Traveling Air Philippines style!

Manila -Boracay
Departure: May 16, 2011
Time: 6:00am
Air Philippines 2P 0035 (NAIA Terminal 3)

Departure: May18, 2011
Time: 3:40pm
Airphilippines 2P 0076 (Caticlan Airport)

Distance: 189 miles
Duration: 1 hour

Just like my Taipei trip with DH last December, my Boracay trip was also booked just a few days before our departure date. 11 days to be exact! 

I have to thank my friend, Gevi, who booked both our plane tickets and hotel stay. She directly booked with Air Philippines through their website and booked our 2 nights stay through Agoda. She is such a pro at booking last minute that I could have sworn she is used to doing it but no, she just did it for me. My schedule for the past few months is quite erratic so I am all for unplanned trip which more frequently than not pushes through. But that's just in my case!

our Air Philippines De Havilland Dash 8 turbo propeller plane

It was stated in the email that we got from Air Philippines that we have to arrive 2 hours before the departure time. My initial reaction was "Really?! even for domestic flight!" When I arrived at the airport at 4am, I now know the reason why people were required to be there two hours earlier before flight schedule. The lines were really long. It sucks! I was there before Gevi did so she didn't have to go to the end of the line. Lucky girl! 

Things to remember before going to the airport for domestic flight only:
  1. Be at the airport 2 hours before the scheduled departure time
  2. Bring a valid Identification Card (driver's license, passport or any government issued ID)
  3. Bring the credit card used in online transaction to be presented upon check in
  4. If the passenger is not the credit card owner, a photocopy of the credit card used for online transaction and a copy of valid ID of the credit card owner should be presented. 
  5. If boarding from NAIA, bring PhP200 for terminal fee
Failure to do numbers 2, 3 & 4 may result in denied boarding on the plane or maybe advised to purchase new tickets.

free Airphil Express slippers

I read in the newspaper that Airphil Express is giving away free flip flops to Boracay bound passengers. Yey! Ok, not exactly yey! because when we got there, the only remaining size was  9. We got one pair each. Since both our DHs were not with us, we thought we would just give it to them as pasalubong haha

Gevi's husband insisted on letting her have a breakfast on the way to the airport; DH drove me straight to the airport haha I have to eat something because we booked a budget airline and there's no food included. We ordered two hot tsoko (PhP70 each) and one Kaya toast (PhP55) in Kopi Roti found on the third level, North Wing. 

After eating, we proceeded to the lounge area for the 5:30 boarding time. No sooner than later, we were already called to make a bee line to the boarding gate.

posing in front of the turbo prop

By now, I was accustomed already by the size of the plane because I already boarded a plane similar to this one with Cebu Pacific. It was really a no brainer to choose Caticlan over Kalibo once you have overcome your fear for smaller planes. Btw, you are weigh together with your luggage/s at the check in counter. 

Gevi all smiles for her first Boracay trip

the plane is really small

We were seated in row 14 and we were almost at the tail end of the plane. Our plane has 4 seats in a row with a total of 19 rows. The seating capacity is around 77.

Most of the passengers carried only small bags. I guess they took advantage of the free 15 kg check in baggage allowance like what we did.

first out of town trip together

We had a smooth ride on our way to Boracay and had a rough ride on our flight back home but it was not the fault of the pilot. I was not quite sure, I think it was brought about by the clouds.  I was a bit scared and said a few Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. After that few minutes of shaky feeling, touch down was not bad at all.

screencap of the credit card bill

Two weeks after our trip, Gevi texted me about an additional fee of PhP100 per pax from Air Philippines charged directly to the credit card she used for online transaction. Apparently, aside from the amount she paid for our airfare, there is a service fee. 

 screen cap of @airphilexpress response to my query

I tweeted about the incident that happened. The 2 screen caps were the replies I got from the Twitter admin of @airphilexpress.

I was not the one who booked our tickets so I really don't know if indeed there is a new window that pops out. My friend insisted there was none. Just my thought, why couldn't Airphil Express add the said  service fee in the entire bill found in the same window so as to avoid confusion.

screen cap of email 

As I am writing about this entry, I grab hold of the copy of the email regarding our travel reservation with the airline. Lo and behold, there it is at the end of the itinerary under Arranger Remarks- Total Service Fee Amount Applied PhP200.

I still haven't paid my friend. I wonder if her bank can reversed the charges since she didn't confirm this service transaction.

Moral lesson- Before you get too overwhelmed and excited about the trip, read everything and be wary about online booking.