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Best Airports for Flight Connections

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56 minutes ago, Voyager39 said:

The advantage of having the whole trip on a single itinerary, as I understand it, is to have some party (other than the traveler) be responsible for ensuring that connections are made

That plus you should get the full int'l baggage allowance throughout.  If fly here with the full allowance of 2 (or 3) 50kg bags and then take a domestic flight on your own you could be in for a hefty bill. You may want to look at some of the domestic airlines websites to see what they charge for baggage.  Many years ago ago ago Manila and I save money by having my wife meet me there and then we took a ferry to Cebu.

As for missing a flight,  I'd first check with the connecting airline and travelocity or whoever.  If you're really worried about it maybe travel insurance.?

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On 1/19/2019 at 8:21 PM, SkyMan said:

You might look at other airlines going to Cebu.  I usually find Cebu flights about the same or a little cheaper but I'm leaving Cebu, not coming, so no telling.  Be warned that baggage is very restrictive on domestic flights so you may have a big bill for baggage. An agent may be able to get the whole trip on one itinerary so you should be get the full international allowance all the way.  I  said should. 

Do you have some idea how big this big bill is?  Are we talking closer to $30 U.S. or to $100 US?

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On 1/20/2019 at 11:15 AM, Voyager39 said:

I am looking to start a PI trip on Palawan and am posting to get advice as to the best place / strategy for making flight connections in the PI, for someone flying into the PI on Eva airlines.

My online searching thus far has informed me that connecting in Manila is made complicated due to there being four airports in one large complex.  If there's a way to avoid having to rush around and exhaust myself after a long flight, it would be worth knowing about.

So, would MCIA be a better place to connect?  It's a little more expensive to fly to Cebu than to Manila, so I'd like to ensure it's worth the added price before taking this approach.

I think the worst thing about MNL is dealing with the ATC and whatever 'other' delays there are.  In my experience it's very unusual to get through MNL without a delay.  CEB tends to be much less congested and suffers fewer delays.  The TPE to CEB EVA flight is almost always 'on time', the North American flights into TPE rarely suffer long delays so making that connections is rarely an issue.  EVA's NA flights get into TPE at a great time to wake up, have a coffee (and a quick shower if you have lounge access) then catch the CEB flight.

CEB IS the better option, but you need to consider what you're connecting to - the timing and price of flights to Palawan from MNL versus from CEB.

21 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

You refer to an agent being able to help.  Are there web sites that can arrange this type of thing (perhaps EVA itself, though I saw no provision for doing that on the site).

I admit that I wouldn't like the feeling of having to rush to make a connection or risk having to wait and pay for a replacement flight if I missed it.  I mention this concern because after landing at MCIA last August, it took about 90 minutes to get through Immigration.

EVA doesn't have Interline or Codeshare agreements with any of the domestic carriers you would fly to Palawan. 

If that's a primary concern then you may want to fly someone else from the US (for instance, Cathay Pacific does interline and even codeshare with PAL) or change to the 'domestic' carrier internationally at TPE, HKG, etc.  You'll still end up changing planes (most likely at MNL) but that can all be on PAL, 5J, or AK.  I think any of them can get you from TPE or HKG to PPS.

13 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

The advantage of having the whole trip on a single itinerary, as I understand it, is to have some party (other than the traveler) be responsible for ensuring that connections are made.  This prompts a question.  If a connection is missed, who does the traveler call to provide a substitute flight?  Travelocity?  the connecting airline?

I will call Eva at some point.  However, in my experience, they're very hard to get a hold of.  State-side, I have only been able to get through if I call first thing in the morning and wait for several minutes for a live person.  In Cebu, I couldn't reach them at all from my hotel.  My hotel concierge told me that I'd have to travel to MCIA just to speak to them.  So I took a taxi to MCIA just for the purpose of speaking to Eva scheduling agents.  When I arrived at the airport, the security people wouldn't let me enter the terminal.  Instead, they gave me a different phone number that I could call while out on the second floor level (a balcony of sorts).  

I have searched online to see if Eva has a Philippine airline partner, and couldn't find one.

EVA tends to be very easy to contact, pleasant and helpful.  A few years ago contacting the EVA office at CEB WAS difficult or impossible.  They have improved on that, but I'm in the habit of calling the TPE office.  Although I will call other offices depending on the time and time zone I'm in.  Skype is your friend...

1 hour ago, Voyager39 said:

Do you have some idea how big this big bill is?  Are we talking closer to $30 U.S. or to $100 US?

Dunno, how 'big' is your luggage?

Remember, if you're going to be over it's less expensive to pay for that upfront when booking - they'll charge more at the airport.

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Most years I fly from Davao to Canada twice.  These days I always use PAL because I never have a problem with them - and doing so is the most convenient .  My luggage is checked all the way to my destination both coming and going . I get the international baggage allowance included even on the domestic portion of the flight and with no surcharge.  I  am routed through Manila but I never touch my bags in Manila.

As to the Manila airport I have never had a problem . Last year PAL switched terminals so that for the first time I had to change terminals when I changed from Domestic to International [ or vice versa]. Again I found the shuttle bus very easy to take and convenient. Yes instead of a 5 minute walk I now have a 20 minute wait/drive shuttle but no big deal .

Travelling is always a pain  but once you learn to accept that fact and just relax and let the airline do their job I find that life is not so bad after all .

[ please do not get confused and think that my rosy outlook applies to the Manila airport !!  No problems - but not the nicest experience ]

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4 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

Do you have some idea how big this big bill is?  Are we talking closer to $30 U.S. or to $100 US?

Depends on the airline and how much. You really need to look at their sites. I imagine they are similar.  As an example, I looked at Cebu Pathetic.  I mean Cebu Pacific.  You get a carryon, I think that's free up to 15lbs? You can prepay at purchase 1 checked bag up to 70lbs for about p1100.  Any other bags or even the first if you didn't prepay are charged by weight so a 70lb bag would be p8k.

And that is for each way.

So if you arrive and depart with a full compliment of 3 70lb bags business class you could spend close to $1k on baggage.

I live here so leave from Cebu without stopping in MNL with 1 bag and return with my baggage max and even extra. 

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