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CEB-LAX-CEB on PAL


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SkyMan

The wife and I recently returned from a US vacation and thought others might be interested in my thoughts on the flights.  

 

I made the reservations in early February and when it came to seat assignment the layout showed the front bulkhead seats as one type, a few rows behind that as another and then the rest.  I assumed an extra charge for the forward seats but none was listed so I took the best seats and noticed the price didn't change.  I was also given the option to include the travel tax in the ticket price so I checked the exchange rate and it was actually better than the desk price at the time so I included it.  The all in price for both seats was under $1900.

 

Between buying the tickets and the flight out I received several emails regarding changes to flights times and even flight numbers.  (PR112&123 became PR152&153)  The flight out delayed an hour and a half and the return an hour.  I figured this was a new route and they were adjusting.

 

CEB-LAX  I knew this would be an older A340 and being PAL I was worried about the food quality/quantity so we brought some snacks and also some entertainment preloaded on our phones.  Check-in went smooth and we left more or less on time.  The plane seemed about 60% full.  Both dinner choices looked good to me so I asked for both and the stewardess said she could only give me one but would see if there were leftovers.  She did come back with the second and both were pretty good so I had worried needlessly.  Leaving about 8PM we ended up sleeping most of the uneventful flight.  Being in a front seat we walked quickly and straight to immigration desk.  The guy was pinoy and we had a pleasant conversation while he did his stuff.  The bags came off quickly and Customs was a non event as usual.

 

LAX-CEB  We have cousins in the LA area so we stayed with them a few days after arrival but they were on vacation when we were leaving so nowhere really to stay in LA.  So we stayed with friends in Vegas and left there about noon which gave us plenty of time to get through LA traffic and do a few things there before heading to the airport.  Check-in was quite a long drag but we were quite early so no big deal.  The check-in girl had no problem with me not having an onward ticket or that my pp expires in October.  I can only assume she saw my 13A stamp.  She did ask about our seats and if we'd paid the extra fee for those.  (No one cared in Cebu)  I said I bought the tickets in February and paid whatever the system said.  On to the gate which was way at the end of the concourse and found seats next to an AC outlet.  We began boarding a few minutes after our departure time and that consisted of walking out to a bus for a couple mile ride across the airport to a small terminal building to load on the plane.  After boarding my wife asked why we had to do that and my explanation was that this is a new route for PAL so being the new guy they have to take the crap terminal.  (I do recall 2 years ago using the same waiting area when we took Cathay Pacific but I don't think we did the bus ride then.)  Anyway, the return flight was packed so I wonder what disaster might have occurred had the check-in girl taken our bulkhead seats.  I noticed a lot of pax had follow-on to MNL so that may be the cause.  While I doubt many would fly MNL-CEB-LAX because they can go MNL-LAX the reverse LAX-CEB-MNL night be an option for some if the LAX-MNL flight is full on a certain date or whatever.  Anyway, service and food quality on the return flight was noticeably lower.  That's probably partly due to the fuller flight but I'm really surprised the Cebu food service was better than the American food service.  Go figure.  There was a myPAL thing on the plane you put your laptop/tablet/phone into airplane mode, then turn wifi back on it will connect.  There are some TV shows and a couple movies, etc.  The small bulkhead screen right in front of us was so dark it was unwatchable.  The larger screen in the middle bulkhead was bright enough but turning your head so far to watch would have been painful.  Even had out screen been brighter I doubt more than a couple rows would be able to see it.  Baggage return was really slow so we ended up walking out of the terminal 2 hours late and there were still lots of people waiting.  Walked to the white taxi stand and the first driver insisted on p50 over meter because Liloan as so far and he won't get a fare back, blah, blah, blah.  The No fare back is bs any more especially early morning.  I said no and moved to the next taxi and the first guy changed his mind so we rode with him.  Some traffic, some construction delay, but we got to our place for p267 which the wife gave him and after the bags were all out I gave him p100 tip which we was very excited about.  Hope he learned something.

 

LAX - I've seen lots of comments on how bad LAX is but I've never had any problems there.  YMMV.

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The wife and I recently returned from a US vacation and thought others might be interested in my thoughts on the flights.     I made the reservations in early February and when it came to seat assig

On domestic flights it's not uncommon for them to have 4 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts in addition to the 3 bags.   I really wish all airlines would start enforcing their carry on policy.

I would guess those operated by PAL are about 15yo, not too old for airplanes… If PAL can renovate the interior, I know it will be better (have been to LAX and HNL once on their 340  ). They are still

Enuff

welcome back

 

I too wonder how the food quality when leaving Cebu can be rather good and when leaving the US, not so good.

