PAL vs Cebu Pacific

I know this post may be too late but this is just a reminder to all who want to travel by plane.

If you think that Cebu Pacific offers the cheapest airfares, you’re in for a surprise! Philippine Airlines, Asia’s oldest carrier and national airline of the Philippines is also offering competitive rates to travelers. Their rates are comparable to what Cebu Pacific offers, sometimes even cheaper than Cebu Pacific.

All you need to do is check for the EconoLight Fares by selecting it from the drop down list of Cabin Class/Fare Basis on the Online Booking section of their homepage. If no EconoLight Fare is available on your preferred date(s), the system will quote the lowest Economy Fiesta fare instead. EconoLight Fares are available in all PAL domestic flights and selected international flights. *I believe that the EconoLight Fare is only available for purchase online.

Due to the cheaper rates, they will not serve free snacks to passengers who take advantage of this promo and the passengers will be seated on the back portion of the aircraft. The fare is also non-refundable, just like Cebu Pacific’s. Nevertheless, their aircraft is way bigger and I’d still prefer to fly with PAL if given the chance.

Recently, two of my colleagues went home for the holidays and they both bought tickets from Cebu Pacific on separate occasions. When I learned of the amount they spent for their tickets, I couldn’t resist checking PAL’s rates online, not to confuse my colleagues, but just for the heck of checking. It was really cheaper than what they paid. One of them could have saved Php3,000++ if she’d known sooner. But I guess the rates still varies depending on the season.

There’s only one thing I didn’t appreciate about PAL’s online bookings, it’s how they classify their rates. When I tried to purchase tickets for the Ilocos tour on the 1st week of December, I initially chose 3 passengers on the drop down list of passengers under the Economy Fiesta Fare. Then I was quoted the rates. It was only Php200.00 more than Cebu Pacific’s rate so I didn’t hesitate. I tried to book it immediately but encountered errors. I had to call their Customer Service hotline to reserve the seats. When I tried checking back the site to see if it’s working, I also tried checking rates for 1 passenger under the EconoLight Fare. To my surprise, I saw that the rates were cheaper than what I reserved. When I tried to book for 3 passengers under the same Promo Fare, the rate was expensive. It’s not the same amount if you multiply the individual fare by 3 persons. So I did the next sensible thing, fearing that someone else might take those seats. I booked 3 individual flights separately and processed 3 payments online. That was the only hassle. But considering everything, it still came out cheaper than what Cebu Pacific offered (900Php difference each!!!).

My point??? Don’t be stuck with Cebu Pacific. Gone were the days that we don’t even consider PAL or they were our last priority since it’s a given that their rates were really pricey. If you’re planning on that long planned trip always check the rates of the 2 airline companies. Well, the best thing is to check the rates of all airline companies.

Happy Trip Folks!

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