And so our journey continues. We just purchased our plane tickets from Manila to Toronto from Philippine Airlines after 14 tries! Imagine filling-out the forms for 5 to 10 minutes, but when you try paying through credit/debit card, site will tell you that there’s an error. I did it 14 times; you can imagine how long it took me to book this flight.
We haven’t experienced being in any long haul flights so I really have no idea what it feels like to be inside a plane for 18 hours straight, so again, we have to research to find the best experience at the best (cheapest) price possible.
There are a lot of considerations when choosing your airline; first the duration of the flight (we have our baby with us so this is on top of our list), leg room, the number of stops (transfers), rebooking fee and of course the total price. Since we will be coming from Manila, we limited our search to some of the most prominent airlines within Asia. We narrowed it down to Philippine Airlines, Korean Airlines, ANA, Cathay Pacific and EVA air based on reviews and recommendations by friends. These carriers have almost the same cost ranging from USD1800 to USD2600 and baggage conditions on the day of our flight, so we’re just left with the duration of the flight, leg room and number of stops.
Duration of the flight and the number of stopovers can be viewed from each of the carriers’ online booking platform. Duration of flight ranges from 19 to 22 hours and number of stops from 1 to 3 stops. The Philippine Airlines flight will have a one hour technical stopover in Vancouver. The other airlines have a stopover in their home airports before proceeding directly to Toronto except for ANA which have a stopover in Los Angeles.
For estimating the leg room we used seatguru to check the details of the seat pitch and seat width as well as the best seats per plane and carrier based on reviews. In estimating the legroom, we used the seat pitch which is the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat in front or behind it. So the rule is the higher the seat pitch, the better. Note though that this doesn’t represent the leg room at all but this could be a basis.
There are other considerations such as stopover/layover time, miles accumulation (most of the airlines have this offering for free, so it will be good to have an account for miles) and food. These factors were not our main concerns so we skipped looking through them.
We ended up with Philippine Airlines although Korean Airlines based on reviews is a really good candidate. We chose PAL because it has the shortest travel time, least number of stopovers and a not so bad seat pitch. We also purchase Choice seats for more legroom since our infant will be sitting on our laps and insurance. Total cost is USD2028 for a one-way ticket.
Below is the comparison table that we created so we can compare the airlines easier.
With this, all that’s left is to pack our things; secure documents that will be needed in Canada (birth certificates, TOR, diploma, wedding certificates) attend PDOS and land. Do let me know if you have questions and I’ll try to answer it.
Until next post.