During our two-month trip around the Philippines, we had two internal flights with Philippine Airlines.
Manila to Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol
As with many overseas airports, tickets had to be provided to get through the terminal doors and our bags were screened immediately.
We were in plenty of time and there was no one else at check in so it was simple and painless. Security was painless, and laptops didn’t have to be taken out of bags.
Our flight was at 14.40pm and we were soon aboard in seats 23 d and e with what I hoped was a vacant seat next to me by the window. Sods law, the final passenger to get on came and sat there. However, I noticed a few rows of empty seats at the back and asked to be moved so we had three seats for the two of us and a bit more space, plus the latecomer got ours.
The ‘snack’ was a chicken and mushroom bun made with horrid soft, sweet bread and we declined either tea, coffee or water. Still it was possibly better than the rainbow bagels and salted egg fish skin advertised in the in-flight magazine.
The 70-minute flight passed quickly, and we arrived on time, disembarking down steps at both the front and back.
Cebu Mactan to Puerto Princesa
On arrival at the airport, our hearts sank at the scrum down in the check in area, but fortunately after a few questions, we found the longest line was for flights to Japan. Eventually, just as we were nearing the front of our queue, a grey-haired man pushed in front, and as he appeared to be buying a ticket, the check in man disappeared twice. Eventually it was our turn, and we were told we only had a luggage allowance of 10kg each. I pointed out we’d paid in advance for an extra 10kg each and he either found the right information or thought better of arguing.
There was confusion about the gate number: 7 was showing on the monitors, but our boarding card said 25b. Once resolved, we found the right gate and eventually got a seat. At 8.30am, an announcement told us our 9am flight was being serviced which seemed reasonable. It was then followed by three further announcements proclaiming further delays, but eventually at 10am, we boarded the bus.
On board our seats were 14 c and d and I found Mr Grey-Hair sat in my seat, so had great pleasure in moving him out to his proper seat of 12d which was just in front as there was no row 13. There was a 2 x 2 configuration with not much space.
We pushed back at 10.25am and at 10.35am the captain announced a further delay due to queues on the runway. A further 10 minutes elapsed, and we were on our way.
The inflight snack was a small bottle of water and ‘Mongo Roll’. I asked about a vegetarian option to test them, but the stewardess wrinkled her nose as though to ask ‘what is a vegetarian’? The roll was a cinnamon swirl style bun but with brown bits which were said to be pork, but you wouldn’t know it as it was revolting.
The flight time was 1 hour 15 and we landed at 12noon nearly two hours late. When we got off, we were offered umbrellas at the bottom of the steps for the short walk in the bright sunshine to the terminal – there’s a first time for everything.