 

We get the same thing about the taxis and the wife loves to go into a rant about "what is the meter for"

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Buko Beach

The ebb and flow of PAL passenger numbers coming out of North America peaks when the school year ends and families head to the Philippines to spend the summer. Around mid August the flow reverses.

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mistaeric

I avoid LAX because of the long hike between the Domestic and the International terminals pulling large suitcases.

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SkyMan

 

 

We get the same thing about the taxis and the wife loves to go into a rant about "what is the meter for"
When I first got here the excuse that they wouldn't get a fare back from Liloan was valid but not any more.  

 

I avoid LAX because of the long hike between the Domestic and the International terminals pulling large suitcases.

I haven't had to experience that yet, maybe next trip.  I just use the shuttle to the car rental and back.  I think there's a shuttle between terminals though.

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Headshot

I haven't had to experience that yet, maybe next trip.  I just use the shuttle to the car rental and back.  I think there's a shuttle between terminals though.

 

If you fly domestic on American Airlines to LAX, there is a covered walkway between the American terminal and the Tom Bradley International terminal that allows you to stay in the secure area (thus avoiding going out on the street, taking shuttles or going through the major TSA hassle at the TBI terminal). It is a really nice feature we learned about last month when my wife and daughter flew back on the PAL LAX to CEB flight. BTW, my wife said that even with that feature, she doesn't ever want to fly through LAX again. She and my daughter had priority boarding, but because of the buses they loaded the priority passengers on the bus and then loaded the non--priority passengers in on top of them. The non-priority passengers ended up boarding before the priority passengers.

 

I avoid LAX because of the long hike between the Domestic and the International terminals pulling large suitcases.

 

As long as you put your domestic and international flights on one itinerary, you can check your bags through to your final destination. Bag drags at LAX are a pain-in-the-ass, and they should be avoided, if possible.

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SkyMan

 

 

they loaded the priority passengers on the bus and then loaded the non--priority passengers in on top of them. The non-priority passengers ended up boarding before the priority passengers.
That's PAL's fault.  Partly because they are too cheap to rent a real terminal and so they have the bus deal.  But even with the buses they could send the bus as soon as all the priority passengers are aboard and then load the next batch in the next bus  We were supposed to be in group F but after they loaded A,B,C they just said, whoever's left which jammed half the plane into the lines.
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ex231

 

 

She and my daughter had priority boarding, but because of the buses they loaded the priority passengers on the bus and then loaded the non--priority passengers in on top of them. The non-priority passengers ended up boarding before the priority passengers.

 

I've never really understood the priority boarding thing outside of getting overhead space before it's gone. If I knew for sure I'd have a spot for my carry on or wasn't traveling with one I'd rather be the last one through the door.

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I gave him p100 tip which we was very excited about. Hope he learned something.

 

You taught him to insist on P100 over meter for his future customers. ;)

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Monsoon

 

 

I too wonder how the food quality when leaving Cebu can be rather good and when leaving the US, not so good.

 

Because PAL will use the cheapest vendor and pay the lowest price as possible to give you the worst quality crap for food. The crap is a little better in the Phils due to economies of scale.

 

Same reason they board by bus - because they run like a deep discount airline. So they get treated as such. 

 

I had meals with them in business class the other week and they were horrible. I can't imagine how bad it is in coach. 

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Davaoeno

 

 

I had meals with them in business class the other week and they were horrible.

 

 

When they gave me a free upgrade to Business class going to Vancouver last month i was very impressed with the food. 

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Headshot

That's PAL's fault.  Partly because they are too cheap to rent a real terminal and so they have the bus deal.  But even with the buses they could send the bus as soon as all the priority passengers are aboard and then load the next batch in the next bus  We were supposed to be in group F but after they loaded A,B,C they just said, whoever's left which jammed half the plane into the lines.

 

Well, specifically she said she never wants to fly PAL through LAX again.

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throttleplate

When they gave me a free upgrade to Business class going to Vancouver last month i was very impressed with the food. 

i fly pal exclusively back and forth from usa and the food is great and i never had a meal i didnt devour on those flights. If you cant stand the food on pal just how can you eat the crap that most local restaurants serve in the ph?

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ex231

 

 

Same reason they board by bus - because they run like a deep discount airline. So they get treated as such. 

 

Then why don't they have fares like a deep discount airline?

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Then why don't they have fares like a deep discount airline?

 

Good question, but they sure know how to treat their customers like a deep discount airline. Talk to any service representative - including supervisors and managers - about any subject that doesn't fit perfectly into their scripted customer service book, and they will give you the most shallow blank stare you've ever seen along with the most typical bullsquash response, e.g. "I understand, but there's nothing I can do."

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