Philippine Airlines (PAL) launched their non-stop flights between Doha and Manila last March 2017. It was a great news for Filipinos living in Qatar, as they get to have another choice of airline every time they fly home.
When Tep and I were planning to book our flight to Manila for our annual vacation this year, we didn’t think twice of trying it out. Good thing, the air ticket prices then were relatively cheaper as compared to another airline.
When I was still based in the Philippines, I seldom book with PAL because their rates are usually more than what we pay to the budget airlines. You will only see me flying with them if it is a business trip or if I score a seat sale, and these were always domestic flights. Our Doha to Manila leg was my first long haul international flight with them and I would like to share with you what you need to know in case you decided to book this 9 hour flight.
Booking and Checking In
We booked our flight through PAL’s website. Seat selection is free except for the front row seats and those seats that got extra legroom (check out the fees here). An economy class passenger gets a 46 kilo free baggage allowance (FBA), which I believe is quite generous. The FBA increases if you opt to book for a Premium Economy or a Business Class ticket. See the table below for the complete list of FBA and excess baggage charge.
Taken from PAL’s website. If you want to know more about this, click on this link.
Check in process for both our flights went fine. A separate counter was dedicated for those who check in online (This is important for me because I had few experiences with other airlines where there’s no designated counter for online check in).
The check in counters. Left: Hamad International Airport (Qatar) Right: NAIA (Philippines)
Plane and Flight
PAL’s non stop flights between Doha and Manila uses the Bi-class Airbus 330 aircraft. It is quite spacious and the seats have enough legroom. I believe this is also equipped with full flat beds at the business class section, which we didn’t get to experience because we only bought an economy class ticket.
Our flights from Doha to Manila and vice versa, went out smooth. We left Doha on time but we landed in Manila one hour late due to the air traffic at the airport. While our flight back to Doha got delayed by an hour since the aircraft that would bring us there arrived late.
The aircraft does not have a built in television, but they do offer wireless inflight entertainment where you can stream with their wide selection of movies, tv shows and even music using your own smartphones, tablets and laptops. How to do it? Simply download the myPAL Player app (check this video for the instruction or see below) to your devices before boarding the plane so you can enjoy this wonderful service during your flight. Sadly, we were not able to use this since we only learned about downloading the app when we were on board back to Doha.
If you will be using the app, please don’t forget to bring your own earphones so you will not disturb the other passengers. In case you need to charge your devices during the flight, then don’t worry as the aircraft has an outlet/socket (type B) located underneath your seats.
Here are the instructions for downloading which I took from the Mabuhay Magazine. To know more about this service and the list of featured movies, tv shows and music, you may click on this link.
Another thing that surprised us during our flight was the free wifi. You can enjoy a complimentary 30 minute or 15 mb wifi, so you can stay connected while onboard. If you want to use it longer, then there will be applicable charges. I was able to connect to their wifi, it was not the fastest and I got disconnected multiple times, but I was able to upload an IG story then and used the messenger to chat with my family.
The WIFI fees.
Mabuhay Magazine was also available on the flight. You can read a lot about travel, lifestyle and the services that PAL offers. They also have a variety of current newspapers that they hand out to the passengers.
Food is one of those that I look forward to while on board. Who doesn’t? During our flights, we were served with 1 full meal and 2 snacks, with a wide variety of beverages (wines present).
These were the meals and snacks served during our flight going to Manila.
These were served on our flight back to Doha. Forgot to take a photo of the other snack served, which includes saltine crackers and Mani Espesyal.
Services and Other Amenities
PAL recently placed 4th at the Smart Travel Asia’s Top 10 Airlines Cabin Service category, so it didn’t surprised me to receive excellent service from all the cabin crews. There was one crew during our flight to Doha, I believe she is the supervisor, who keeps on giving information regarding the MyPal Player and helping out the passengers to connect to it. I really appreciated how concerned she was on getting the passengers entertained. It was the first time that I’ve encountered such on an economy flight.
Other amenities that you can enjoy while on board are pillows and blankets to help you sleep comfortably, as well as the bundle of dental kits (toothbrush and toothpaste) available for use at the lavatory.
We had an amazing experience flying with PAL, I guess the only downsides were the delayed arrival and departure by one hour on both our flights. But these won’t stop us from booking our next vacation with them. I’m not sure if these happens every time ( I hope not), but I think these are just minor issues unless you have a connecting flight going somewhere else in the Philippines.
Have you tried flying with PAL from Doha to Manila? Let me know your thoughts and experiences by commenting down below.
P.S.: Additional Information on Connecting Flights with PAL
PAL Doha recently contacted me with regards to my concern on the connecting flights. If you bought your DOH – MNL flight along with a domestic flight under one ticket with PAL (e.g. DOHA to Manila then Manila to Roxas City), then these are the privileges that you can receive:
- In case you missed your domestic flight due to delays, PAL will arrange to accommodate you to the next available flight.
- PAL will provide free shuttle service going to other terminals. This service takes the route inside the airport so there’s no need for the passenger to check out their baggage out of the airport.
- Same baggage allowance (46kgs or more depending on your class) as your DOH – MNL flight will apply to your domestic flight. The ground crew will also handle the transfer of the baggage to the next aircraft.
Again, these are only applicable if both your flights are with PAL and bought together as one ticket.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All the information stated above are based on my personal experiences during our flight with Philippine Airlines.