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Philippines Airlines

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15 posts
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Philippines Airlines

Can anyone give me a review of Philippines Air? It is cheaper to fly, does the quality equal that of a US air carrier?

San Jose
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19 posts
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1. Re: Philippines Airlines

The are the best to Philippines. I fly on Wends and 80% of the time am able to get four seats together and sleep the whole way.

Also the milage program basically pays for your domestic flights.

But they are a little more expensive.

Angeles city
4 posts
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2. Re: Philippines Airlines

Have flown Philippines Airlines and don't recommend it. Old 747's, once the lights go out you never see a flight attentant again until they come back on hours later. They can also be $400. to $500. more expesive than other airlines depending when you buy your ticket. They brag about their straight flight to Manila and non-stop back to the states but other airlines are not that much more in time. I have flown China Airlines several times now and would recomment it over Philippines Airlines. Service is excellent, Aircraft are in excellent shape plus you get your own TV to watch. The food is outstanding and one could never say that about Philippines Airlines. Flight attentants come around all through the flight and and very friendly. You do have to change planes in Tiawan but you'll enjoy that as it is a 1st class airport. Whatever you choose, enjoy your flight.

Manila, Philippines
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732 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Philippines Airlines

I always fly Philippine Airlines if possible, and if available, for most of my international flights. These days, as much as possible I also fly with them for domestic travels (well except for those impulse buys of the Cebu Pacific cheap fares).

The carrier's service has greatly improved through the years. I have had no bad experience with Philippine Airlines in memory. Well, there may have been delays in flights before, though they've done a lot better in previous years.

IMHO, of course the quality is at par with most carriers! Their rewards program is also really good. I've redeemed several asian flights with them without any hassles.

A plus factor is that they fly out from NAIA Terminal 2, which is less chaotic than the old NAIA where all the other international carriers use.

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77 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: Philippines Airlines

Others we know have been satisfied with PAL’s performance and continue to fly PAL from the states to the Phils. Our experiences on PAL have all been dismal. I list just a few examples to highlight (lowlight?) our experiences. Remember, these are our experiences and opinions only. They may also be dated since we have not flown PAL in a number of years. It is possible that PAL has improved since our last experience.

As the adage goes: Philippine Air Lines = Plane Always Late. We never experienced an on time flight. Closest was 5 hours late arriving at NAIA. The rest were worse.

Missing luggage, not lost luggage. In our experience PAL tended to offload luggage and take on extra freight or mail in its place. When you arrive in Manila and discover your luggage is missing they can tell you exactly where it is. Therefore, it’s not lost. It might still be at SFO. Luggage gets sent a day or two later depending on when they have available space. Unfortunately, if you are traveling to the provinces and not staying in Manila the luggage never reaches you unless you change your plans and wait in Manila until the luggage arrives. On our first PAL trip we met a young couple who were traveling from Chicago to her home town in a province in northern Luzon to get married. They had all their clothing (including the hand embroidered wedding gown and barong tagalong) as well as all the pasalubong in their luggage and balikbayan boxes. We happened to encounter them on our return flight several weeks later and learned that they never did receive their luggage and were married in hurriedly purchased clothing. Her disappointment was still visible. The groom being a large-framed American could not find any clothing that fit him.

We have learned to forward the balikbayan boxes prior to our flight and time their arrival close to our arrival. We also learned to always carry at least 1 complete change of clothing and any special clothing in our hand carry.

Filthy cabin conditions. After the first 9 or 10 hours into our first PAL flight the bathrooms were overflowing and unusable. This appeared to have been caused by parents stuffing used disposable diapers into the toilets when they changed their babies. Not only were the toilets unusable, but soiled diapers, etc. were discarded in the aisles toward the rear of the plane outside the bathrooms. On our last PAL trip the flight attendants at least bagged the soiled products in plastic trash bags. On the other trips they were left in the aisles reeking. On one of her solo trips, my wife also found a toilet out of commission because it was full of and overflowing with soiled paper hand towels.

After one particularly bad coach class experience we upgraded to first class for the return hoping it would be tolerable. It wasn’t. I could go on but will spare you the tedium.

We have been very happy with our experiences on China Air, Korean Air, JAL and even Northwest. I would recommend you explore other options before committing to PAL.

Please note that we have no experience with PAL domestic flights. PAL might be an excellent carrier on its domestic flights within the Phils. However, we will never travel on their international flights again.

…IOHO, YMMV, etc.

Orange County, CA
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35 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Philippines Airlines

As stated earlier by some of the posters, your experience can vary, plus people tend to have a different tolerance to certain things. So keep that in mind whe reading all these 'opinions'.

