Just this year, Malaysian airlines Air Asia joined the fray of the already stiff local flight competition. It is a budget carrier just like Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines that targets passengers who are willing to give up flight conveniences (e.g. extra baggage, insurance, on-board meals, etc.) for a surprisingly low airfare. Being the natural stingy that I am, I booked my Davao vacation in Air Asia. Guess how much I paid for a roundtrip ticket.
It is a far cry from PAL’s ~P10,000. While in college, Mama always booked me a PAL ticket despite the dizzying price tag because she wants her unico hijo to come home safely and conveniently. And now that I’m working and I pay for my tickets, I never looked back at PAL.
Normally, I scout for Zest Air or Air Phil promo fares because I HATE Cebu Pacific. To the bottom of the night. And normally, I get roundtrip airfares to Davao at P2000-P3500. So Air Asia’s P1500 is really cheap. 🙂 The only catch is, you have to depart from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga. Sheeesh.
I admit I was reluctant at first to book the flight because it entails the hassle of trying a new routine. However, after the whole one-way trip to Davao, I can say that the experience was much more pleasant than expected. And that’s why I am writing this blog post, to encourage everyone to try the Air Asia experience. 🙂
The first thing you need to know when booking a flight via Clark is how to get there. From all the online research I made, your best option is via Philtranco bus. Philtranco operates Manila to Clark daily trips. They have a station in Pasay and one in Megamall. It was a pretty comfortable trip – the buses are well-maintained, the seats can be reclined so you can sleep during the trip, they have foot rests as well, and best of all, there are no stops between Megamall and Clark Airport. Neat, eh?
The expected travel time is around hours. However, ours was just 1 and ½, thanks to the expressways in the north (was it NCTEX?).
|If you have no baggage to check-in, you need not queue for your boarding pass. You can print yours via these self check-in machines. Very convenient!|
I have failed to take pictures inside the carrier because I was too excited. But let me just say that Air Asia’s interior is much more classy than Cebu Pacific’s. And the flight attendants are far more good-looking as well, the only guy FA looked like Enrique Gil; pardon, but whenever I ride Cebu Pac I always wonder if they do screen their FA applicants. (troll)
/*Actually, this post is not about praising Air Asia. This is about bashing Cebu Pacific. HAH! This is for all the wrong-doings you have done to me, idiots. Lols */
Anyway, let me also add that the Air Asia’s leg-room is more than sufficient. I am exceptionally happy about this since I have quite long legs. 🙂 And although they too sell items on-board, I like better the way they do it. It wasn’t cheaply done.
Conclusion: My Air Asia experience was a delight. Low-cost flights need not be low-quality. Hear that, Cebu Pac?
Thanks, Air Asia! I won’t think twice flying with you next time. You just topped my list of good domestic budget carriers – Zest Air used to be my #1. I hope your business will succeed here in the Philippines.