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Flying In & Out of the Philippines During Pandemic


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SkyMan
2 minutes ago, HeyMike said:

My wife could not get through to Phil Air in America

Yeah, I tried again myself and got the same random wait times as before.  I think it relates to the number of people waiting so it changes when people give up.

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Here is the current situation in Cebu. My wife arrived in Cebu on Qatar Airways this evening. We used Mactan Airport's website to assemble all the various paperwork needed for arrival, and s

I posted that I would update on whether I was able to fly unvaxxed to Manila to get my connecting flight to New York. As it turns out, the question is now moot for me. I took the swab test 1 day

It's only May. These rules will change 6 more times before July.

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lamoe

Qatar airlines appears to be pulling a bait and switch on reservations. The cap on Cebu arrivals is 400 (was 2,000 before typhoon). I made my reservation back in December. Got cancelled (made through agency originally due to my credit card not allowing direct charge by Qatar) - no explanation except flight cancelled. Changed from Jan 24th to Jan 29th.

Another EED/SRRV application here got his approval last week made Qatar reservation for  Feb 1st or 2nd I believe.  Got cancelled yesterday. Flight rescheduled for Feb. 9th. 

They're confirming bookings on the hopes that the cap will be increase then rescheduling to fill cap?

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SkyMan
On 1/9/2022 at 8:53 PM, SkyMan said:

Me on now with PAL, the US 800 number.

Your wait time is approximately 13 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 13 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 11 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 13 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 4 minutes.......

5 minutes go by -Your wait time is approximately 58 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 57 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 37 minutes.........

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 13 minutes.......

5 minutes go by - Your wait time is approximately 52 minutes.......

etc. 

 

Finally hung up and sent a message on fb messenger they have answered in the past.  We'll see.

So a couple hours ago I was waiting outside the CVS pharmacy to open up for my second Kungflu test of the morning hoping I get at least 1 result in time for my flight. I decided to give the PAL US number another try.

I had originally booked SFO-CEB direct but the screwed with a Manila 5 day layover for quarantine.  So I booked 5 nights in a Manila Q hotel. Non refundable of course. And almost immediately they changed the domestic flight to same day with just a 2 hour layover.  I know they could probably fix it at check in in SFO but wanted to have in advance of that.

So I've a number of times to get through to PAL via messenger and calling with the results as above.  Finally this morning after 20 minutes of "your wait will be less than X minutes " where X is some random number between 10 and 20, someone answered and I think they fixed it.  I now have 2 flights from Manila to Cebu.  One 2 hours and 1 five days after arrival.  

So if you're trying to get through to PAL, it might be possible. 

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mikewright
5 hours ago, SkyMan said:

So I booked 5 nights in a Manila Q hotel.

 

5 hours ago, SkyMan said:

I now have 2 flights from Manila to Cebu.  One 2 hours and 1 five days after arrival.  

I tried to book a quarantine hotel in Cebu for five nights as well, but the hotel came back with the advice "Please be advised that we also made the booking to 8 days for airline and airport compliance only. Rest assured, you will only pay for the used nights."

The swab for the PCR test was taken on day five, which was the requirement for all fully vaccinated travellers from countries on the "Orange" list. We had our swab taken early in the morning of day five, but the results didn't come through until the morning of day seven, after which we could leave.

 

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HeyMike
On 1/18/2022 at 1:15 PM, HeyMike said:

Here's the skinny, so far, on flying to Manila without a vaccination. My wife could not get through to Phil Air in America.

I sent my brother-in-law to the Phil Air agency in Cebu and they assured him that I can fly to Manila to transfer to my flight to JFK without being vaccinated. They told him as I am not going to the City, but just getting a connecting flight, there is no problem not being vaccinated. 

I depart Friday so I will post how it goes after then.

 

I posted that I would update on whether I was able to fly unvaxxed to Manila to get my connecting flight to New York.

As it turns out, the question is now moot for me. I took the swab test 1 day before I was suppose to fly to JFK, and the test came back positive for covid-19. Words can not express my frustration. 

I do not have any symptoms and feel fine. I don't know if it is a false positive, or if my natural immunity is strong enough to fight off the effects of the virus.

Anyway, I am quarantining in my home for the next 14 days and will probably try again to get to the States in 3 weeks. Hopefully with better results.

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mikewright
7 hours ago, HeyMike said:

Anyway, I am quarantining in my home for the next 14 days and will probably try again to get to the States in 3 weeks. Hopefully with better results.

