Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm writing this from the NAIA Centennial 2 Terminal, although I'll probably be posting this later when I go online. There's a wifi signal that I'm able to access, but there's no Internet connection.

I'm here because I'm going to Negros on business, and the reason I have some time to kill is because I was booked on a Philippine Airlines flight, and predictably, the flight is delayed for about an hour. I don't know if it's just my bad luck or if this happens all the time, but this is such a cliche. If it were up to me, I'd never go with PAL, but I wasn't the one who booked (and paid for) the flight. Like most everyone who travels domestically and who has constant access to the Internet, I use Cebu Pacific.

Of course, the terminal is much nicer than the old Manila Domestic Airport terminal that Cebu Pacific uses; actually, it's looks exactly like the new terminal at Iloilo's airport (or probably more accurately, the new terminal at Iloilo's airport looks exactly like this one). It's uncanny. With the people at the next couple of tables speaking in Hiligaynon, I might as well be back.

The prices at this terminal are ludicrous, as I guess they are with most airport terminals, but this is much worse than at the old one (a can of Coke costs Php50 while a bottle of C2 is Php70), and they're probably making a killing with all the delayed flights of PAL. Between that and the traffic to get here, I think I prefer that ratty old terminal. Also, and I'm probably alone in this, I like the fact that in the old terminal, you still get to walk on to the tarmac before boarding.

I'll be landing in Bacolod (the old airport, I think, not the new one in Silay), but I won't have much time to roam around; I probably wouldn't even get to have some chicken inasal this time, which sucks, because that's probably my favorite Bacolod memory. I really wish I had more time, I would have liked to swing by Iloilo just to see how everyone there's doing after the typhoons.

I wonder if PAL has nice planes for its domestic flights, and if they're nicer than Cebu Pacific's airbuses. When I was a kid, they still gave newspapers and served snacks during flights, but with PAL trying to match Cebu Pacific's prices, I doubt if that's still the case. We'll see.

UPDATE, after the flight:

Turns out the we did land in the new Silay/Bacolod airport, which was nice, but a good thirty minutes away from Bacolod (like Iloilo's new airport from the city proper). The PAL plane I boarded was from the same series as Cebu Pacific planes. Unlike the Cebu Pacific planes though, the PAL plane was mixed-class, with LCD monitors for the business class. There were also a handful LCD monitors that provided the flight instructions at the start of the flight as well as flight information in the overhead panel.

They did serve snacks (no newspapers though). When I was a kid, they used to serve sandwiches during flights (while Cebu Pacific served biscuits). Now, PAL serves biscuits while Cebu Pacific serves no snacks at all.

The oddest thing about the flight was the flight attendants; they were mostly male. The few female flight attendants were in their traditional PAL stuffy outfits, and weren't as cute as Cebu Pacific flight attendants. So given that, and the prices, and the convenient online ticketing, and the lack of delays, John Gokongwei totally drinks Lucio Tan's milkshake.



I've a different Cebu Pacific story--I went with them just this June to go home. Hay nako. First time to try, and they were delayed (the 12:40am flight became 2am). AND pabalik namang Singapore, ganun rin, delayed by over an hour. Couple that with a seat that isn't too conducive to a long flight, and no food... hay nako. Never again, if I can help it.


ditto with angela re cebupac.

we totally abhor CebuPac. that 12.40am flight (SG-MNL) is always delayed for a minimum of 1hr. Last christmas season (2007), i heard many stories of passengers being bumped off. passengers who were accommodated said that the plane is delayed for 3-4 hours.


hehe dami ng horror stories. i'll make sure na wag mag cebu pacific if/when magpunta akong singapore.


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