Hey Guys! I've decided to make a trip report on my first international flight. Though it was more than 2 years ago but the memories are still vivid in my mind. My apologies for not having personal images because back then I wasn't thinking of making a trip report
The search for flights began 2 months before the schedule departure, since we wont be coming back to the Philippines, finding a cheap fare is relatively easy. Their were literally dozens of airlines that we can take from MNL to JFK or EWR. We narrowed down or choices to QR (Business) , EY (Economy) and OZ (Economy. At that time QR offered a $1,100 one way ticket from MNL to EWR via DOH on Business Class. My mom had a terrible experience with EK flying from MNL-DXB-JFK on Y and hence she decided that me and my dad will fly Business Class. I was 12 back then and didnt care that much about flying on premium classes. But we ended up flying on EY in Economy Class since my mom disliked the idea of flying through EWR. So EY it is. We got the ticket for a low fare of $510, one way. EY was a new airline back then, I quickly looked for pics and reviews on their onboard product and was impressed! I was excited since it will be my first international flight. This report will include our flight from CGY to MNL on PR, MNL-AUH-JFK with EY.
Flight 1: PR 184
Photo © Yuxiaobin
Photo © Adrian Thompson
Airline: Philippine Airlines (PR)
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Estimated Departure: 8:50 AM
Actual Departure: 8:40AM
Estimated Arrival: 10:15 AM
Actual Arrival: 10:13AM
Originally, we chose the 11AM flight but somehow the travel agent booked us on the 8AM flight and the problem was we live about 2 hrs. away from Lumbia Airport. Anyway, we didn't change it and decided to take the early flight at 8AM. We woke up at 4AM and left our house that I lived for 12 years. We arrived at the airport at about 6AM and checked it. We said our goodbyes to our friends and family and entered the small Lumbia Airport terminal. I liked the airport, though small it has an exotic feel on it. Check in was fast and the agent gave me a window seat (as requested) We passed through security and we grabbed a seat on the departure area. The departure area had a good view of the runway and you can easily see departing and arriving aircraft. Around 8AM, a PR A320 landed on Runway 1, RPC3224 coming from MNL was our ride today. Passengers disembarked from the Airbus and in just a few minutes boarding began precisely on time. The gate agent announced:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we will begin our boarding on Philippine Airlines flight 282 bound for Manila. We would like to board Mabuhay Class passengers and passengers with children."
Then a huge crowd gathered around the gate, the agent yelled
"Mabuhay Passengers and passengers with children only!"
It was a bit rude but it was good for us since we were one of the first ones to board since I was a child. The airport doesn't have any jetways but passengers embark using stairs. We were seated on Row 18 and hence we have to board using the rear stairs. (Rows 1-16 - Front, Rows 17 and up - back) We tried to board on the front stairs so I could see the Business class on the brandnew A320 but an airport personnel looked at our boarding passes and said to board on the rear door. I was immature back then, so I stick my tongue out and proceeded to the rear door. A flight attendant greeted us with a warm smile and we proceeded to our seats. Boarding continued and the load was about 80% with the back rows and Business class nearly empty. A flight attendant welcomed us aboard in Filipino followed by an English translation. Doors were shut, safety demo was demonstrated. The A320's engines roared and we pushed backed minutes ahead of schedule. A short taxi to Runway 1 and off we go for an hour and 45 min. flight to the nation
s capital, Manila.
About 10 minutes after take-off, the fasten seatbelts sign was turned off and the inflight service began. The drop-down LCDs were dropped (LOL) and the TV show Friends was the inflight entertainment for today. PR didnt give out any free headphones so basically the TV was useless. PR also offered an inflight radio in every seat. FAs began handing out snacks. What I like about PR is that they give out free refreshments compared to 5J. The flight attendant finally came to Row 14, everybody gets the same snack bag but each passenger has the choice of drinks, coffee, orange juice or water. I opted for the OJ and so did my dad. The snack bag contained some chips, peanuts, crackers and other sweet stuff. Though a hot meal would be greatly appreciated, for a short flight it was more than excellent. My only complaint was the FA, since she couldn't reach my seat, she just threw the snack bag on my table and off she went. I thought it was very rude but another FA actually apologized for her bad attitude and she was very apologetic through out the flight. She kept smiling through out the flight which was nice of her. 15 min. later the FAs collected garbage and I decided to take a nap. In no time, it was time to descend to MNL. The seatbelts signs were turned on and FAs took their seats and we were on our final approach to MNL.
