Review of Philippine Airlines flight Manila Singapore in Business

Airline Philippine Airlines
Flight PR507
Class Business
Seat 2K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 03:45
Take-off 09 Apr 18, 09:55
Arrival at 09 Apr 18, 13:40
PR   #31 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 31 reviews
jaytot
By 2761
Published on 25th April 2018
Hello! Welcome everyone!

Its another great day to fly!

This is the last installment of my 4 flight series from my previous holiday back to the Philippines. Going back to reality.

This series of reports covers;

PR 510 SIN- MNL Economy (where it all started!)
PR 2696 CRK - BSO Economy (Paradise bound!)
PR 2697 BSO - CRK Economy (Take me back to paradise!)
PR 507 MNL - SIN Business Class (Finale!)

This return flight back to Singapore is not my usual preferred flight schedule, i usually catch the first flight in the morning (even for other carriers) to avoid rush hour. Upon booking checking all flight details, PR 507 utilises the new Philippine airline cabin for A330. These A330's are the refurbished planes from all economy configuration that were bought but previous management. After a make over, this plane now comes in a 3 class layout to carry 309 passengers, 18 Flatbed Business seats (1-2-1 configuration), 24 Recliner premium economy seat (2-3-2) and 267 economy seats (2-4-2) and now has TV's throughout the classes. So i chose this flight to experience this and thinking maybe i can share this with you all.

I booked this return flight as a promo economy fare for S$ 260. I tried submitting my bid for an upgrade on my SIN-MNL leg, but none to avail, and founding out on their FAQs that promo fares are not entitled to bid for an upgrade. Before my CRK-BSO-CRK flight, i tried my luck to check if my return flight to SIN is eligible to bid for an upgrade, to my surprise i went trough the website and i start bidding. based on their website the minimum bid for this route is US$150, but in my case the lowest that i could bid was US$200, maybe because initially on a lowest economy class. so i submit my bid, Im just trying my lucking and if this is for me then its good, if not, i can still experience their new economy seat. Two days before my flight i was notified that i have been upgraded to Business Class, and makes me more excited to experience their new Business Class seat. Upon writing, i checked Philippine Airline's fare for a one-way flight Business class fare which cost S$620, and mine to sum it all, it only cost about S$400-420, which is not bad at all. Having an upgrade is a matter of luck if you are doing the lowest bid.

On the day of my flight i was in the NAIA Terminal 2, 4 hours before schedule departure. It was Monday, it was busy but not crowded and chaotic. FIDS shows all flights for that day.
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All international flights Check in couters are in the North wing of Terminal 2, while domestic flights are in the south Wing. Before you enter the Terminal, you will undergo initial security check, and only Passengers are allowed to enter. Upon Entering the terminal, on the right side are the Business class check in counter, South East Asian Economy Flights and Filipino Immigration Counters, whil on the left side are check-in counter oft Northern Asia, US and Australia flights as well as foreigner's Immigration Counter.

When i was going to the check in counter, an agent approached me and ask my passport. She started taking a photo of my passport, then i asked her what she is doing, then she told me that she is going to checked me in through mobile, then i told her i was asked to go to check in counter to manually checked as i was upgraded, and she showing my way to economy counters. The B* in me says no, told her i was asked to queue at Business class counters, this is rare for me so ill grab that chance lol. Business Class passengers welcomes with a red carpet and a red queue poles. It was a busy morning but all counters are open and check in procedure is fast. I was third on the queue but it only took me less that 5 minutes for me to process my check in. I asked the agent if i could get a window seat and she said i was already pre seated on a window seat, she hand over me my boarding pass and told me that i am entitled to use the Mabuhay lounge. I was surprise that there is no invitation card that were handed over together my boarding pass. In my previous experience with PR's outbound SIN (Dec2016), they gave me a real invitation to use the SATSlounge and then in MNL outbound (4 yrs ago) they printed another boarding pass and printed their the invitation.



When i got my Boarding pass, i went trough immigration and final security check. it was a breeze. before heading to the lounge, i wander the terminal for a short while. Duty free shopping welcomes you after security check, food stall and souvenir shop on both sides.
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Few months back, All international flights boarding gates are only at North wing of the terminal, now they open portion of the South wing to accommodate international passengers, making more room for passengers to seat while waiting for their flight. This door used be to locked and close, now open in order to go to other gates.
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Opening the south wing of the terminal makes Mabuhay lounge at the center of the International departures, which is more accessible and efficient for passengers. The signage is small in the front and door seems like you are entering an ordinary room not a lounge. Agent ask for my boarding pass and let me in, Mabuhay lounge is quite small and might be full and crowded if all wide bodies planes departs at the same time. the Lounge is Divided into 3 rooms, 2 waiting/entertainment room and a dinning room at the middle. I found an empty table at the corner of the last room.


Felt that food selection this time is rather below average compared to the last time i visited the lounge. They offer light breakfast meals (bases on my judgment), there where no hot dishes available nor rice for passenger prefer heavy breakfast meal. The where some dim-sum, breads, sandwiches, their famouse PAL Arrozcaldo, fruits, Noodles, Salads, few desserts and other light bites.


