A CEBU Pacific flight attendant filed a criminal complaint against a passenger who she said slapped her hours after members of the cabin crew asked the passenger to stow her baggage properly before the takeoff of a Davao-bound plane late last month.
Charged with slander by deed and slight physical injuries before the Davao Assistant Prosecutors Office was Vicenta Tello, a resident of Cotabato City, who was charged Cebu Pacific flight attendant Madel Ty, a cabin crew of Cebu Pacific flight 5J955 from Manila to Davao on July 30.
In a related development, Cebu Pacific Airlines also decided to place Tello under its blacklist of passengers in connection with the incident.
“Cebu Pacific [CEB] extends full support to its Cabin Crew member who today filed charges against the passenger who slapped her on the face upon deplaning from flight 5J955 Manila-Davao last July 30, 2016,” said the airline in a statement sent to members of the media on Wednesday.
The decision came more than a week after the airlines conducted its own investigation of the case.
“Following thorough investigation on this incident, CEB’s Blacklist Committee has decided that the passenger who carried out the assault will not be allowed to board any of CEB’s flights, until further notice,” the airline stated.
“Meanwhile, CEB has yet to receive communication from the passenger involved in this incident. We will welcome any opportunity to further clarify our cabin crew’s primary duties and responsibilities, to prevent similar cases in the future.”
It further stated “CEB affirms its commitment to fully support its staff from any physical or verbal abuse from disruptive passengers. We will continue to provide necessary assistance to our Cabin Crew throughout this case.”
Lawyer JR Mantaring, Cebu Pacific Corporate Affairs officer-in-charge, said earlier that the incident was witnessed by two cabin crew members, a security member and the operator of the (airplane) tube.
The incident went viral on social media after Ty posted photos showing her left cheek, ear and neck still red from what appeared to be a slapping.
Ty said she was the lead cabin crew on Cebu Pacific flight 5J955 from Manila to Davao last July 30 when the female passenger got into an altercation with another cabin crew member.
The airline said in an earlier statement that the passenger “had expressed dissatisfaction, prior to departure, at having to stow their baggage appropriately as requested by the cabin crew member.”
“The cabin crew member then assisted the passenger in stowing the baggage in the overhead bin. Stowing cabin baggage in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of the passenger is a safety requirement mandated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.”
In her six-page complaint, Ty also quoted Tello as saying “Nagpapaseatbelt kayo tapos iuutos nyo na ilagay ang bag sa itaas. Your job is to assist passengers. Kumbaga sa bus, mga konduktor kayo! god da** it. Ang babastos.” Ty said she made an apology to the passenger. She also said the passenger mentioned a certain Col. Tello as her husband.
Ty said the slapping incident happened during the disembarkation of passengers.
CEB stood pat that the cabin crew’s primary duty is to ensure the safety and security of its passengers onboard the flight. It added cabin crew members are ready to assist passengers in carrying and properly stowing hand carried bags during boarding and deplaning.
“CEB will always fully support its staff when they have been subject to abuse,” it said.