We landed ahead of schedule and disembarked using a jetway. NAIA Terminal 2 was rather nice, bright, clean and airy. We waited for our baggage and it was one of the first who came out. We called a taxi and headed for our hotel.
Overall, PR is a great airline, a great choice (although more expensive) than 5J, PR has newer planes and a great in-flight service.
Flight 2: EY 421
Photo © Raymond Ngu
Photo © Raymond Ngu
Photo © Sam Chui
Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
Airline: Etihad Airways
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Estimated Departure: 15:45
Actual Departure: 15:35
Estimated Arrival: Sorry, I forgot
Actual Arrival: " " "
The day had finally come! I was madd excited about it, December 22, 2007, I took my first international flight. We woke up early, about 7AM. Me and my dad as well as her sister went down in the hotel restaurant and had breakfast. Since I was very excited, I didnt finish my meal and insisted that we should leave! 6hrs before our scheduled departure, we left our hotel. Little bit too early but we were caught on a heavy traffic and arrived nearly 2hrs after! Our hotel was supposed to be 20 min. away from the airport but a huge parade caused heavy traffic. We were on the airport by 11 AM. Went through security and looked for EY' check-in desk. EY's check in desk was located near QR's check-in desk which was in the western part of the check-in hall. I was shocked how long the line was! We waited about 30 min. and finally we were checked in. The agent was friendly and helpful.
"Good Morning, Mr. Sabaduquia and Mr. Sabaduquia, Thank You for choosing Etihad, it seems that you have pre-reserved seats. Your seat for today will be seat 24A and B and your flight will depart at Gate 10."
"Thank you very much"
"Your very welcome sir, do you have any questions on your connecting flight?"
"Uhmm..Do you issue our boarding passes here in Manila or will Etihad issue it in Abu Dhabi?"
"Your boarding passes for your flight to New York will be issued in Abu Dhabi."
"Oh, okay. Thanks for the help."
"Your Welcome Sir, do you have any more questions."
"No, thank you,"
"Have a good flight sir and to you too Jezrel."
I was very much impressed with the friendliness of the agent. After checking in, we proceeded through immigration...and oh boy...a long line...again! Around 12PM-4PM are peek hours for international flights in MNL T1, a long with our flight their was a QR A330 heading for DOH, 2 TG B777s one going to BKK and the other one to Osaka, a SQ 773 going to SIN and a lot more. About 30 min, we finally made it through immigration. And Oh Joly, another line another security checkpoint...but luckily it only took 5 min. We proceeded to gate 10 and on our way we grabbed some Chicken Sandwich and mountain dew which was priced so high! The departure area was clean, airy and had big windows which offered a great panoramic view of the runway. Our plane wasn't there yet, so we sat and waited. I decided to roam around the airport to do some plane spotting. Weirdly, you have to turn over your boarding pass to one of the agents before you can leave the premises of the gate. I went around the airport and witnessed a couple of aircraft
Photo © Ian Lim
Photo © Hans Schulze
QR A330 bound for DOH which was delayed
Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages
Photo © Ian Schofield
JL 743 which arrived from NRT
Photo © Md Faridz
Photo © Nitinut-Chiangmai Aero Photos
2 TG 772s, one going to Bangkok and the other to Osaka
Photo © Chaity
Photo © Karl Nixon
A Saudi 747 which I believe was arriving from Jeddah or Riyadh
About 30 min. before boarding, our aircraft arrived. Its one of EY's B777-300ER. I was impressed by the size of the aircraft! Later, our crew for the flight arrived. Consisting of all-Arabian flight crew, and dominantly Filipino cabin crew with an exception of a Nigerian flight attendant. Boarding began on time, since their were on J class passengers, EY 421 immediately boarded the economy passengers.
"Ladies and gentlemen, EY 421 will now begin our pre-boarding with passengers with small children, elderly passengers and unaccompanied children."
