Review of Cebu Pacific flight Manila Kuala Lumpur in Economy

Airline Cebu Pacific
Flight 5J501
Class Economy
Seat 14F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 03:55
Take-off 31 Aug 13, 20:40
Arrival at 01 Sep 13, 00:35
5J 18 reviews
AirCanada881
Published on 30th November 2013
GOING OFF THE GRID PART 6


Itinerary
1. 07 August 2013 - BUD-IST Y http://flight-report.com/en/report-4805.html
2. 08 August 2013 - IST-HKG W http://flight-report.com/en/report-4817.html
3. 10 August 2013 – HKG-CEB Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-4915.html
4. 21 August 2013 - CEB-CGM Y- http://flight-report.com/fr/report-5627.html
5. 31 August 2013 - CEB-MNL Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-5649.html
6. 31 August 2013 - MNL-KUL Y- Happening now
7.
8.
9.


I left you off the plane in Manila, we had a 2.5 hour layover here which seemed like alot. The airport is really big, we had to go through several security checks to pass through, above all as we were leaving the Philippines we had to pay a fee of P550 per person (about 10 euros) which they call a terminal fee, as far as I know you can only pay cash so if you've used all your pesos by then, well, good luck! I knew about it in advance so I planned accordingly.
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The other problem we ran through is that my wife had collected over the past 3 weeks tons of corals and stones etc from the various beaches we were at. As we had to re-clear security this time we were pulled aside and told that we would not be allowed to take these out of the country as apparently it is forbidden. After some convincing from my wife' side, the lady decided to let us keep the corals as a wedding present, so my wife was happy, some of these we had actually purchased from some fishermen on the beaches. Cebu Pacific was aware that we had these as we had asked them about it in Cebu but they said it won't be a problem… So they were either playing stupid or ignorant of the rules of their own country.

After security we proceeded back into the gate area. Terminal 3 at MNL is exclusively reserved for the low cost carriers and PAL Express. The terminal is brand new and very spacious. However one thing that was severely lacking was seating. In our gate area the seats were mostly taken and there were no other seating areas close to it.

Eventually we were called to board. 15 minutes behind schedule. The plane looked pretty full, view from the jetway
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I paid extra for the EE row (4 euros per pax)
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Decent legroom for a 3.5 hour flight
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Finally everyone was on board, but the cabin door wasn't closing, and there was some sort of condensation building up in the cabin which looked alot like smoke
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Eventually we pushed back with smoke still filling in the cabin, then we stood on the open taxiway for 5 minutes before the captain came on the PA to announce that we had to go back to the gate due to a technical problem and quoting the safety first excuse. He did not sound very reassuring in his voice, it almost sounded like he was hesitating in his words. People weren't happy of course.
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Deplaning
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Here's a video showing the smoke better


I saw a plane to our left which I thought we would be directly bused to but that wasn't the case. I thought in my head, this isn't good, by the time they transfer all the luggage and catering to the next flight it's going to be a while!
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My biggest fear was that we would have to stay in Manila over night and take the next flight out in the morning, I had a non refundable hotel waiting for us in Kuala Lumpur so definitely a bad thing if it came to pass.

Eventually an announcement was made with our new gate and departure time, 10:50 PM, more than 2 hours after our original time of departure and more than 6 hours later than the flight we were supposed to take direct out of Cebu.

Knowing that KUL is pretty far from the city, I quickly estimated in my head that we would be very lucky if we got to our hotel before 4 in the morning. I quickly sent an email to my hotel informing them of our late arrival using my 3G on my phone which ended up costing me 20 euros!

Eventually we were invited to re-board, the ground staff offered a small bottle of water to everyone to make up for the delay, I guess it's better than nothing but still very little compensation in my opinion. The staff at all times was very friendly, patient and courteous so that was a bonus.

In the jet bridge:
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Hoping this guy won't break down on us!
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The cabin, we still noticed a bit of condensation/smoke…
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Legroom identical to the previous plane
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I had booked 14 D and F hoping 14E would remain unoccupied. Me and my wife sat in E and F, eventually some guy came and sat in 14D. I knew this was my wife's seat so I wondered if either he had 14E and didn't mention it and just took 14D, or if he took a chance at a premium seat without paying for it.

I had originally ordered 2 meals, chicken BBQ and chicken Adobo. This was on the CEB-KUL flight, when they rerouted us they transferred this onto the CEB-MNL flight which I was not happy with so the station manager had to check if I could have our meals served on the MNL-KUL flight which made more sense for us. After an hour wait in CEB she eventually confirmed it.