Hope it works out for you Mike. Could take a few weeks before you can get a negative PCR test result though, the PCR test is pretty sensitive, it can show a positive result weeks or even months later. Don't know what the position is in the US or Philippines, but in Oz a medical certificate saying you have recently had covid but are no longer in the infection stage allows you to get a travel exemption.

Edited by mikewright
missed full stop.
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HeyMike
1 hour ago, mikewright said:

Hope it works out for you Mike. Could take a few weeks before you can get a negative PCR test result though, the PCR test is pretty sensitive, it can show a positive result weeks or even months later. Don't know what the position is in the US or Philippines, but in Oz a medical certificate saying you have recently had covid but are no longer in the infection stage allows you to get a travel exemption.

 

I am convinced it was the PCR test that did me in. I should have taken the antigen test. As you say, the pcr test will show positive for months. 

That is a good point about having to get a medical certificate. I never thought about that. I feel like I am stuck in the Twilight Zone with no way out. My balikbayan privilege is up in the beginning of March. Every time I say... well ,things could be worse... things end up getting worse.... so I won't say it. 

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HeyMike

Mike, I just looked up about testing positive for covid. The cdc says if you had covid in the last 3 months, you will test positive when taking a test.... even though you are recovered. What I need to do now is have an official health provider examine me and clear me for travel. That can be anytime after I quarantine for 5 days... because I have no symptoms.... and I do not have covid now.

The medical certificate and my positive covid test allow me to travel. So, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for your post.

"If you have had a positive viral test on a sample taken during the past 90 days, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with your positive viral test results and a signed letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”

. "The letter must have information that identifies you personally (e.g., name and date of birth) that matches the personal identifiers on your passport or other travel documents. The letter must be signed and dated on official letterhead that contains the name, address, and phone number of the healthcare provider or public health official who signed the letter."

 

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cookie47
1 hour ago, HeyMike said:

My balikbayan privilege is up in the beginning of March. 

I know it's a way off... BUT..Don't let that worry you.

A conversion to Tourist is like falling Off a log.....Yes it's money ....But Hey..

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HeyMike
11 minutes ago, cookie47 said:

I know it's a way off... BUT..Don't let that worry you.

A conversion to Tourist is like falling Off a log.....Yes it's money ....But Hey..

 

That is interesting. With all the new rules, I wonder if they will accept coverting a balikbayan to a tourist visa because they are not allowing tourist visas for people wanting to come to the Philippines from outside the Philippines. That is, unless things have changed again. 

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cookie47
 
That is interesting. With all the new rules, I wonder if they will accept coverting a balikbayan to a tourist visa because they are not allowing tourist visas for people wanting to come to the Philippines from outside the Philippines. That is, unless things have changed again. 
Your logic has merit , however I can only point out in my Case, mine was converted/ renewed (onshore) Jmall .. early in the second year of Covide without issues.(all it took was money and appropriate paperwork).First time was costly as they insisted on a ACR card. The only big change over time has been the reduction of 6..... to 3.....To now two month renewals which I'm currently on..

Sent from my M2003J15SC using Tapatalk

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HeyMike
8 minutes ago, cookie47 said:

Your logic has merit , however I can only point out in my Case, mine was converted/ renewed (onshore) Jmall .. early in the second year of Covide without issues.(all it took was money and appropriate paperwork).First time was costly as they insisted on a ACR card. The only big change over time has been the reduction of 6..... to 3.....To now two month renewals which I'm currently on..

Sent from my M2003J15SC using Tapatalk
 

 

If it comes down to me staying past the 1 year limit on the balikbayan, it would seem to me that I would have no choice but to do the same thing you did at JMall.

I plan on departing Cebu soon by getting the medical certificate that Mike mentioned in his post. But it is always good to have a backup plan.

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cookie47
1 minute ago, HeyMike said:

backup plan.

Yes, that was my intention of posting.

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mikecon3
3 hours ago, HeyMike said:

I am convinced it was the PCR test that did me in. I should have taken the antigen test. As you say, the pcr test will show positive for months.

Mike, just wondering if you have taken another test to verify the first? If it was a false positive, perhaps the next test will come up negative and you can plan accordingly.

If you were actually positive, you're right, it could take months before you test negative. My daughter just tested positive, and the technician told her not to bother coming back for 3 months because she'll just come up positive.

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SkyMan
2 hours ago, HeyMike said:

 

That is interesting. With all the new rules, I wonder if they will accept coverting a balikbayan to a tourist visa because they are not allowing tourist visas for people wanting to come to the Philippines from outside the Philippines. That is, unless things have changed again. 

The rules are to prevent new disease carriers from entering the country.  They don't care if you're already in the country. You can extend up to 3 years if you want.  That rule has never changed. 

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