Me and my dad proceed to the boarding desk and boarded the aircraft. Before we entered the airplane, I saw the enormous GE-90 that will power the 777 to AUH! We were greeted by friendly FAs and proceeded to our seat. The cabin was bright, clean and very inviting. The seats were equipped with 10" individual IFE monitors. The seat had a sandy color which was calming and each seat has a footrest. We settled in our seats and to my surprise, seat 24A was actually located right next to the enormous GE-90 engine! I was really happy about it! Boarding continued and before pushing back, I quickly went to the mid-section and rear section of the economy class to check whether the flight was full...and it was! 100% load on economy class, 0% on business. We pushed back ahead of schedule with no cockpit communications, which was disappointing. I usually like getting information about our flight from the flight crew. Anyways, the engines roared and the FAs were the safety demo was played. First in Arabic then English. We were onhold in the taxi way for several minutes as there was heavy traffic. Ahead of us was the QR A330 and TG 777. About 5 min. later we were the next to take off on Runway 24 but we had to wait for another 3 min since a CI 738 was on its final approach.
Photo © Jerry Pang
Photo © Feiruitao
Finally, we lined up on Runway 24 and oh boy, the GE-90 roared! The take-off was the most powerful I've ever been on! I was literally thrown back to my seat and I was in awe! It was literally the most powerful take-off I've ever been on! The Triple 7 turned left which gave us a wonderful view of the airport and the Manila Bay. The sun was started to set as I glare upon my home country....for the last time.
In-flight service began and FAs were handing out menus for the flight. The choice was between Italian and Filipino. I chose the Filipino, it was really good and reminded me of home. It was beef with tomato sauce accompanied by a cake and some salad. The FAs collected the garbage and gave me a coloring book and some EY kid pack. I didnt appreciate the coloring book that much since I thought it was for 5 year olds. But the FA also gave me an Etihad poster with their logo on it and their route map which I thought was nice. The lights were dimmed and I decided to watch some TV while flying over Vietnam. As we flew over Western India, I was feeling a little bit dizzy and decided to sleep. I had now experience my first jetlag
About an hour before landing, refreshments were served. I was very hungry since it had been 7hrs since I ate, FAs handed out cold Tuna sandwhich, to my disappointment it was horrible. Back in the Philippines, theres no such thing as cold meals, everything was hot. So I wasn't used to that. Luckily, there was yogurt so I ate it and left the cold sandwich untouched. The seatbelt sign was turned on and we were on our final approach to AUH. Flaps were extended and gears were lower. To my surprise...whoot! My first missed approach! I think there was another aircraft ahead of us.... We circled around and finally landed. We disembarked through the front stairs, and gave me a superb view of the GE-90 engines! We were taken on a bus and circled around AUH and we exited the bus and off we go to the terminal.
AUH was a mess! Smelled like smoke and mixed odors. It felt cramped and their was few seats. Luckily we snatched 2 seats and decided to dozed off. My dad went to the transfer desk and asked for our boarding passes for our flight to JFK. The agent was very rude and yelled
"GO HERE 12AM!" -.-
How rude of him. In no time I fell asleep hearing nonstop Arabic announcements in the loud speaker. When we woke up it was already 1AM. My dad went to the transfer desk and grabbed our boarding passes. We looked for our gate and it turns out that it was just behind us. Their was a long line in the gate as boarding had already began, boarding was very chaotic, finally we were boarded by a rude Filipina EY staff.
Flight 3: EY 101
Photo © John Richard Thomson
Photo © Kris Mogford
Photo © Brian Futterman
Photo © Sibille Regis
Airline: Etihad Airways
Estimated Departure: 2:00
Actual Departure: 2:00
Estimated Arrival: 8:30
Actual Arrival: 8:00
Our flight was operated by the Airbus A340-500. When we boarded I was impressed by the size of the engines and its wingspan! Although nothing compared to the 77W's size, the A345 was a good looking, sleek and sexy aircraft. We boarded through the 2nd door, and passed through J cabin, through the front economy section and headed towards our seat. Our seat was 29H and K. Once again, I'm on the window side. We pushed backed right on time. Beside us was a BA 777-200 going to LHR.