They come asking if I was Mr. William and checked my boarding pass and gave our food to us.

Chicken BBQ
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Chicken Adobo
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Chicken BBQ
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During the meal the captain came on the PA and spoke for about 3 minutes apologizing for the delay etc, he sounded much more relaxed/confident then before, I recorded his speech along with the takeoff roll if you're interested, his voice is definitely atypical for a pilot throwing a touch of humor here and there.


Regarding the catering; the chicken adobo was good I thought but the chicken BBQ was dry and tasteless. Both meals came with bottle of some sort of artificial juice which was really disgusting.

Eventually we landed without problems in Kuala Lumpur around 02:25 AM
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Our bird in KUL LCCT
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Good bye Cebu Pacific!
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After clearing immigration we proceeded to the taxi kiosk. Kuala Lumpur has a coupon system to avoid taxi drivers ripping you off. A ride to downtown is 75 RM for a small car which is less than 20 euros, not bad for a journey of 45km! BUT after midnight the rate is multiplied by 50% so thanks to Cebu Pacific we had to pay extra…

We got to our hotel room just before 4 and crashed shortly after. We stayed at the Royale Chulan which is a decent 5 star hotel. We paid 90 euros a night which includes free breakfast. The breakfast in itself is amazing. You could eat there and be full until dinner, they had EVERYTHING, even some Indian curries and bread, it was A M A Z I N G. Only downside is the wifi did not work well.

Just a very small section of the buffet area
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So this concludes the flight report part, we were supposed to stay in Kuala Lumpur for 2 days but this was obviously shortened :(

Kuala Lumpur is an amazing city. The first thing that struck us was the amount of women wearing the Niqab. It was a cultural shock for us as this was the first time we were visiting a Muslim country. But what was even more shucking was the fact that these women were always accompanied by their men who were always dressed in shorts, t shirt and flip flops! Talk about a contrast! Anyway that is their prerogative, not for me to judge, I enjoyed soaking in the culture and loved every minute of it. For my wife it was abit more difficult because in Eastern Europe there aren't many Muslims (or African Americans, or Asians, or anything else than white people). Everyone in the city is extremly nice though, I felt Kuala Lumpur to be a very relaxed city.

Our hotel
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Petronas towers from our room
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There is a massive shopping mall below the twin towers, it was pouring rain on our first day and thankfully, KUL has alot of underground passages so we were able to make it there without getting wet :-D This mall is quite impressive!
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We didn't end up going up the towers due to the weather which was disappointed because they are closed one day a week which was tomorrow for us; the day of our departure

What really excited me about KUL was the food scene. Anyone who knowsme knows I love to eat. And I am a huge sucker for quality Indian food and I knew that in KUL the choices and options would be plentiful.So we made our way to Bukit Bintang and found this place which looked kind of run down, but the food was SO GOOD! For 3 euros per person this is what you got:
Chicken tandoori with red onion
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Garlic naan with different kinds of dipping sauces
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I was in heaven, I wanted to try so many restaurants in KUL but with no time to do so :-( I think if I could've reorganized our honeymoon trip I would've added at least an extra day here.

The lit up Petronas towers at night, very impressive structure!
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The next day it was sunny so we strolled around in KUL taking away some photos of the beautiful surroundings

View from our hotel room
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A beautiful park at the foot of the Petronas Towers
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Here they are again
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City Skyline
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One of the biggest banks of the country
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KL Tower, alot of people recommend going up this tower instead of the twin towers because that way you have the Petronas Towers in your photos. Also the fee is cheaper and the wait times are shorter


Thanks for reading and see you soon for part 7!

See more

Verdict

Cebu Pacific

6.6/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.0

Manila - MNL

7.5/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

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

Conclusion

I was disappointed by Cebu Pacific because of the delays. Aside from that, the flights are good, seats are comfortable as long as you pay the small fee to get the extra legroom seats. The crews are generally nice and kind which helps. The planes are brand new ans that's about it. A no frills airline that is worth considering as long as you know the potential risks.

MNL airport is huge; overall not a bad airport but I think they should review the process for connecting flights (though LCC usually operate on a point to point basis so I guess they factored this in when designing the terminal...)

KUL seemed ok, it's a low cost terminal, I am sure the main terminal is much nicer.

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