Buying airline travel ticket from Cebu Pacific website failed transaction a phishing trick?

Cebu Pacific website transaction screenshotI certainly hope not! That’s what I told techie bro when he raised the possibility of a phishing trick after I unsuccessfully tried many many times to purchase online for Mom’s Bacolod-Manila round trip ticket via Cebu Pacific Air’s online ticketing system last week.

I already used two Visa Electron cards and one MasterCard but to no avail, I got declined status, i.e. failed transaction, for them. Thankfully, our Prague Connection did the ticket purchase the next day using his Mastercard account and the transaction was accepted.

The last week of April was quite busy for the airline site as they were having an ongoing seat sale (from April 25-30 for domestic and international flights), applicable for travel period from June 1 to August 31 from all hubs – Manila, Cebu, Clark and Davao. The ticket prices were incredibly low. Imagine getting a roundtrip Bacolod-Manila ticket for only Php1375! That’s even less than the regular one-way ticket.

With such a huge surge in online traffic sales, I bet I was not the only one who experienced some errors with my booking. My techie bro who owns the MasterCard account even called up his bank. He was advised that nothing’s wrong at their end and it could be Cebu Pacific’s online system. Thankfully, no payment reflected on his account for the denied transaction unlike what happened to him before when he got an error during his online travel ticket purchase from Cebu Pacific website and his bank was charged even if no ticket was bought. Ugh.

Buying airline travel ticket via online sites can be such a convenience but it’s so risky as well! All these failed transactions could make one worry about online security concerns such as phishing particularly with confidential credit card details.

Cebu Pacific website declined transaction screenshot
Two failed transactions in a row!

With last week’s seat sale, Cebu Pacific should have prepared their system to be robust enough for more traffic especially since the promo was only for few days. I hope they would have another travel promo to compensate for the failed online transactions. I already spent so much time trying to get my payment through.

Incidentally, we were able to buy online Cebu Pacific etickets, without any hassles, early this year for our roundtrip flights from Bacolod to Cebu. It’s just frustrating how their system was acting so weird and unreliable during their ongoing seat sale. I was already thinking of buying Mom’s ticket over the counter via travel agent. Thankfully, Prague Connection’s transaction got through and now Mom’s eticket is confirmed and already bought.

Have you encountered similar experience about failed online transactions? Are you confident and comfortable doing shopping and purchasing transactions via the Internet? Do share your ideas and reactions in the comments section! 🙂

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