Business Class Philippine Airlines Trip Reports

Review: Philippine Airlines New Business Class Boeing 777-300ER Manila to San Francisco

[Click above for the video review.]

Overall impression:

I get a lot of questions on what is Philippine Airlines Business Class like? We finally found a good PAL business class fare and went for it. We were looking forward to try PAL’s updated Business Class seats on their Boeing 777-300ER, and we were not disappointed. The seats are very comfortable and the configuration allowed my companion and I to talk during the flight. The Mabuhay lounge was a nice respite from the zoo that is NAIA Terminal 2. Service from the crew was very good and consistent with our other flights on PAL. The catering was excellent, especially if you like Filipino food. Another great flight on PAL!

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What I didn’t like:

The dreaded NAIA Terminal 2– Much like the other terminals at MNL, NAIA T2 requires passengers to go through multiple security checks. When you first approach the terminal entrance, you need to show the security guard your printed itinerary/eticket. Then, once at the entrance of the terminal, they x-ray your luggage and you go through a metal detector. All US-bound checked baggage are then opened by security during check-in, after which all passengers are asked the usual security questions. That’s not the end of it, there’s another security checkpoint after immigration, and then another at the gate (for all US-bound flights). Anything for security, I guess…The terminal itself is actually pretty airy with glass windows and high ceilings, but the problem is the terminal building is too small to handle the amount of passengers. There’s literally nowhere to sit once you’re airside, especially during the evenings when most North America-bound PAL flights depart. There are very limited food choices once you’re airside and not many (if any) stores for shopping.

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What I liked:

The seats – Philippine Airlines'(PAL) new full flat Business Class seats on their Boeing 777-300ER was a nice improvement over their older Recaro angled flat seats. PAL deployed the Zodiac Aura Enhanced seats, similar to the seats that Turkish Airlines uses on their Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts. The seat is well padded and comfortable when sitting and lounging, but most importantly it turns into a full flat bed when it’s time to sleep. Although the 2-3-2 seat configuration is not ideal for the typical business traveler, the cabin felt open and less claustrophobic than other configs we’ve tried. Business class passengers are provided with a L’Occitane amenity kit, slippers, as well as a full size pillow and thick duvet (similar to the one Qatar Airways uses) to make the 12 hour journey across the Pacific more comfortable.

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Onboard service – The crew on this flight were a little bit more reserved than other PAL flights we took, but provided us with great service nonetheless. PAL doesn’t use trays during meal service, so our plates were placed directly on the white linen. Pre-departure beverage were offered along with hot towels. Refills were also proactively offered and we were addressed by name throughout the flight.

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The food – In my opinion, PAL’s onboard catering is where they shine. They offer a selection of Filipino, Asian, and Western dishes. Being Filipino, it was a nice treat to be able to eat my favorite Filipino dishes onboard. The dishes were all presented nicely and were delicious! I really enjoyed the food offering on this flight.

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It was OK, I guess…

The Mabuhay Lounge in MNL – PAL’s Mabuhay Lounge at Manila’s Terminal 2 is a relatively small lounge compared to other Airline lounges in their hub. Though there’s plenty of seating available, the lounge can get crowded during peak hours. The food offering is good and they offer made to order noodle soups. Don’t miss the chicken arroz caldo!

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