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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Philippine Airlines Flight Review: GES to MNL, June 2012

On board PAL's Airbus 330-300

Note of these codes:
GES - General Santos
MNL - Manila
PAL  / PR - Philippine Airlines

It was bright, sunny weather in General Santos as we traveled for more than 30 minutes (without traffic) from Lagao district to General Santos City Airport which was located at Tambler district area. This time, I traveled with Jayson since some of my friends were already left the other day. It was Monday so some of my relatives joined us to the airport since most of them were into schools and workplaces. It was sad that I left again to this great place but still hoping to come back for more adventures. We traveled via Philippine Airlines and I expected that they utilized a bigger aircraft since we were at General Santos City, so it was between an Airbus 330-300 and 340-300. I also hoping a Boeing 747-400 but it happens on a rarely basis in Gensan. :)

Note: I wasn't able to take photos of the logo during our flight day because of busy departure but I managed to take photos during our send off to my friends the other day.

the full name of the airport

picture with the group

pictures with relatives

at the departure area

with my niece and cousin

check-in time 

snake lines ahead

time for check-in

After we went to the check-in counters, I saw many passengers on other airlines so I expected that the pre-departure area was full knowing for a fact that Philippine Airlines utilized a much bigger aircraft,  Airbus 330-300 which carried more than 300 passengers. Jayson and I waited for more than 30 minutes at the counter. We thought that we will be denied boarding but according to the staff, they just continued checking-in the passengers and apologized for the delay.

Useful Tips: To avoid delays and possible missed out on your flights, some tips that I will advise to you when flying in Philippine airports: 

1. Arrive to the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled flight. Actually, that was the standard policies of airlines especially if you are flying domestic. This will take time for your check in and if you miss something such as flight itineraries, documents, etc., you have plenty of time to search and utilize it. 

2. Make sure that documents are ready before going to the airport. Air Tickets and identification cards are two of the most important things on check-in. If you purchase your tickets using your credit cards, the staff will ask the physical card so do not forget to bring along with it. If you are not the owner, have a photocopy of the credit card and the identification of the owner. Make sure that it is clearly photocopied or the staff might question it during check-in procedures.

3. Bring enough cash. There will be times that you might exceed your baggage allowance and have to pay some excess charges. Some airports don't accept credit cards so be prepare. Take note, you will use cash in paying terminal fees (ranges from PHP20 to PHP200) where credit cards are also not accepted as payment.

Terminal Fee counter on the left side

I asked the counter if they have window seats left. Sadly, none since it was a full flight. We only got the middle seats and located nearly at the back cabin. Check-in took 10 minutes. After our check-in procedures, we paid PHP40 for our Terminal fee. We passed the final security check and went inside pre-departure. There were many passengers since three airlines arrived at the tarmac, AirPhil Express bound to Iloilo, Cebu Pacific bound to Manila and Philippine Airlines bound to Manila. We waited for some time since both of us went to the souvenir shops which was located at the back of the pre-departure area for some last minute pasalubong shopping. 

pre-departure area

busy area

waiting for boarding

PAL has arrived

my boarding pass

Flight Number: PR 454
Route: General Santos - Manila
Airline: Philippine Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus 330-300
Flying Time: 110 minutes
Departure Time: 1015H
Arrival Time: 1205H

Boarding time was delayed for 15 minutes since some of the other airlines were still on boarding. after that, it went smoothly as expected. After checking our boarding passes, we walked to the tarmac to board the aircraft. I saw my relatives waving at the near end and I waved to them. I still remembered my experience few years ago. I waved back and told them that I will be back soon. :)

lined up at Gate 1

to the tarmac 

the airport terminal

A walk from the gate to the aircraft was only 3 minutes but we stopped for a while to wave my relatives and took some photos too. Sadly, during the flight, I only took the cabin interiors instead of the view outside during inflight since we were seated at the middle. Lesson: Arrive to the airport early in order to get better seats.

me and the Airbus 330-300!

got up at the rear door

seated at 69E (Echo)


me and Jayson

full flight

safety demonstration procedures

life jacket guidelines

took off

travel distance

altitude and speed

snacks distribution

our light snacks

arrived at Manila

disembark time

get our check-in baggage

waiting for our luggage

After we got our luggage, we were fetched by my mother and uncle at the Arrival area. My overall experience on this flight was good. As I expected, Philippine Airlines delivered good service especially on assisting passengers during flight. Flight was smooth and we only encountered few mild turbulence but it was okay. My only concern was the check-in procedures at General Santos airport where it took us more than 30 minutes before we finish and got our boarding passes. But nevertheless, it was a an expected and pleasant ride with Philippine Airlines. More travels with them in the near future! :)

Thank you PAL! Always Shining Through! :)

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