My family and I would always fly economy whenever we’d get the chance to travel abroad for practical reasons. So this experience of flying in business class is a first for me. Again, I’d like to thank Philippine Airlines for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. (Those who have read a previous post know why!)
So there I finally was. I was gonna be en route to Los Angeles at last. I had just boarded the plane and I could already feel the VIP treatment. One of the stewards greeted me and led me to my seat in the business class cabin. I walked into a spacious portion of the plane lined with blue cushioned seats that were a little wider than the usual. Clean blankets and pillows were readily provided. I was then asked if I’d like to have a drink. I chose Mixed Berry Lemonade from the three flavorful choices he gave me. Afterwards, I was handed a business class flight menu so I could have a glimpse of the meals that would be served to us. At the same time, so I could choose what to have for dinner later.
Not long after, one of the stewardesses pulled out my meal tray table from its sheath so she could place a small dish of canapes on it – Grilled Herb Chicken with Sweet Corn Tomato Ragout (pronounced as “rae-gu”). Since it was gonna be an extremely long flight (12 hours!), the stewardess also took out this thin monitor, or rather, in-flight entertainment from the side of my seat so I could watch a movie while snacking. I flicked through the wide selection of movies and decided to go for The Notebook.
I was starting to realize that being on this kind of flight was akin to going on a food adventure. Your meals were being served to you non-stop. Canapes, then appetizers, then the main course, and then dessert.
Dinner onboard was undeniably delicious! Checking the in-flight menu, you could have a choice of either a Filipino, American, or Japanese meal prepared by no other than some of the Philippines’ most distinguished chefs for PAL. Even the juices were concocted by them.
For dessert, I had Carmen’s Best Ice Cream! Yum! Although, I do recall being so full by the time the main course arrived that I wasn’t able to finish it, as well as the ice cream. I felt guilty not being able to but my stomach couldn’t take another bite anymore. Also, snacks and beverages are available the entire flight; just request from the cabin crew.
- During the flight, they gave each one of us an overnight kit. These are pouches containing necessities like a comb, toothbrush with toothpaste, a sleeping mask, socks for sleeping to beat the chill, and L’Occitane stuff such as lip balm, cologne, and a mini hand and body lotion! Turns out they partnered with the said French beauty company for this. PAL sure knows how to pamper their passengers!
- With mealtime over, there’s only the long flight and lots of free time up ahead. One should have a travel diary to write in or a book to read with them to pass the time if they’re not interested in watching movies from the in-flight entertainment. PAL’s official publication, Mabuhay Magazine, is also available for your reading pleasure.
- Seats in biz class have outlets for you to charge your mobile phone. (Just remember not to get carried away and turn on your wi-fi!) In case you had packed your charger in the luggage you checked in, you can ask the stewardess for a power bank. They have one ready. That’s what happened to me – one of the stewardesses noticed that my battery was hanging on at 1% that she automatically left then came back with a power bank. I didn’t even ask. You gotta love the initiative!
- Air turbulence is normal in every flight. Now, for long flights like these, expect some every now and then, but this shouldn’t cause you to worry. Just think of it as a long car ride and you guys just happen to be going through a bumpy road. Like what the steward and stewardess told me when I got so nervous and paranoid, “It’ll be fine. Nothing to fear.”
- Befriend the stewards/stewardesses. Strike a conversation with them. The best time to do so is after dessert when everybody is settled and just biding time till they fall asleep. The ones in business class and international flights are those who have been with the airline the longest. You’ll be amazed by their stories and how much you can learn from them – a testament to how their experiences flying to and from places have enriched them. They’re also one of the nicest and most caring people you will meet. (Shout out to Miss Punzalan and Pet who really took care of me during the flight to Los Angeles!)
Great food, good movie, excellent service, friendly cabin crew, warm hospitality, and a safe flight! What more could one ask for? I nestled further into my pillow and blanket, with my seat reclined, and enjoyed the journey.
And that’s that. I hope you had fun reading this narrative entry of my experience flying in business class. I did my best to make this as entertaining and informative as possible, and I hope that it would be a useful guide to you when you choose to fly the same. Thank you!
Philippine Airlines flies from Cebu to Los Angeles every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, ETD – 18:25, ETA 17:55. It flies from Los Angeles to Cebu every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, ETD 20:40, ETA: 4:40 + 2.