I flew from Toronto to Manila aboard the Philippines Airlines (PAL) in December. With a flight duration of 16.5 hours, this was the longest flight I have taken so far and I was a little bit anxious as most of my recent long trips have been on business class. This Philippines Airlines Toronto – Manila flight was economy class.
But I was going for a reunion during the holiday season and this was the fastest and the cheapest way to get to Manila.
Check-in & Boarding for PR 119
As usual, I had pre-checked online but when I got to the counter at the Pearson Airport, there was just confusion: two counters were allocated for those who had already checked in and needed just to lodge their luggage but the couple waiting for that counter told me they were actually business class passengers.
So I waited in the long queue of people who had theoretically not pre-checked in.
The boarding was on time, orderly and, therefore, quick. Past the boarding gate there were employees who weighed the luggage if they looked too big or overweight and if they did, the bags were checked in. Cool idea.
PAL uses the newer Airbus A350 on this route and considering it being the holiday season, the flight was full. One of the interesting items I noticed was how the passengers stored their luggage in the overhead bins. For starters, most people seemed to travel with hard shell luggage, and they stored them vertically, not horizontally so there was enough space. For a packed flight I realized there was no lack of storage space.
Twenty minutes into the flight, we were handed out the amenities kit and then the menu followed by a hot towel. It is admirable that the Philippines Airlines still gives out an amenities kit, however simple it is, on its economy route.
One hour after the take off we had the meal. I went for the chicken inasal meal. We were served warm buns and I decided to go for the Asahi dry beer.
The meal was not bad though I wish they had more sauce. Interestingly, I thought the size of the chocolate pudding dessert was large compared to the quantity of the main course.
About eight hours later we were served with a snack. With the chicken with Shanghai noodles option not available, I went for the rotini Bolognese option and I cannot complain – it was saucy and tasty.
Later, about three hours before landing, we were given hot towels again and then the breakfast. I went for the Asian option: Beef Adobo and egg.
As mentioned, the aircraft is new and it is one of those planes that have done away with the remote control to operate the entertainment system, lights etc., Instead, it is all digitally controlled through the monitor.
The entertainment system includes Hollywood and Asian movies, and TV shows. They had a decent set of options for all.
The leg room was sufficient (I am small made) but the seat was not the most comfortable for such a long flight.
Service was excellent.