At Home in the Sky with Philippine Airlines, PAL Business Class to San Francisco!


As I write this, I’m thousands of miles away from home and up in the sky aboard an Airbus A340-300 or A330-300.  This is my first ever long-haul flight on a Philippine Airlines Business Class ticket to San Francisco. I’m around halfway there – the plane left at 10:30 p.m. Manila time (the only flight to SanFo) and it’s been 5 out of 11 hours flight time already. Oh so suddenly, the urge to write came to me at 3 a.m. (Manila-time) haha. I’d get there by night (US Time) so I can’t keep on sleeping on this very comfy multi-functionalcool cubicle” of mine. Munching on a perfect bowl of unlimited salsa and Doritos here in my seat, I’d like to tell you about my flight so far. =) As you know, I’m a PAL loyalist ever since. I would just like to say that this is over-the-top! I don’t think there’s first class for this PR104 so I wonder what that’ll be like if this is Business Class. Meanwhile, I’m quite settled in – uber happy to make the most out of this home in the sky with a blog post! Haha.

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Business Class Check-in and the new Mabuhay Lounge
Like the other Short-Haul Business Class trips I’ve had so far, you check in at a separate express counter. The baggage limit is also increased – in my case, up to two 25-kg. luggages are allowed for this SFO flight. I paid the P550 International Terminal Fee at NAIA 2 (Centennial) and went through the normal immigration and security process. After that, I saw Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez ( hehehe) on my way to the Mabuhay lounge (near Gate N1)! With just the right amount of luck I guess, the Mabuhay Lounge was also newly renovated! Woo-hoo! 


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You can get in here if you hold a PAL Elite card or if you are on Business Class and First Class. It’s bigger now and has more comfy seats available with Mac computer stations and outlets galore. One of the perks of traveling Business Class is the included free buffet waiting for you at the Lounge. I had dinner there (always make me want to go to the airport earlier too haha). There’s (always) PAL’s signature Arroz Caldo and unlimited drinks like tomato juice (yum!), apple juice, softdrinks, beer, alcohol, cocktails and many more. For food today, there’s fried rice, adobo, fish, siomai, siopao, croissants, pastries and chocolates! I read in the current Mabuhay mag that they worked with San Miguel Foods for the selections this time. There’s WIFI, magazines, outlets, TV, restroom, shower and flights that are already boarding are announced. Good job, PAL, for this very inviting reno at long last! =) It was probably not a good idea that I ate too much though before the flight.. It would be great if they could tell us upon entering what times the meals will be served aboard the flight so we don’t overeat.. Hahaha.

There’s an added security scan and passport check for this SanFo flight and the gate was all the way to the other end from the Mabuhay Lounge. We got there in time for the last call (easy to be carried away inside the Lounge) hehehe. If you’d prefer to stay near the gate and go with the throng, there’s supposed to be a separate lane for Business Class and Elite members.

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I’m seated at 2L window seat! I haven’t opened the windows just yet haha. The lights are off now. There are 6 seats per row (2-2-2). Unlike other short-haul Business Class seats, the seats for this flight were more spacious (around 3 plane windows worth) and can be reclined all the way into a bed (that much space between you and the seat in front of you). I’m not used to sooo much space on a plane haha.  It felt awkward at first and they told me I had to put my backpack on the overhead bin for takeoff coz the space in front of me was very open. The magazines were also so far away haha.

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The mango smoothie in a stemmed glass came in soon. There’s the menu for the choice of inflight meals, drinks and all-day snacks like the chips and salsa hehe. 

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For the meals, I’ve always loved that they use actual glass (not plastic), bowls, plates and cutleries in Business Class. On my seat, there are headphones, a blanket, a bigger (than economy) fluffy pillow and a complimentary overnight kit =D I loved the overnight kit for this flight – inside the Bally toiletry bag was a Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, Clarins Cologne, Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm (tried it a while ago - pretty good results), a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, a good dark eyemask and cotton socks. Razor kits can be requested. If I can suggest some more to put in, it would be to include a hair tie, pen, soft slippers (coz I don’t want to go to the toilet in my socks or put my shoes back on again haha), tissue pack and good-quality earplugs (to filter out the background noise such as snoring haha). =D

There are 2 main meals in this 11-hour flight – dinner and breakfast


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Supper includes tapas, an appetizer, main course and dessert. For tapas, there’s smoked ham. There’s that yummy Focacia Bread that came with chocolates.

