July 27, 2011

Airline Review: Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines (PAL), a flag carrier of the Philippines, is one the oldest airlines in Asia. It was founded in 1941. I took one of their flights during my trip to Bangkok in May, aboard a Boeing 747-400. 

Booking and Price:
Surprisingly the fare I paid for the round-trip flight to Bangkok was cheap - $245, including taxes (Fiesta deal economy class). It was just a tad expensive over a similar, non-seat sale fare from Cebu Pacific. I was able to book the flight online, which help save time (booking a flight from their PAL offices can be a tedious exercise because of the lines). It also gave me 25% credit for miles flown, for my Mabuhay Miles frequent flier card. Baggage allowance is 15kg. 

Cabin and Amenities
PAL is a full-service airline with a 3-star Skytraxx rating, so the passengers were served with a warm, full course complete meal during the flight. It was a welcome change compared to buying food from a cart when taking a low-cost carrier.

Originally the flight was to be serviced by an Airbus A330, but the plane was changed the last minute and we took the Boeing 747 instead. The cabin is more spacious, naturally, and the seats are wider and has more legroom. Pillows and blankets are provided on request by the friendly crew. 

PAL also has an in-flight duty-free store, and I was able to buy a 70th-anniversary limited edition die-cast replicas of PAL aircraft (a DC-3 and an Airbus 330 with PAL livery, for $39). Other items, such as watches, jewelry, perfume, cigarettes and spirits are also available. 

The flight back from Bangkok is aboard an Airbus 320, which has a smaller cabin. 

Going in was in the morning, schedule at 10 am but it was delayed for about hour because of the plane change. The flight back, which is scheduled late at night, was right on schedule. 

All PAL flights from Manila originate from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, and the airline flies to Bangkok through Suvarnabhumi Airport. PAL serves 19 domestic destinations and 24 cities internationally.

Useful info: PAL website

No comments: