles).
During many years I flew with Qatar. Their business class had been one of the finest. Their executive terminal in Doha made any layover a pleasure. So I earned miles, a lot of miles.
Came the day I wanted to invite my wife for a biz-class trip to Europe. I checked for redemption flights. Aww, all I got were ultra-bad connections in Doha with layovers of up to 23 hours. Impossible!
I then checked the schedules and found the perfect flights. So I tried to book them. But Qatar asked for double and triple miles for these flights.
I got really angry. We booked coach and spent all the miles in the duty-free shop in Doha. Since then I fly with the airline that has the best offer matching my schedule. Being faithful to be milked – no thanks!