justbala From India, joined Feb 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0 Posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 14138 times:
This would probably the first trip report that I have written which does not include an Indian airport
Back in April/May, I had to travel to MNL and BNE for two back to back meetings. To make the trip merrier, I had to dash to the US East coast right after that.
My trusted travel agent back in BLR was at his wits end,trying to chalk up an itinerary that was humane and more importantly for my company , economic (read deeeeep discounted economy fares!!)
My airline of choice while flying east is TG, however TG flights were either full or super expensive as were the SQ ones. The other options were MH (although I did not fancy crossing the ever turbulent Bay of Bengal on a tiny 738!!) or KA/CX. Even with the CX option, he was finding it difficult getting a decent fare to MNL. So in the end he booked a return BLR-HKG-BNE on KA/CX, with a add on HKG-MNL-HKG leg on PR.
This would be my first time ever on KA, CX and PR.
This trip consists of my PR flight from MNL to HKG and CX from HKG to BNE.
I left my hotel in Makati City at around 05:45 AM for the 08:00 AM departure. A short taxi drive later, I was at the departure level of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 2 which is used exclusively by PR. All baggage was scanned before entry and soon I was in the 1980s
PR had flight specific check in counters, with a board above each counter mentioning the flight number and destination. Counters for flight to PEK and SIN were closing down. One section was dedicated to the flight to SYD. Initially there were 3 counters for the HKG flight, but it soon became 5. There was a person dedicated to change the board on each counter based on instructions that were being shouted out from a centralcontrol desk.
Check in counters for the HKG flight
Counters for the SYD flight
Check in took a while, since a lady ahead of us had some issues with her passport/visa and the check in agent had to take her passport to her supervisor. Thankfully another counter opened soon and I was second in line there. The check in agent tagged my bag all the way to BNE, but I had to collect my CX HKG-BNE boarding pass from HKG transfer desk.
There was a short line to pay the departure tax and at immigration. Luckily I got in just before a big group of Filipino-American teenagers crowded the immigration lines!!
Airside at MNL T2 was disappointing. I had some spare Pesos left and wanted to convert it, but there was no exchange place available. There was a small cafe that dispensed cofee, drink and sandwiches and a teeny-tiny souvneir shop. But the terminal did provide some excellent view of the tarmac action.
PR 320 taxiing for departure to SIN as PR 503
Lufthansa Technik hangars with a Virgin a/c parked
Airside NAIA T2
Free Internet Kiosks provided by Citibank
The 747 taking me to HKG today - SA)">RP-C7475
T3 used by Cebu pacific with the Makati City skyline in the background
Cebu Pacific taxiing in
Soon boarding was announced for the HKG flight and in true ILSBT fashion, crowds thronged the gate NAIA had certain areas demarcated as secure zone. The flight to SYD was departing from one such gate which had an additional security check at the boarding gate. Thankfully out flight was spared.
The boarding gate after the initial deluge
Closer view of the Jumbo
Zest Air - shot from the jet bridge
We were welcomed onboard by a cheerful F/A.
Managed to snap a few shots of the J class towards the Nose of the jumbo
J class seats further down the a/c
The a/c sported signs in both English and Arabic - any idea why so? Airframes.org shows this a/c delivered to PR directly
I headed towards the rear of the beast through a packed "Fiesta" class.
Mandatory Knee Shot
Surprised with the onboard AVOD IFE. Was not expecting this. The seats seem to have been refurbished
However the same cannot be said of the carpet
The a/c was literally being held together by duct tape!!
Company 747 at the other end of the terminal
View of the Fiesta Cabin after everyone settled down
Inflight magazine "Mabuhay"
Ad in the inflight mag for the newly launched 6w MNL-DEL service (3w direct and 3w via BKK)
The ad highlights the pre-Hispanic connection between India and the Philippines.
PR 343 headed to SYD
The safety video was shown on the IFE and after securing the cabin, we were on our way to HKG. Post a mildly turbulent take off, the seat belt signs were switched off once we reached crusing altitude. The crew got around serving breakfast.
Breakfast had two options - Tapas with Rice and another option with egg. I chose the Tapas
Breakfast - served with a sweet and soft bread which was delicious. Anybody know what it is called?
Crew Serving breakfast
More Arabic inscriptions
View of the aft Fiesta cabin after the trays were cleared
Newspapers stored in the aft
After a smooth flight, we landed into a rainy and wet HKG
PR Jumbo with a bunch of Chinese narrow bodies in the background
Thanks for the ride - SA)">RP-C7475
I headed for the CX transfer desks that were quite easy to locate.
