This is the second leg of my round trip from Manila to London and back. In my previous review (here’s a link to it) I already detailed most of what I expected and experienced in PAL’s business class. The first leg has certainly set a standard as it was a great experience for me. Now it’s time to see if there’s consistency in PAL’s services.
The plane and its many amenities were great. However, the service that was supposed to enhance the experience totally ruined it.
Pros: Great Seats and Food
Cons: Bad Service
The lounge used by Philippine Airlines is Club Aspire. It took me quite a while to get there, but it wasn’t too bad.
Once you’re in the vicinity, it’s easy to spot thanks to this large sign of PAL.
Since it’s not exclusively for PAL flyers, it can get quite crowded. You’ll find yourself in a sea of mixed nationalities and culture.
The lounge even had a space dedicated to rest pods.
The pods, however, looked more like medical beds. They’re still comfy enough for someone to sleep on it though.
The great thing is that the lounge has a wide assortment of food to cater to the different nationalities residing in it.
For PAL passengers, they serve their own version of Arroz Caldo. the great thing is that the club has a few Filiipinos working the kitchen, and they know exactly how to cook a bowl ofArroz Caldo right.
I also found the time to drink a glass of beer. While waiting for my flight.
Club aspire has a great shower and toilet area.
The shower was clean and well-kept. It seems as if every time someone finishes taking a bath, they’ll immediately clean and ready it for the next person.
The sink near the shower also receives the same treatment, there’s also a small towel waiting on the side for anyone who needs it.
50 minutes prior to the scheduled take-off, my flight began boarding.
The walk from the lounge to the boarding gate was quite long—around 10 to 15 minutes. it’s best to leave early, and don’t wait for the lounge to announce that your flight is already boarding.
Take it from experience. I left as soon as the lounge announced that my flight was already boarding. But as soon as i got to the boarding gate, I was basically one of the last ones to board the plane.
For a more comprehensive review of the seat, you can checkout the first leg of my review here. This time, however, I chose a window seat. And as mentioned in my seat recommendations, this one has a compartment blocking the aisle, creating a sort of small personal hub.
It gave me a feeling of privacy as I’m somewhat blocked off, from the rest of the people in business class.
For more details and technicalities regarding seat dimensions, you can view the previous leg of my trip.
I had very high expectations for this flight back home. Coming from a decent service, I couldn’t wait and see if I’ll receive the same treatment as I did on my previous flight.
That wasn’t the case, however.
Maybe it was because I expected too much from them, but for this flight, the flight attendants didn’t do much attending apart from their routine.
My seat was in the far back and that means that I’ll be one of the last people to take my orders for food. That would be okay if I still receive the same kind of service that the other passengers had, but no. Once it was my turn to choose from the menu, there were already some items that were sold out!
I’m not saying it’s terrible, I’m saying that when I compare it with the flight I had from Manila to London, this was a disappointment—at least when it came to the services that they provided. Even asking for a glass of water took several tries.
Moving on, the food that they served was still as good as I expected. The taste and the freshness are still there. The full course was delicious for airplane food.
I started with Salmon Cured in Orange and Fennel with a side of Black Quinoa. It was something new for me, but definitely a tasty one.
For the main course, I got their take on the Bistek Filipino. Needless to say, it’s not that appealing, but it bounced back because of its unique taste.
For dessert, I got their cheese platter. And let me just say it was a wonderful end to this meal.
I was disappointed. The great feeling that I experienced on the first leg of my trip was completely lost during my return flight. I know that I’ve experienced way better, and will get to experience better Business class products in the future., but for this flight, It’s not. The seats were still great, the food was still great, but the staff and the service were just plain bad.