Friday, December 15, 2017

Airport and Airline Hacks in the Philippines

With more than 7,000 islands, traveling around the Philippines can be difficult. But, all thanks to local airlines offering cheap fares, it has been every Juan's most convenient way to go around and explore every corner of the country.

Little did they know, most travelers here are missing a lot, especially on how the business model of the aviation industry works. Let me share some tips and hacks on air travel in the Philippines.


Ever heard of an overbooked flight? Why do most airlines routinely sell more tickets than available seats for flights? And why does the law allow it? Airline statistics tells airlines that on any particular flight, a percentage of passengers won't show up to fill their seats. There are many reasons why a passenger fails to show up upon check-in - may they got caught in a traffic jam, overslept, or simply forgot their flight.

But, what if everyone showed up?

When an airline needs to remove passengers, they must first ask for volunteers who are willing to give up their seats. Those who voluntarily gave up their seats will receive a free lounge access, a free rebooking to the next available flight, a free hotel accommodation (in case you have to wait long for your next confirmed flight), and a free roundtrip ticket valid for one year.

Now, who wants to volunteer as a tribute?

One More Chance

If you arrived at the airport way, way too early for your flight, chances are you'll get tired of waiting inside the terminal unless if it's Changi or Seoul-Incheon. Cebu Pacific Air allows passengers to be accommodated to an earlier flight, subject to seat availability. However, starting October 26, all passengers who wish to be transferred to an earlier flight will have to pay Php 1000. I guess this is a smart move since some passengers are already abusing this practice. The only silver lining for this is less queue for the chance passenger lane.

Luggage Intercepted

If you have a carry-on trolley luggage that weighs at or below 7 kg, you can have it checked-in for free! After boarding, the ground crew will offer a free check-in of your carry-on luggage. All you have to do is to surrender your luggage to the ground crew, and they will give you a tag. Just make sure that you don't have any gadgets or fragile stuff inside. Often times, the luggage compartment of the cabin fills up easily. Trust me, this move will save you from inconveniences once you're inside the aircraft.

On-the-spot Upgrade

Philippine Airlines have three classes - Business Class, Premium Economy, and Regular Economy. When you book a flight on PAL, notice the huge fare difference between a business class seat to a regular economy seat. But hey, when you fly business or even in premium economy, you get more baggage allowance, free lounge access, and a more sumptuous meal onboard. Actually, you don't need to pay a lot when you want to fly business or premium economy class.

Here's how:

1) You have to be at the airport terminal at least three hours before your flight.

2) Don't confirm your seat online since you're going to upgrade to either premium economy or business class.

3) Go straight to the business class lane and request for an upgrade. For Manila-Visayas destinations, premium economy upgrade costs Php 750, while business class upgrade costs Php 2000. For Manila-Mindanao destinations, premium economy ticket upgrade costs Php 1500, while the business class upgrade costs Php 3000.

4) Once your new ticket is confirmed, you'll have a free access to the Mabuhay Lounge, your mileage accrual will increase depending on your upgrade, and you'll have more baggage allowance.

PS: The Arroz Caldo of Mabuhay Lounge is so delicious.


Do you have more travel hacks and tips to share? Can't wait to read it from ya!


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