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For the main course, I chose the Stuffed Glazed Pork Roll by Chef See Cheong Yan. I liked the look of the Beef Estofado by Chef Fernando Aracama.. Honestly though, I love airplane food very much but these can be greatly improved in terms of texture, flavor and dryness..

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For after meal delights, there’s Molten Lava Cake, Malagos Blue Goat with Swiss Gruyere, Magnolia Ice Cream and Fruits.

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I really shouldn’t have eaten a lot at the Lounge just an hour or two ago.. For anytime dining, there’s all-you-can-eat Nuts, Chips with Salsa Roja, warm Panini sandwiches, Arroz Caldo. For breakfast, I chose Mushroom and Gruyere Omelette by Chef Clifton Lyles.

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This is truly a gourmet experience aboard haha. Don’t get me started on the drink list! Haha. I wish there’s a checklist though we can fill up so that the FAs don’t get our orders mixed up like a while ago (they took our orders before take-off). The Doritos and salsa made up for it though hehehe.

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After dinner, I spent a bit more time tinkering with my very high-tech seat haha. There’s a call button there too so I don’t have to go up to push the other call button near the lights above. I loved the extra pocket on the side so I can keep my must-have stuff from falling. This seat has lots of options (customizable per seat) when it comes to reclining and I had a wonderful time pushing the buttons to get the right incline and position for me! Hahaha. 

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I love the massage button too for my back hehe. I got to sleep for a few hours in full recline before writing this. Like so.. Haha. 


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As per work mode, there’s the big tray table in front of me, which can be stowed away inside my armrest. You get your own left and right armrest, by the way (seat mate has her own so no elbow bumping). =)  I use the tray table for meals also. What’s cool about it is that I can move it sideways (when I have to go to the bathroom while I have something on the table, I just have to move the tray to the side =D). No more disturbing my seatmate too (even when she’s fast asleep on a recline coz there’s plenty of space for my size hehe)!!! 


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There’s also a separate reading light near my head, which can be opened by turning. There’s no charger on my seat so it’s good that I charged this laptop a while ago at the Lounge. Free WIFI while on flight is something I’m looking forward to trying. So far, none yet for this flight. I asked the FA and she said only the Boeing 777s have as of this moment (so better look at the plane while booking hehe) so I can’t publish this post while on board (that’s for another experience haha). 


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There’s the control for the personal TV (hidden near the tray with seat controls). Updated - I tried it out but there was only one video channel available for all. I was more happy with the OPM selection so I switched to audio Channel 5. I also discovered an audio cockpit channel with live conversations from the tower and the pilot! T’was fun listening to them talking in numbers all the way during landing. Haha. Additional perks for Business Class include a more private toilet, first ones to disembark and priority baggage handling. Hope it includes visiting the cockpit in the future hehe.

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So there you have it! Obviously, I’m super at home here haha. This is me signing out from my current HOME in the sky! Can't wait for my flight back to Manila this month. I've just re-routed my flight to fly out from LAX (Los Angeles Airport) hihi. Did I tell you that one of my dreams is to live continuously in hotels and on planes to everywhere? Haha.


At Home in the Sky with Philippine Airlines, PAL Business Class to San Francisco! 

5 comments:

  1. wow i am so amazed with your Business Class experience with PAL. my first airplane ride was with PAL express on other hand, and the experience was great! I don't think I would want to try other carriers on our future travel... hehe. Have a safe and superb trip, Ms Melody! :)

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  2. Thank you for posting this. This is the former iberia a340-300. complete with the signature iberia cabin layout. i wonder if philippine airlines will re upholster everything to our original blue seat design. We are leasing this planes until our brand new long range aircrafts are delivered. Buti na lang hindi young mga lumang a340 ng pal young nasakyan mo.. the seats don't recline fully and the interior is very sad.. lol

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    1. hi chubssingson! wow! thank you for those info =) i'd love to be able to tell the differences of planes more so that i can review them extensively and just enjoy flying for what it is here and there =D can you teach me?? haha.

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  3. What made you choose to fly in Business Class rather than Economy Class?

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    1. Hi, Darryl =) Mileage awards plus it's a long haul flight.

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Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)