I've flown PAL for the last several years, once or twice a year from LAX to MNL. Main reason I fly with them, is that they have the cheapest busniess class of all carriers to the Phils. Econ class for 18 hours+ is brutal (on any airline), and I can't handle it.

Yes the planes are showing their age. I read somewhere that PAL is swapping for Boeing 777 in 2008, and not a moment too soon. As for arrival times, in all my time flying with them I've never had a plane arrive late, imagine that...lucky I guess. The service - we have always received good service, no complaints. Baggage - never once have I had lost a single luggage. Although I have know some friend that have had their lugage broken into and valuable stolen(but that was by baggage handlers at the airport they were told).

I agree that their FF mileage prgram is very good. FF mile build at 1.5x when flying business class, so I have many upgrades and free tickets. Plus I was able to give mile to others (and use theirs) when needed.

If I had a similar price business class on another carrier, would I take it? Of course yes! I fly to Taipei on busniess class twice a year, and my employer's travel department uses Singapore Airlines. They have got to be the best of all airlines I fly. But their prices are steep compared to PAL. I'm so glad to use them, and even more glad not to have to pay for it.

So people have different experiences. I guess I'm lucky enough to have had consistently good experiences for the past several years.

Makati, Philippines
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533 posts
58 reviews
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6. Re: Philippines Airlines

I do agree with many of the posts here. In my opinio, cheapest First & Business Class (though nothing really superlative compared to heavenly Singapore & fabulous Cathay) but they directly fly into a nice airport terminal in Manila. Ive been pretty satisfied with their in-flight service recently despite the over friendly and past fifty year old flight crew left over from the MArcos years. During the 80's (Marcos years), I remember that PAL was actually quite top notch now its so-so. Honestly, some U.S. carriers can be slightly worst than PAL. Effeciency-wise good, personalized business class... robotic. The only US carrier I fly with from MAnila is Northwest, which is another average airline, but can check through to a U.S. destination (which is great considering all the security and check-in proceedure on has to go through). Btw, just because one flies in first or business class in PAL you assume prefered access at immigration and customs....NOT but ive lived with it. Overall, PAL is ok and maybe good enough for its U.S. cousins but not its Asian sisters.

Orange County, CA
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35 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Philippines Airlines

Good point about the flight crew. I think PAL probably has the oldest flight crew in the air, at least in Mabuhay or First Class. The younger crew are stationed in Fiesta Class. I guess it's a senority thing.

As for immigration proirity, in theory it suppose to be that way. And the majority of my travel, I did end up getting thru customs and immigration rather quickly. Since PAL let's Mabuhay/First Class exit the plane first, and their luggage is priority unloaded first, you should be able to get thru immigration and customs first. That's the theory. But this does not take into account the other flights landing at the same time as yours. Sometimes you end up lining up behind those passengers to get thru immigration. In any case, it gives you time to text your relatives to get the car out of the parking lot and pick you up in the loading area.

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891 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Philippines Airlines


Bear i mind that this critique is about personal experiences and preferences. If there are any words to describe PAL, these would be "ordinary"," mediocre", "average". This includes their staff's service, their record of not being on time,( hence the acronym PAL-Plane Always Late)., their use of old planes (although they are in the process of being modernized, replacing with new planes).

I started flying with PAL since year 2000. I go back to the old country at least twice a year. The past year I went back five times .I always boooked on Business/Mabuhay Class. I have patronized PAL because of one, and only, reason. Their frequent flyer program has got me HOOKED. I'm now in the Premiere Elite. Everytime I fly with PAL, I have always been upgraded and every other trip i take, they send me two(2) UTC (Upgrade Travel Certificate), And besides, they credit me 1.75X earned mileage.

I would like to fly some other airlines e.g. Cathay Pacific etc. but why should I give up my benefits with PAL?

I'll stick with PAL in the meantime, it's still tolerable.

Good Luck to you.


sydney, australia
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423 posts
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9. Re: Philippines Airlines

http://www.airlinequality.com/ - this site has traveler reviews

i personally have no major issues with PAL other than one flight where the food service got too quick and i missed my coffee , i tend to order juice with breakfast then have coffee later when the stewardess roams around with a pitcher....she was just a lil too fast on her feet at that time.

PAL also has a better airport at NAIA II and connecting domestic flights are easier. I hope in the future they will offer Premium Economy seating , an 8 hour Sydney to Manila flight is not really worth a business class ticket for a non frequent flying passenger.

As far as comparing PAL to other US Carriers, well from passenger reviews at Skytrax (that link above) , US airlines have mixed reviews when it comes to quality. Australias Qantas airlines is not even that high with quality since their emphasis is more on safety.

If NAIA 3 becomes operational and I have no direct domestic connections, then i might try out other airlines.

10. Re: Philippines Airlines

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