|Airphil Express Airport Counters at NAIA Terminal 3|
Anyway, for this trip, for the love of adventure (haha :-) and trying to be a smart (budget :-) traveler, I decided to try out Airphil Express. It's actually a revamped Air Philippines, and an affiliate of Lucio Tan Group of Companies with Philippine Airlines positions as the premium airline, and Airphil Express to play in the Budget Airline Segment . Truly, Airphil Express is actually offering a very budget friendly travel fare, and from the look of the share of passengers in the airport pre-departure area, it is already giving Cebu Pacific (a strong/leading player in the low-cost airfare segment) a good run for its money. And I can say that it is truly a worthy player! :-)
|Airphil Express Turbo Prob Aircraft arriving at Iloilo International Airport|
Flight bookings are available online. We got our roundtrip ticket Manila-Iloilo for only Php 1100+ per person inclusive of the tax etc. This also comes with 15kg baggage allowance. Understandably, snacks won't be served for free, but in-flight snacks are available at a cost.
Besides the fare rate, major consideration why I decided to explore for the first time trying out the airline is because of their New Airbus 320. But due to flight time changes in schedule, for our Manila outbound flight we took a Turbo Propeller aircraft carrier instead of Airbus. It was kinda disappointing. It's the typical around 40-seater plane, with the sound and longer cruising time and all. And, it means jet bridge or passenger boarding bridges won't be available. We actually had to take a bus from the pre-departure area of Terminal 2 to board the aircraft on it's designated parking space. But other than that the whole flight was uneventful.
So what's to ❤?
- Besides the friendly airfare, and less the Turbo Prop aircraft, which is more expected for a island such as Boracay or Palawan flights (due to shorter airport runway and airport facilities etc.), the staffs, both ground and inflight crews and staffs are very friendly and accommodating.
- Both Manila and Iloilo crew actually helped us to lift our checked-in baggages from the cart to the weighing counter.
- What I meant, was that they don't really hassle you on your hand-carried items like the weight, size and numbers. Unlike what I experienced with PAL (Philippine Airlines) on the hassle of weighing and counting the hand carried items considering that I was traveling then with my 3 year old son. Although I'm actually ready for it, just in case they for enforce the guidelines on hand carried items, and on our checked in baggage allowance. Each of our hand carried items were actually lesser or equals 7kg. each.
- The Airbus 320 flight which we took for our Manila bound flight looks and smells new! :-)
|Airphil Express Airbus Aircraft landing at Iloilo International Airport|
- Airphil Express flights are housed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. To date, only Cebu Pacific and Airphil are using the Terminal 3 both for their local and International Flights. From the looks of it Terminal 3, being relatively new, has a lot of potential to house more international flights. We'll have to wait and see...
- There are several retail stores along the departure area.
- Food Shops even Mrs. Fields Cafe, Illy and other Pasalubong (gifts & treats) stores also line the relatively huge departure area.
- The restrooms in the Terminal 3 are also squeaky clean and also comes with tissues and paper towels (so happy for that supposedly simple and basic thing, because not all, in fact majority of the public restrooms in the country doesn't provide those!)
|Retail Shops at the Domestic Departure Area of the NAIA Terminal 3|
|Food Shops at the Domestic Departure Area of the NAIA Terminal 3|
Overall, Hats off to Airphil Express! It is truly a Chic & Sassy Choice! Traveling on a budget doesn't have to be an unfortunate ordeal, because you can actually still travel in style with Airphil Express! :-)