Boarding calls on time. But before i left the lounge i went in to toilet, it was so small, with 2 urinals, 2 cubicle and small space for walking. Im with my backpack, when i turned around i hit people with my bag, that is how cramped it was. I also asked the ladies at the counter if they have comb/brush, as i felt my hair are standing on its own and a little comb could tamed them down, but there were none and i asked how about inside the shower room? There is also none.

My boarding gates is at the south wing, they are accepting passengers for boarding. There are queues for each group A- D and a separate lane for Premium Economy, while Business Pax can board anytime they want. I went to Y+ lane, the lady hold her boarding of Y pax and she prioritised me to board. Signage that im on the right plane. My big bird that flew us from MNL to SIN.


We embark at door 2L. Philippine Airline recently awarded as a 4-star airline by Skytrax, and they are proud of it, this is one step closer in aiming the 5-Star Status. Cabin Crew welcomes us and check our boarding passes. He passes me to another Lady crew and show me seat and present her self as she was the one who's looking after us. Through door 2L, on the left side you will passed by the small cabin of premium economy, then further left will be the Business class cabin. On the right side of door 2L is for entire Economy class.
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My seat for this almost 3.5 hours flight. Philippine airlines chooses Thompson's Vantage XL seats for their new Business class product, with Lay flat beds, all aisle access, Adjustable air cushion, massage function and 18.5 Rave AVOD to name a few. After i put my bag into the compartment above i started to explore the new J seat of PR. Pillows and blanket are pre placed on each seats. Earphone is at the side table compartment, read-ables at the back seat compartment. 18.5" Rave Avod, a side lamp and jackets hook.


The 2 middle seat which still unoccupied by that time. These Seats has a 3 point system seatbelt, which is very new to me, its the same as the seatbelt in a car.
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Our very friendly crew, Kariz, approached me and asked for any welcome drinks, they offered water, juices and the Mabuhay punch, and i chose the later. They dont serve alcoholic beverages as a welcome drinks tho. after that, she showed me the menu for that flight and took my ordered. When we board the plane, the cabin temp is warm, i asked our crew if there is a chance to lower the temperature of the cabin, they were aware of the situation and they already adjusted the temperature and assure me it will be cooler in a while. I Asked if the Premium Economy is full, so i can have a chance later to explore the other cabin, unfortunately it was full flight, All 18 seats of J are all occupied as well as the other cabin.
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The seat back contents. Seat Instruction card for the new Business Class Seat, and found out here that you may unbuckle the body strap and let the waist belt still fastened. a very informative card. I did not notice the mood lighting change when i adjust the settings. Safety Card. Magazines are updated this time.


When everything is settled, the plane ready for departure, they already played the safety demo while pushing back the plane. After the demo, explore the new Rave AVOD, i found it very responsive and clear. You may need to familiarise your self on the icons, but after its easy to use. there are alot of current movies, lates Tv shows, music and magazines. you'll never get bored even on a longer flight. The screen is too shiny tho. I decided to watch a Filipino movie and used the headphones. I could say that the headphones that PR uses is with good quality, comportable to use, the sound is clear and noise cancelation is really working, not branded but works so well.


Our plane's sister, A330 bound for BKK. Photo while taxiing to the runway. NAIA Terminal 2 the home of the Sunrisers. FedEx and DHL cargo planes. Empty Terminal 1. "Welcome to the Philippines" but not for us!


Aligning to the runway. Last glimps of Manila.


When the seatbelt sign is switched off, i unbuckle myself and head to lavatory to get some tissues as im still sweating alot. Kariz saw me still sweating and ask me if i need water to cool my self. Again i also asked if they have comb inflight, this is the last time i could have comb to fix my hair, if not ill fix when i reach our home in SIN, unfortunately, they purser politely says "i'm sorry not on this flight." When is return to my seats Kariz gave me water and few tissue to wipe my sweat. Lavatory is clean and toiletries are well stocked with Handwash, Lotion, Mouthwash and cologne. Crews are preparing the meal service.
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The view from my seat. its very private, while you are seated, you may not be able to see other passenger.i found the seat is very comfortable, the seat cushion is adjusted by pumping air on it, that is why i felt i was seating in an airbed. The massage function is not the hardest pressure at the back, its like a light poking sensation on your back. i also tried the lounge position. I Asked kariz why i can not access myPal on my phone, and says that it was disable since each seats has AVOD. myPAL is an app where you can stream movies, musics, shows and magazines trough wifi.


Aperitif is offered, with a glass of champange and warm nuts, with hot towels.


Menu for this day.


I opt for the beef. Scallop and Salmon were served as a starter, it was a fine and light dish, thou the dressing stated on the menu was dill-mustard dressing, but i tasted it as a roasted sesame dressing, which i prefer more than the other. Beef in Apricot red vinegar sauce is very delicious, the meat is so tender, when you press the meat by fork its flakes outs, more sauce would be much appreciated as a gravy for the whipped potato. A weird beverages pairing with Mimosa and Apple juice. I chose the 2 desserts.


