The TPC Mark of Ed Vergado (PAL Senior International Ticket Representative)

The “TPC” Mark of Ed Vergado

(PAL Senior International Ticket Representative)

By Apolinario Villalobos

“TPC” stands for Total Passenger Care, a trademark of PAL during its Golden Days under Roman Cruz, Jr. As a “total care”, even inquiring callers and walk-ins were given utmost attention, because they are already considered customers, though with “prospect” status. Most often, though, because of the care given, they eventually, become a full-pledge customer.

The mark of PAL’s excellent service, was again shown by Ed Vergado, a senior International Ticket Representative of Philippine Airlines assigned at the NAIA Terminal 2 ticket office. I witnessed how he offered his cellphone to a passenger, Arturo Albulario, who was in a quandary while trying to contact a friend who was supposed to meet him upon his arrival from Los Angeles.  He was taking a connecting flight to Cebu that morning and the meeting with his friend was very crucial, as time was running out.

With a smile that put Mr. Albulario at ease, Ed even offered to dial the number of the former’s friend for him. In just a few minutes, the friend who was finally contacted rushed inside the ticket office. Both were profuse in showing their gratitude to Ed. The passenger tried to show his apprehension by leaving a substantial amount to refund the consumed load for the call made, but which Ed vehemently refused. I witnessed the incident as I was inside the ticket office killing time while waiting for the arrival of a friend from Davao.

Ed began his airline career in Virac station (Catanduanes Island) as a ticket clerk, moving on to Laoag station (Ilocos Sur) with the same position. Recurrent trainings afforded him knowledge in other responsibilities such as ramp handling, counter handling (check-in), cargo handling, reservations, and manual computation of load (passenger, baggage and cargo). His expertise in the line was such that every time new stations were opened, he was among those assigned which happened when Busuanga station in Palawan was made operational to boost the tourism-related effort of the province.

With the onset of developments in the company, Ed was transferred to NAIA Terminal 2, to handle checking in of passengers for which he was well-prepared, thanks to his experience and trainings. Lately, he is now at the ticket office of the same terminal, but this time, preparing international tickets, as a Senior International Ticket Representative (Senior ITR), a supervisory position that he more than deserves.

The more than 30 years of service in PAL, made Ed a seasoned customer-oriented employee, and developed in him a sharp perception on how to make customers satisfied. He does not hesitate in sharing what he has gained with his new co-employees every time he has a chance, as what I had observed also that morning. As there was a lull in the influx of customers, Ed was entertaining questions and voluntarily sharing information about their responsibilities with the rest of the counter staff.

Philippine Airlines can encourage acts similar to what Ed did, by giving deserving employees due recognition through commendation. The emulation by other employees can create a chain reaction that can definitely add more life to the consistent excellent service of the company.

A Sweet Smile Spells a Difference in the Conduct of Business Transaction…Philippine Airlines employees still do it

A Sweet Smile Spells a Difference
In the Conduct of Business Transaction
…Philippine Airlines employees still do it
By Apolinario Villalobos

An adage says that one needs only to flex a few muscles to form a smile, unlike a frown that requires almost a thousand. Additionally, while the smile gives radiance to the face, a frown only casts a forlorn aura. And for any business, while a smile, especially, one that is sweet serves as a magnet that attracts good luck and customers, a frown drives them away.

It is a fact that some people are not in the habit of smiling, as if ill- feeling is their shadow. But this can be developed even just for the sake of business transaction. Employers spend big sum to “develop” the habit of smiling for their staff as part of their training in Values, Attitude, and Personality development.

But some people are lucky to be born with the smile habit. These are the people who others say are with the “smiling voice”, too. I have encountered these smiley gals when I visited PAL Head Office at the PNB Building. The first was Galilee “Gal” Gavino, an International Ticketing Representative who at the time was attending to a couple’s travel requirements. I got engrossed on how she graciously went through the transaction, complete with a sweet smile, emphasized by her dimples. I was practically entertained by the way she handled her customers. There was no hurry in the way she explained everything that went with the tickets being transacted, from restrictions to their limitations.

After a considerable time spent at the ticket office for my own requirement, I went back to the Benefits Office for another transaction for which I had to go to the Cashier’s Section for certain payments that had to be made. On the way, I received a call through my cellphone about a not- so-encouraging news which affected my mood. When I entered the Cashier’s Section I was greeted with a very warmly said, “good morning, sir”…”may I help you?”. It came from a lady who was all smiles. She practically vanished my anxieties! Her PAL ID says she was Geraldine Anavie Domingo. Her supervisor, Ms. Evangeline Cueto was likewise smiling, as she stood behind the cashiers, ready to offer help in case of any problem. In less than five minutes, our transaction was concluded!

Experiencing the sweet smile of the two ladies, Ms. Gavino and Ms. Domingo, made me recall the smile campaign many years back, of Philippine Airlines along with its Total Passenger Care Program. They really boosted the sales campaign of the country’s flag carrier. The airline had no domestic competitor due to the “one airline” policy at the time and the Philippine skies was so protected by the government, yet, Philippine Airlines felt the need to steadily improve its image. Such energetic attitude put the Philippine Airlines on the top echelon of the airline industry during those years….to which the pioneer employees always look back every time they reminisce how they spent some of the best years of their life.