Direction to the transfer desk
HKG Departure Level
There was no line for security and i breezed through to the departure level. And what is the first sight that greets me?!
9W 330 being towed away for its mandatory rest period at HKG along with a company 330 and a coupla 330s from IT .
The orient well represented - CX, CI, CZ and JL (with their new livery)
I had about 3 hours to kill, so decided to explore HKG a bit
A tear drop (or smthing like that) - modern art @ HKG
The Food Court Area
A birds eye view of the duty free offerings
My pre-flight lunch - Masaman Beef Curry with Rice..very delicious!!
Different levels of the HKIA terminal
Love the view provided. Wish all airports incorporated this into their design
Kids play area in the food court
The usual suspects at the HKG Duty Free
Airbus 330 (Couldnt Catch the rego)
The BNE flight was scheduled to depart from Gate 2
CX 747 at adjoining gate
SU 332 bound for SVO (VQ-BBF)
HK Apartments around the Airport
Need to visit HKG sometime soon
Our ride to BNE
Widebody fest @ HKG - LH,KA, CX, SA, CI
As is the common practice with all Australia bound flights, there was additional security check at the gate.
This was my first time flying on CX and I was all excited. I had selected an aisle on the 3 seaters towards the end of the 330. And luckily the middle seat remained empty. CX crew were scattered around the a/c welcoming pax with a smile.
CX Knee Shot
The seats in CX Y are built into a shell, which means when the pax ahead of you reclines, it doesnt restrict ur space. LIke that
The IFE system and controls
The CX AVOD IFE system has some cool offerings. One nice feature is that it carries entire seasons of sitcoms and not just random episodes. A nice way to fly ULH without ur iFads
Seat belt.. can someone tell wht that bulge in the belt is?! Is it like an airbag?
Crew Rest Area
Drinks service shortly after take off. Coke Zero with some nuts
Menu cards were distributed for the flight
I chose the braised spare ribs and they were delicious
Also visible is the inseat charging outlet, a very convenient location!! Wish 9W would learn from this!!
A blurry pic of the crew finishing lunch service
I like the little chinese cup that CX uses to serve tea
The crew on board this flight was pretty interactive and chatted a lot with passengers. A lady sitting across the aisle wanted another cup of tea, and the F/A responded - "that would be 6 dollars ma'am" leaving the lady a bit shocked, before the F/A went "kidding" and handed over the tea with a smile!!
The Y class restroom
Snacks before touch down. I went for seafood pie with mashed peas.
I spent most of the flight going through two seasons of "Modern Family" - hilarious sitcom!! Landing into BNE was smooth and compared to SYD and MEL clearing customs and immigration was a breeze. Although getting a cab turned out to be tricky
PR and CX both lived upto their expectation. While CX and HKG are truly world class, PR does have a good set of crew. The latter is in serious need of hardware upgrade and better airport facilities.
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
Ahhh! You should try Terminal 1, it's MUCH MUCH worse. But then there's a nostalgic feeling to it that I really love
Quoting justbala (Thread starter): Airside at MNL T2 was disappointing. I had some spare Pesos left and wanted to convert it, but there was no exchange place available. There was a small cafe that dispensed cofee, drink and sandwiches and a teeny-tiny souvneir shop. But the terminal did provide some excellent view of the tarmac action.
There's also an NH 763 (Star Livery) , the sole international carrier to use T3. CX will most likely follow after their lounge is finished off.
Quoting justbala (Thread starter): Breakfast - served with a sweet and soft bread which was delicious. Anybody know what it is called?
I think those are called "Mamon" from Goldilock's, a very popular bakery in the Philippines as well as here in the US for Filipinos.
Great trip report! I'm glad that you had a good set of crew on PR, it could be either a hit or a miss with them, I find them very inconsistent. Some of their crews are very professional, while some are very robotic. Though, flying on a domestic flight in the Philippines - PR is the way to go (though a little bit expensive than 5J)
Lufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9994 times:
7475 is indeed an ex-KU combi, see the main deck cargo door. I flew it in the huge original KU First cabin prior to refurbishment. It also has a different galley config as F went 2 rows past doors 1. That looks like duct tape indeed, but every single wall/toilet panel like that usually has "Philippine Airlines security checked" stickers all over them in my experience.
Glad the crew was nice, some of their international crews are the laziest bunch of airline workers I've seen anywhere.
That's not duct tape - they are integrity seals, as they have the PR logo on it. They help identify if a panel has been opened, in case someone has left something suspicious behind it, or tampered with what is behind it.