Photo © Wim Callaert
Photo © Moti Shvimer
We taxied to the runway for takeoff and behind us was KL 777-200
Photo © Krzysztof Molak
Photo © William Van Wanrooy
The A345's engine roared and off we go..take off wasn't powerful at all. In fact, it was so slow that I had doubts that the plane would go up! Well...it went up..but it was really really slow. The good thing was it was much quieter than the very loud 77W. It took forever to reach cruising altitude. About an hour in to the flight while flying over Iraq, meals were served. FAs were very friendly on this leg. She was Arabic and I believe her name was Melissa. There was a choice between lamb and chicken. I chose the lamb. Verdict? Awful. It was my first time eating lamb and it'll sure be the last time. I decided to watch TV. EY's IFE is superb! Tons of movies, games, shows and international movies including some Filipino one. I watched a Filipino movie and decided to watch some Simpsons episode. Time went by fast and in no time we were flying over AMS which means in just a few hours we will begin our trans-Atlantic crossing. Refreshments were served after that, I forgot what I've got but I was sure the desert was a chocolate ice cream. I dozed off after I ate and when I woke up we were flying over Northeastern Canada and the sun was starting to rise. About an hour before landing, breakfast was served. I had Omelets, sausages accompanied by yogurt, fresh fruits and other stuff. After the FAs collected the garbage. The captain came in and announced that we will now begin our initial descent to JFK. We descended to JFK, the weather was gloomy and dark, a typical winter weather. We banked right and touched down in JFK's runway 4R ahead of schedule. The landing was the smoothest I've ever experienced, I didnt even feel the landing gears touching down the runway. A FA with an Arabian accent came into the speaker and surprisingly English was the first announcement announced:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the United States of America, the local time here in New York City is 8 in the morning and the current temperature is 2 degrees Celsius, we ask you to remain seated until the captain turns off the seatbelt sign and the plane comes to a complete stop..."
As we taxied to Terminal 4, every aircraft I saw was my first time seeing it! :
Photo © Giovanni Verbeeck
Photo © Andres Dallimonti - Colombia AeroImages
Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
Photo © Roel Van Der Velpen - MST-Aviation
Photo © Klaus Ecker
Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
Photo © Carlos Borda
Photo © Vivek Manvi
Air India B777-200LR
Photo © Martin Hartland
Photo © Darren Wilson
Virgin Atlantic B747-400
Photo © Agustin Anaya
Photo © Jorge Medina
Plus many more, mostly DL
Overall EY is obviously a high average airline. FAs are friendly, food are decent, new planes equipped with superb IFE, legroom on both 77W and 345 are great!
Booking: 6.0 - We asked them to book us on the 11AM flight and gave us the 8AM
Check-In: 9.0 - Fast and efficient, nothing special
Service: 8.0 - Minus 2 points because of the FA who was rude
Seats: 10.0 - For a short flight it was very comfortable
Boarding: 10.0 - Fast, efficient and excellent priority boarding
IFE: 9.0 - Decent
Food: 9.0 - Not Bad, nothing special
Booking: 10.0 - Excellent website
Check-In: 10.0 - Friendly staff
Service: 9.0 - Minus 1 because of the rudeness of AUH ground staff
Seats: 10.0 - Good legroom, comfy recline and footrest was a nice addition
Boarding: 8.0 - Excellent in MNL, Chaotic in AUH
IFE: 10.0 - Superb!
Food: 9.0 - Not bad
Well that concludes my trip report! I hope you've enjoyed it! Once again my apologies for not having any personal images....please feel free to post comments and criticisms...but no mean ones please coz it makes me sad LOL jk jk jk
Next Trip Report:
"50 Days in Asia with OZ and 5J"
JFK-ICN-MNL-CGY-MNL-ICN-JFK with OZ and 5J
Flight1: OZ 221 B747-400
Flight 2: OZ 701 A330-300
Flight 3: 5J 385 A320-200
Flight 4: 5J 386 A320-200
Flight 5: OZ 702 A330-300
Flight 6: OZ 222 B747-400
Photo © Artem-LAXImages
Photo © Bastian Ding
Photo © Soon-Gyu Ko - Korea Aero Photos
Photo © Yunjin Lee - Korea Aero Photos
Photo © Jerry Pang
Photo © Je89 W.
Other trip reports:
Virgin America & Southwest: JFK-LAX-SFO-JFK (pics) (by JetBlue777 Aug 29 2009 in Trip Reports)
JFK-TPA-JFK On JetBlue (pics) (by JetBlue777 Jul 18 2009 in Trip Reports)