PAL Express Flight Review: Manila to Iloilo (Round-Trip)

It was a fine day of weather when I flew from Manila to Iloilo for a conference. I was off to a good start and looking forward to a positive airport and flight experience as I headed to the land where the people have got to be the friendliest and sweetest I know.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
In my frequent travels, I don’t seem to remember seeing this display each time. I think they should always do this to lessen the foot traffic in the check-in area once the passengers get inside the airport.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
And because of the sign, I knew exactly where my counter was. Not this one though.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
This one.

I use the web check-in services erratically depending on the weather or traffic situation. If everything’s fine as it was during my day of departure, I do web check-in. If not, I slug it out at the check-in counter with the rest just in case I don’t make it so I don’t forfeit my flight. Web check-ins are convenient but if you miss the flight, you are considered a no-show and you cannot rebook. You must buy an entirely new ticket. That has happened to my friend when he got stuck in traffic.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
After a quick security clearance, I spent my waiting time listening to my online course lectures.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
And soon enough, it was boarding time.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
But it wasn’t soon enough for these passengers who had already lined up even before the announcement.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Although I booked with Philippine Airlines, we were flying PAL Express, its budget carrier.

philippine airlines a320
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Just for the record, I did not cause the tear.

philippine airlines flight review
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Because it was PAL Express, you have to pay for almost everything.

philippine airlines menu
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pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
I said almost because we still got a free snack.

pal express a320
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
And some water.


As the flight was short (an hour) and uneventful (the best kind there is), soon enough, we landed at Iloilo International Airport. Thank you, PAL Express, for a relaxing flight.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Bye, Iloilo!


But now it was time to head back home. Goodbye, batchoy! So long, beautiful heritage houses!

iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Having arrived some three hours before my flight, I inquired at the PAL office if there was a Manila-bound flight that I could get on. The very friendly PAL staff said there was none so I was left with no choice but to sit near the security check across the PAL check-in counters and wait. As you can see, as early as I was, there were passengers who came earlier. They left their luggage to start the queue.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN

iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
After a quick check-in as I was the third in line, it was time to go pay the terminal fee.

iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
And buy some pasalubong, while resisting not eating them myself.

iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
Boarding commenced on time.

iloilo airport
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
pal express a320
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
philippine airlines flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
On my way to the washroom, I noticed this amusing scene and asked the owner sitting beside it if he was asked to fasten the trophy. He smiled and said no. He just thought it was best to do so. Although I suspected he didn’t do it, I still asked, “Did you pay for the seat for your trophy?”

He chuckled and said it just so happened it was unoccupied.

pal express a320
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
The experience on our flight back home was similar to my earlier flight coming in---short, uneventful and relaxing which is why I have more pictures to show than words to say. A good review is a very short review.

pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
pal express flight review
Copyright photo: The Paranoid Traveler/PFN
But then again, it wouldn’t be as interesting so I need to throw in a bit for the long waiting time at the baggage claim!

----THE PARANOID TRAVELER---

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