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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Flight Finding Frustrations (Triple F)

I've been busy looking for airline tickets for our upcoming trip to Manila. Because we are going home in December (the peak-est of all peak seasons), the ticket prices are just so exorbitant!

Our first choice is always to fly PAL (Philippine Airlines). I'm incredibly loyal and honestly enjoy flying our national carrier. For one thing, PAL is a direct flight (which means travel time is shorter and not having to stop-over mid-way is less of a hassle). Also, PAL's departure and arrival times are so convenient. PAL departs LA at 10 PM (after dinner and a movie, it's time to go to bed) and arrives in Manila at 6 AM (after sleep and breakfast, you ready to start the day). On the return trip, PAL leaves Manila at 9 PM (which is again perfect for sleeping through most of the flight) then arrives in LA at 7 PM (in this case, I take a sleeping pill, sleep through the night and am ready for the next day). These schedules really me avoid jet-lag.

Also, PAL has really improved the food they serve. The meals are actually pretty good. My favorite is the Filipino breakfast that is served just before landing. On my last flight, I had daing na bangus (and it was still crispy!) with garlic rice, fried eggs, chopped tomatoes and hot chocolate (so yummy). Plus, you can not argue with the Pinoy service that our flight attendants lavish on guests. I've flown in economy class, business class and was once even upgraded to business elite (first class) and can attest that service is great in all sections of the plane. And lastly, how awesome are Pinoy pilots when they land the plane? You can barely feel the descent and there hardly is any impact when the wheels hit the tarmac. It's truly an art form they have perfected!

But for this trip, PAL is just so cost-prohibitive. For our trip in early Dec. our tickets cost $1,350++ each and Jojo's ticket (he leaves mid-Dec) is $1,750++. Mind you these are economy class tickets. I wouldn't mind paying these prices for business class (what a deal!) but certainly not for coach. Even if our tickets for this trip are my mom's super-generous Xmas present to us (and not coming from our pockets), I can not in good faith enjoy the flight at these prices!

My second choice is usually Cathay Pacific because I love the Hong-Kong airport (especially their food court) and wouldn't mind a lay-over there. In fact, I wouldn't mind a day or two lay-over in HK. But Cathay's prices are even higher than PAL. Of course, Singapore Airlines is completely out of the question because it is the highest of all three. We are down to other Asian carriers like Korean, Japan, China and Eva Airlines. So far, Eva Air is most promising but the travel dates are getting full pretty quickly. So while we continue to look around for better possibilities, we also need to act pretty quickly because flights are filling up. I've also enlisted the help of my Tita Cynthia (who is a whiz at finding great bargains). We should be close to making a choice in the next few days.

In this day and age of technology, I wish they could find a way to make air travel much quicker and much cheaper. Oh and not harmful to the environment too. I just read an article that shows how much pollution is emitted by planes (especially jumbo 747s). But it's probably asking too much to ask for all these conditions to be met. Naturally a quicker mode of transportation will be more expensive and will emit more fuel that's bad for the environment. Sigh. As with all things, there are always trade offs. Like right now, I have to give up flying direct to Manila for a flight that won't break the bank!


Jin said...

How about stop by in Korea and I give a full service for you?^^ Hope to find the right ticket for you! BTW, it's like I am listening this story with your voice in front of you.I remember you voice, but I miss your real voice;)

Marc said...

Hi Dets!

How about coming to AZ to fly through Hawaiian?? =)

leslie ty said...

Hi Jo!

Just Remember...Christmas with family and friends in Manila....PRICELESS =)

Can't wait to see you in October! =)

Joanne said...

Hi Jin, it's funny how you wrote my writing is like listening to me talk. Often when I write my blog entries, I start out by talking to myself! So this really is me "talking" to you =) I miss hearing your voice too ...

Hey Marc, we finally got tickets na. It's on the expensive side ... but Les is right. This trip home is priceless (so I am now going to get over paying so much for airfare!).

Les, I am also so excited to see you and Joce in Oct. These are my highlights: Oct is having you guys over, Nov is having my family here and Dec is my trip home. That's all I talk about these days! =)

Auntie Lillian said...

I'm glad that you were able to get tickets for your trip home. So nice for your family to have a nice reunion - especially at Christmas time. I know with the house decorated and your mom's great cooking, and friends to bring you around - it will be great. Just give extra time for the traffic jams, okay ?

joyeee said...

can't wait till Nov and December. We'll have a shopping spree on thanksgiving weekend and one here in manila too...with all the bazaars that we'll go to!:)

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