Meal service ended near Begawan, put my seat into a bed mode and continue watching the movie, and seem like most of the passengers did the same way. You may lower your Armrest to have more space on you bed/seat. footwell is wide enough for your feet if you are lying flat. This bed is big enough for me. i still continue eating my ice cream and mimosa.


You know when you are near to SIN if you saw the neighbouring islands of Indonesia, Shipping vessels docked at sea.


Singapore Changi approached. Terminal for and you can see the construction of the bigger terminal 5 from afar.


It was a short taxi after we landed and dock at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport. Before i alight the plane, i had a sneak peak of PR's premium economy seats. The Premium Economy for this plane is a real hard products not compared to other A330 that the premium economy only offers wider leg room. And this is on par from other premium economy seats that i've read from other reports.
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Inside the Changi Terminal and Immigration. it was an afternoon arrival and passengers are starting to queue for clearance. As a working resident, i went directly to the automated clearance and cleared within a minute.


I bought some beers from the duty free, when the time i reached the carousel, first bag from our flight are starting to deliver, with a priority tagged on my bag, mines was one of the first bag to deliver.




This concludes my short holiday back home, hope you enjoy my series of flight. Cheers and more flights to come.

Comments, critique and suggestions are welcome!
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Verdict

Philippine Airlines

9.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering9.0

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge

6.0/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services6.0

Manila - MNL

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Singapore - SIN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It was memorable flight with the new business class product of Philippine Airlines. It really can compete with other leading carriers. Hope PR will continue to enhance customer experience by upgrading its fleet and offer more comfortable and state of the art product to the customer, whether for short, regional and long haul flights.

They really need to improve their lounge, food selection is so average for me. Toilets is too small, 5 people inside the toilet is a crowd. Hope they improve it in when they transferred to Terminal 1.

Cabin crew's service is top notch. They are polite, friendly and efficient. Kariz makes sure I'm comfortable with cabin temperature.

Entertainment on board would be better, for an AvGeek like me, if they have outside camera. Wifi is not working when i tried to log in. A less shinny monitor makes viewing perfect.

Information on the route Manila (MNL) Singapore (SIN)

4 Comments

  • Comment 442514 by
    Eric V P GOLD 119 Comments

    Thank you for sharing!

    This series of reports covers;
    PR 507 SIN- MNL Economy
    - Did you just accidentally flip PR507 with PR510?

    Having an upgrade is a matter of luck if you are doing the lowest bid.
    - That would be almost the same as doing upgrade on check-in (https://www.philippineairlines.com/TravelInformation/BeforeYouFly/AtTheAirport/businessclass-upgradefee), but at least still a decent saving and of course comes with some peace of mind. Have you ever tried upgrading on check-in before, and if so, how was it?

    Through door 2L, you will passed by the small cabin of
    - Was it the business, premium economy, or economy class cabin? Given that they have quite a lot of premium class passengers between door 1L and 2L, it was surprising they didn't use both 1L and 2L.

    Philippine airlines chooses Thompson's Vantage XL seats for their new Business class product, with Lay flat beds, all aisle access, Adjustable air cushion, massage function and 18.5 Rave AVOD to name a few.
    - PR's A333 seems to offer a solid business class given that MNL-SIN is only ~4 hours away and at least they have the decency not to slightly modify it and sell as first class like MH did.

    After quite a few years of not flying with PR, I'm quite impressed with the product they offered on your flight. If they can offer the same product on less busy routes (ex.: MNL-CGK/DPS) I would be more than happy to try flying with them as well (or do you think that's not going to ever happen?)

    Once again, thank you!

    • Comment 442525 by
      jaytot AUTHOR 28 Comments

      Thank you for your comment.

      yes, sin-mnl is pr510 and mnl-sin is pr507. door 2L divides the plane from premium pax from economy, when you enter the plane, on the left is the small cabin of Premium economy then further left is the business class while on the right side of door 2L is the entire economy class. ill edit, thank you.

      i havent done upgrading through check-in, my 2 business class flight are all bid. my $200 bid is between min bid for regular Y which is $150 and upgrade though check-in for $250.

      Highest cabin for PR is still business class, they dont offer first class at the moment. Only this flight uses wide body jet, the other 3 flights utilises narrow bodied plane A320/A321.

      Only A320/A321 uses on their MNL-DPS/CGK, i dont think PR will deploy their wide bodies planes on those routes. DPS/CGK passengers are mostly leisure travellers, not like SIN or HKG serves as a transit hub.

  • Comment 442812 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4845 Comments

    Mabuhay and thanks for sharing this new report on PR! The new cabins look great in both Business and Premium Economy. You can tell PR are really serious about moving up and competing against the other Asian carriers.

    • Comment 442850 by
      jaytot AUTHOR 28 Comments

      indeed, they are really striving to get that star, and recently some photos of their new business class flatbed seats on their upcoming A321neo circulates on social media, i cannot wait to experience that too. thanks!

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