Exploring Batanes has always been in my bucket list. I have traveled in foreign lands both personal and business trips yet travelling to this scenic island in the northern most tip of the country was always stalled. One major reason that hinders me I suppose is the expensive airfare. The ticket fee is more costly than flying to other Asian countries.
One day as I was browsing my email, I saw in my inbox a message from Philippine Airline about airfare promotions. I receive regular invitation being a Mabuhay Miles member, so, I clicked the link and checked possible destinations. I wasn’t able to book a promo flight due to nonavailability of dates however a Swing Around promo to Batanes caught my attention. The Swing Around promo is inclusive of two-way airfare and accommodation, PAL has partner hotels and their system will let you choose which hotel to stay. This promo however isn’t flexible, no refund terms and will have to fly from Clark International Airport. Regardless of the no refund condition and the airport location, I still booked a 5days 4night stay in Batanes and only paid Php10500++ inclusive of taxes and hotel accommodation.
I decided to book the trip 2months after due to our (my friend is travelling with me) busy schedules. I’ll be honest, am a bit apprehensive about this trip because we will fly from Clark International Airport which is quite far from where I live. I live in the Cavite which is in Southern Luzon whereas Clark is in Central Luzon.
I was thinking of possible options on how to go to Clark. One is to drive all the way from Cavite to Clark and leave the car there, however when i checked online there wasn’t any information which give me a slightest clue if I can leave a car in the parking lot for 5days, so it is not an option. Second most viable thing to do is take a bus to Clark. Mr.Google again was helpful, I found out that there is a Point to Point bus from NAIA3 to Clark and vice-versa. Also another option is from Trinoma to Clark. We opted to take the Trinoma (Quezon City) to Clark schedule because my friend lives near that area.
Below are the rates and schedules of P2P buses from Trinoma to ClarkFor more information about P2P schedules and routes please click this link –>https://p2pbus.ph/metro-manila-stations-schedules
The earliest schedule is at 4:00 a.m and we took that, it was a 1.5-hr trip, we arrived in the airport at 5:30 a.m., the airport was quiet and not busy at all. We were glad that I booked at Clark, the night before there was this Chinese carrier that crash landed in NAIA international airport prompting the closure of the terminals, cancellations and diversions of flights.
It was my first time to fly from Clark International Airport, I was impressed cause its clean and organised, well of course we came in very early so very few passengers were there. There are restaurants outside the airport main building which is near the P2P bus, UV Express and Jeepney terminals. There’s 7-Eleven, KFC, Singang Express (if I am not mistaken), most of the fast food are still closed they usually open at 10 a.m. except for KF and 7-Eleven. On the other hand there are more cafe choices inside the waiting lounge and we only found out about it upon check-in 🙂
We were supposed to take-off at 10:30 a.m. however our flight was slightly delayed due to late arrival of PAL plane from Batanes, apparently it was cloudy that morning which caused the slight delay. So when we finally boarded, I was a bit surprised because the plane wasn’t full but when I did on-line check in the seats were indicated to be taken already, PAL system probably distributed the passenger based on seating assignment. We were aboard PAL Bombardier Q400 plane which is cozy even if were seated in Economy. It took off and landed smoothly in Batanes, thanks to the experienced pilots. While I was chatting with a local in Sabtang Island, she asked me which carrier we flew in and I said Philippine Airlines. She said it was a good choice as compared to Cebu Pacific and asked her why. Apparently Cebu Pacific planes had difficulty landing in Batanes, especially that same morning, they saw CebuPac cruising around Batanes Island and attempted to land several times.
I have always been a Philippine Airlines flyer and will never fly any other local airlines unless I do not have a choice. I have had several horrible stories with the other airline and hence never shall I fly unless necessary.
The check-in area quite colorful, spacious and airy.
Photos of planes are mounted on the walls of the hallway leading to the waiting lounge
If you are not in a hurry, you may take your time to check those photos along the hallway, quite interesting.
The domestic pre-departure area, sorry guys, I do not knwo how the international pre-departure area looks like haha
Selfie with my bestie, there were no people in the hallway so might as well take a selfie 🙂 But we wouldn’t do this if there were other passengers walking.
PAL Bombardier Q400 bound for Batanes
Clark International Airport view from the plane
Believe me or not every time I fly, I read the plane’s safety manual 🙂 Its better to be ready than sorry. Oh by the way Philippine Airlines, I love your new design 🙂
A video of our take-offplaceholder://
Anyway my overall experience in this airport was great and I think those who live in Central Luzon provinces should fly via this airport rather than go to Manila and fly from NAIA.