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Travel | Flying With Philippine Airlines Again

I can't remember when was the last time I traveled via the Philippines' national carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).  I assume maybe a decade or two I haven't had the pleasure.  That all changed this week when I went to Bangkok this time and our team used PAL as our carrier.

My family went in a PAL flight from the middle east and they narrated to me their basic amenities during their flight.  Menial meals and no, take note, no inflight entertainment system.  Wait, they had free playing cards distributed to their passengers to keep them busy during their 9 hour flight.

So forgive me if I felt some apprehension when I was taking a PAL flight to Bangkok Thailand to help in the coverage of the Miss Universe pageant last December.

First off, PAL is exclusive now that they have the NAIA Terminal 2 all to themselves, almost.  So getting to this terminal is something new for me.  Been used to Terminals 1 and 3 for most of my travels so I had to take a Grab this time to take me there.  (This month I found out that there was a cheaper alternative - taking a bus via EDSA.  Signboard should read - MIA NAIA T1 T2. )

Initial feedback on this airport, its a bit small compared to T1 and T3 but considering less airlines were using this terminal, passengers were not much.  This reduction of passengers was a welcome treat for me, this means less queue at the check in counters.  (Tip - use their online check-in procedures.  No queue there.)

After getting my boarding pass, Immigration counters in Terminal 2 is less so here we encountered a longer queue.  Passing through here is easier, less questions from the Immigration Officer.  I don't know why this is so, but this process was quick.  My wait was far more longer than my quick stamp in Immigration.

After going through the x-ray machine, we were at the pre-departure lounge.  Being a smaller terminal with less gates, passengers were cramped in a small area waiting to be boarded.  Aircon was cool though, not cold, but surprisingly cool.  Albeit small area, their comfort room was ample enough to accommodate a good number of passengers inside.  Actually I like the rest room far much better than sitting at the lounge. LOL.

We would like to suggest also that you eat outside of the terminal.  Not that the food there in expensive (we already know airport food is expensive), its the choices that we feel is not adequate.  If you like hot rice meals, there were only 2-3 kiosks offering it.  The rest were coffee and some bit of snacks.  I prayed that my flight would have a decent meal.

Boarding time and gladly they PAL team had a system of assisting passengers.  Sadly its the passengers that were not cooperative.  A simple queue made complex, that's how passengers made the PAL system complicated.  At any rate, we were all inside the plane as they planned it.  I like sitting at the end where there were only two seats on one side.  its near the rest room as well.

With a bit of little traffic on the runway, we were off to Bangkok.

Gladly in this flight we had inflight entertainment.  New movies are in this system and we got to watch Mission Impossible Fallout and other stuff.  A far cry from my family's experience, the entertainment was great on this flight.

For a three hour flight, we were glad they have a decent rice meal served.  I chose the beef meal for this flight.  For an inflight meal, their beef was delicious.  Rice was a bit dry but we can't complain right? LOL.

We also had Heineken during this flight to make our travel smoother.  I got a quick nap because of this.  Thanks Heineken.

Three hours later we were at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok Thailand.  Travelling via Philippine Airlines ain't bad after all.  Considering the decades old gap between my experience, I would say, flying the Philippines national carrier is swell.  Will surely take another trip in the future with PAL.