Over at Plurk yesterday, I asked my friends which airline they preferred – Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific – and the ensuing thread got a few interesting answers.Let us attempt to point their differences, one by one:
CebuPac: Cebu Pacific’s aggressive marketing makes it appear that they’re the budget airline to beat. Promos for seat sales are announced almost every week. There was only one time that I availed of their zero fare, and that was unluckily when Typhoon Milenyo struck. Ticket was non-refundable. Since then, I haven’t booked for a CebuPac promo which are always filled up anyway.
PAL: The silent player in the price wars. Some people attest to the fact that PAL fares come out even cheaper than the much-hyped offerings of its competitor. It’s now offering Econolight which is priced cheaper than Fiesta Class and comes with no meals, only 15 kg baggage allowance and you will be seated at the back. Still, its meant for the market segment dominated by its rival.
CebuPac : Its DC9 planes are really obsolete, as DC9s trace back to the 60s. But its official website does not list the DC9s, only the Airbus and the ATR 72-500.
PAL : Perceived to have newer fleet than the other, even though it is Asia’s oldest airline.
CebuPac: Younger (pilots and flight attendants.)
PAL: Older 😀
CebuPac: Their listing doesn’t appeal to me, as the offerings seem to be dominated by its sister company, Universal Robina Corp. I prefer a hot, prepared meal, not some wrapped biscuits or noodles. So I’d really rather just buy the water!
PAL: My family (especially the kids) had a nice in-flight meal during our last trip to HK so I’d give PAL points for this one. I won’t mind paying a few hundred pesos for the pleasure of being served a decent meal onboard.
CebuPac: Budget fares are applicable for persons of all ages.
PAL: Discounts for kids (be sure to ask the next time you travel).
CebuPac: SMILE. Looks like they try to pack a lot of topics in one issue but I enjoyed reading them the last time.
PAL: Mabuhay has a good, classic layout but the articles are a bit pretentious. Sometimes they feature places which I wouldn’t even dream of going, despite the pictures.
CebuPac: Flight 387 which crashed on Feb. 2, 1998
PAL: No major accidents since 1994, but you can look at this
PAL wins with me on its newer fleet and its food.
Cebu Pacific wins with me for smoother landings and take-offs, although I’ve had horror stories from my friends about their flights being diverted elsewhere or being rough.
On time reliability:
CebuPac: the 69.1% on time performance posted on its website at present is a bit dismal, I think
PAL: It used to be Plane Always Late before. My flights with them have never been delayed though.
You may comment on this one 😀
reyna elena says
Pag domestic, Philippine Airlines here Annalyn, although miiyak ako coz i don’t see cute guys there! Hahahahaha!
But international? Ayoko.
I live in the east coast of the US. One time, I went home on emergency and travelled from New York to Los Angeles where I have to take the non-stop PAL flight to Manila.
Leche, pag dating ko sa LAX, the seats reserved for me in NY meant nothing. Why? Paparebook daw uli ako. So, nakalinya ako forever!
My baggage? Papa-checkin daw uli. So hinarbat ko na naman sa baggage counter.
Eh me isa akong balikbayan box, laman puro toys with battery. Taz isang maletang puno nang bra. Me saklay pa akong bag. Puno nang abre-late. Can you imagine kung anong itsura ko? Mistulang xmas tree ako nang mga boxes ang bags ateng!
I asked the counter ba’t ganun? Wa man lang smile. Irita pa sya dahil di ko daw alam. As in hallerrrr!
Yon pala, yong software reservations daw nila don’t talk to the software they use in the east coast.
So, ako ang pinarusahan?
Since then, I avoid LAX, or San Francisco at ayoko nang mag-PAL going home to Manila.
I just flew with PAL over the weekend. nakakatakot yung pag landing! que horror!
Nakakalorkey naman yang kuwento mo Reynz. You went to the West Coast just to be told that? kaya nga me software or whatever ware eh, para coordinated sila. Oh well, wala rin consuelo kasi thundercats na ang crew, hehehe
@Dyanie, bakit nga ganun? Di man lang swabe. Okay na sana eh…. ma-brief man lang sana ang mga jaded pilots nila to make smooth landings and take-offs. Haaay
re aircrafts: 5J no longers uses that age-old DC9’s kaya nga you no longer see them in their websites. their current fleet only includes a319, a320 and ATR for short haul flights like bcd-ceb.
while PR uses a320 for most flights and a330 for some mnl-ceb and mnl-dvo flights. for routes with short runways, or short haul flights like mph, or the ceb-bcd route they use a QBombardier aircraft.
OTP: Pr is always better
disconts: my vote goes to 5J, for kids o-23 months old its absolute zero fare for 5J, while you still need to pay the kid’s taxes if via PR.
Domestic flight menu: nobody gets my vote. eheh
crew: PR has more good looking FAs
fares: while it is true that most of the time 5j offers the cheapest rate, there are also time that PR also has a much cheaper rate, and i can attest to that.
customer service: PR wins this game.
Nice to see you writing about flying, given that you are such are keen aviator 🙂 For me, I would love to fly on a DC9 as is so hard to find them still flying. Could be my mission this year to fly on a DC9, as would really be a dream come true for me 🙂
David Santos says
Great posting, my friend, great!!!
Congratulations!!! Have a nice weekend!!!
Mr Z says
Here’s my two cents – PAL wins for me, with an organized domestic terminal that doesn’t resemble the MADHOUSE employed by the other airlines flying domestic in Manila.
Sports Club costs $50/year, and means sporting equipment doesn’t count towards your bag limit. Means our bicycles, in travel cases, don’t get billed against our baggage allowance.
I prefer taking PAL, but my wallet dictates which airline I’m taking for my next trip. PAL’s age counts for years of experience and better customer service.
5J turned on the a/c just before take off (mla-cebu & cebu-mla also) so everyone was hot & irritable. The FAs kept fanning themselves & everyone was perspiring. Ano ba yan? It’s very true also that they are always late. Their planes are smaller & the FAs could use more make-up. Fare is not cheaper, halos pareho lang. PR is really better for me so i always fly domestic with them. With international flights, ang tagal naman minsan ng lay over pag PR ( but they have non stop flights) I haven’t tried 5J in my international flights.. takut aku eh!
Mr Z says
Maryjoy, aircraft power is limited – they are typically using the air that powers the aircon to start the engines. It is also switched off during takeoff, so all available power is there for takeoff. if they don’t seem to run the aircon for any real length of time on the ground, they are probably running late. Aircraft that are running on schedule should have enough time allotted for boarding to cycle the aircon on for a bit.
angela gonzales says
You really cannot compare PAL and Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific is a budget airline , from the seats to the sandwiches sold during the flights, the uniforms of the cabin crew… that’s what you get for flying budget, you can’t complain. =) PAL is pricier although I must say I feel safer when I board a PAL flight because you can see the level of preparation put into every flight. When it comes to customer service, I have chanced upon some very helpful ground and cabin crew from both airlines but there are still lapses: Cebu Pacific cabin crew – not conversant, and if they are you’ll notice the one thing they lack: good communication skills; PAL cabin crew – looks very professional but always seem too busy to bother, parang always on the go.