Cebu Pacific, previously known as Cebu Air, is the Philippines’ leading low cost carrier, flying more passengers from Point A to Point B than the National Carrier, Philippine Airlines. Cebu Pacific is considered a low cost carrier for its lower air fares and the 7kg baggage allowance, anything additional such as checked luggage or in-flight meals and drinks needs to be either prepaid or purchased on-board subjected to availability.
Here’s my experience with Cebu Pacific from Singapore to Manila through a 5 hour 5 minute transit at Changi Airport, while the Malé – Singapore sector was with Tigerair. I was very fortunate that Tigerair and Cebu Pacific shared the same international gates at Terminal 2 at Changi Airport, Singapore. There was plenty of space near the Transfer Desk E lounge area, but many of the cushions of the seats were torn and were not usable.
Date: 10 Oct 2016
Flight Path: Singapore (SIN) – Manila (MNL)
Length: 3 hours 40 minutes
Fare: USD 258.73 (Including Malé – Singapore sector/one-way)
CHECK IN: I checked-in for the Singapore – Manila flight from Malé, but had to collect my boarding pass from Transfer Desk E at Changi Airport, Singapore. There was not a lot of people at the queue at Transfer Desk E, and I actually managed to get on the top of the queue right after we got off the plane, allowing me to be one of the first few people to collect my boarding pass before proceeding to Starbucks for breakfast.
PLANE: The aircraft equipment was an Airbus A320 (twin-jet) and was not new. Cebu Pacific currently has 36 Airbus A320 aircrafts in its fleet. This A320-200 featured a one class configuration with 180 standard Economy Class seats and were operating on short to medium-haul routes. The seating configuration was all done on 3-3 with a 29 inch seat pitch, which was a bit tight, but they reclined better than most other low cost carriers.
We got ourselves boarded on time and got on the plane through the jet bridge. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them play some good music from the speakers until the safety demonstration. We were supposed to take off at 1035hrs Singapore time, but had a delay of 6 minutes and it wasn’t a major delay.
ENTERTAINMENT: There was no in-flight entertainment – touch screen system, radio, music or even a USB input to charge the phone or any other device. You will have to bring your own device (laptop, tablet, etc) and ear-phone. However, the crew played “guessing games” with passengers and handed prizes to the winners. It was a fantastic idea, everyone was excited, even though it was only a Cebu Pacific-branded pencil case they won.
FOOD: Meals were not included in the fare, but were featured in the in-flight magazine and it ranged from 350 PHP (USD 7.25/-) to 500 PHP (USD 10.36/-) – definitely not cheap. I had a beef rice, which costed a reasonable 350 pesos, it was tender and the dish was filling and delicious. Cups of instant noodles, sandwiches and sweet snacks were also available. Water was provided but other drinks, including tea and coffee were for sale.
SERVICE: The cabin was clean and comfortable, it was the best a budget carrier economy class ever got me. I must also agree that Cebu Pacific had the most beautiful Philippine women as its flight attendants. They were friendly, cheerful and accommodating. I’ve seen them go beyond the call of duty to ensure that every passenger were well-fed and watered. I particularly fancied their uniform, presented in its company colors of yellow and blue, representing the bright yellow sun and blue sky over aquamarine water. Women wore a sunny yellow top and cardigan, accompanied by a print scarf that had Cebu Pacific’s colors. Men wore a polo shirt in the same fabric.
CONCLUSION: Cebu Pacific has a unique concept, and you certainly know what you get whenever you book a flight with them. It’s definitely not the most chic airline to travel but, for the price paid, it’s comfortable and pleasant enough to travel to the Philippines. I will certainly not hesitate to fly with them again!
I flew at my own expense.