Never dealt with an airline and airport as bad as PAL Express! Plenty of staff but no co-ordination in what they are doing. Our flight to Caticlan from Manila was cancelled. Trying to get a refund was impossible. Trying to book to go somewhere else was impossible - 3 hours waiting at one desk to be told to go to another. Despite being directed to the first desk by check in staff. Two weeks later leaving another Philippine island the same happened and the flight was delayed by hours. Staff in that location did not know what they were informing customers - total chaos. Never again!
Manila-Caticlan. Did web check-in and when we got to the airline counter we were informed that the flight was delayed 2 hours. While checking the departures screen I noticed that our original flight number was different from the flight no. in our boarding pass! But the time remained the same! Confusion! When asked for an explanation we realised that not only was our flight delayed we were bumped off for a later flight also delayed therefore the times in our boarding pass were all wrong! No explanation was given only that they tried to contact us which was not true. I had my cell phone with me and I checked my email often. All in all a miserable experience. Makes you want to just stay home.
I have flown several times this year on the Bacolod - Manila route most recently in the last week of May. Delays are dreadful as they seem to be on other PAL Express routes. Some of the delays are due to congestion at Manila Airport but most are not. What makes a frustrating situation worse is the complete inability to keep passengers (and those waiting to collect them) informed. Check the airport information screens and they will likely say the departure time was two hours ago; check the internet and there is no indication of any delay. Absolute rubbish. Once the plane takes off then the seating and service are fine for a budget airline.
This was my first international flight (MNL-DXB) and it was nothing but disappointment. To start with the flight was delayed 2 hours as there was no aircraft. The check-in process was a mess. When I boarded the aircraft there was no in-flight entertainment system (you could rent an iPad for $15) so all you could do during the entire flight is sleep eat sleep. The cabin crews were not so friendly and don't have the sense of urgency. Aside from the airline being delayed food serving was also delayed and when it was our turn to be served there were no food choices anymore! I would never fly PAL Express again!
MNL - Bacolod. - MNL. Outbound trip OK. No real issues apart from PAL Express web site stating all PAL Express flights leave from NAIA terminal 3 when in fact this one leaves from Terminal 2. Plane OK and cabin service pretty much what you would expect from a low cost airline. Return journey absolutely dreadful. Arrived Bacolod in plenty of time and checked in. No mention at check in of any delays. Passed through to airside where indicators showed the 19.15 flight now scheduled at 20.25 No explanation offered and no staff visible to ask. Around 20.00 finally an announcement that the aircraft would arrive at 20.30 and depart at 21.00. No apology or explanation offered. Eventually boarded after 21.00 and took off around 22.00. Attempted to ask gate staff why the delay and received the meaningless response 'false alarm at Manila'. After 3 hours in an airport with no food outlets cabin service amounted to a dry biscuit and some water. On arrival at Manila all the usual arrival announcements were made and only as an afterthought was an apology made for the late arrival but again no explanation given. We then parked at a remote stand. Not an issue except that no steps could be found for about 20 minutes. De planing then seemed to take an age. The reason for this became apparent as we reached the top of the stairs. A flight with about 120 people on board was being serviced by a single bus with capacity for around 30 at a time. Result nearly an hour from landing to reach the terminal. All in all as a 'national carrier' PAL bring shame on their nation.
The Manila - Dubai flight was unceremoniously switched to Manila - Abu Dhabi at the point of passenger Check-in on December 19th 2013. You have to swallow their attitude of: "We're sorry our flight to Dubai is not operational today we will be re-routing you to Abu Dhabi" and get you to Dubai in a Shuttle Bus. Drop off point not known. Sorry".
MNL-LEG-MNL this February 2013. LGP-MNL leg delayed for 1 hr for safety reason due to bad weather at origin. First leg was on Airphil while the second was with PAL. Both offered snacks on board. Planes new and FAs friendly and granted my nephew's request to be seated near the window. Very good value for money.