Apr. 22 to Apr. 24, 2024

Yup three days in just over 24 hours. We board the plane in Edmonton on Apr. 22. Left Vancouver on Apr. 23 and landed in the Philippines on Apr. 24. We should make up for that on the way home but that is more than a month away and in the mean time I am closer to my birthday and a year older.

The first two or so hours of our journey were plagued with hassle. We tried to check in on the computer 24 hours in advance but were blocked and could not get boarding passes. We get to the airport expecting to check in at the counter and didn’t even make it to the shuttles when a nice fellow informed us we had to fill in a pre-entry form before they would talk to us about getting the passes we desired. He gave Debbie a QR code to scan and we spent about ½ hour filling out a form we were not even asked for when we eventually arrived in Manila. The form was not written in North American logic so it required some interpretation and even then, it would not let us fill out the proper info. We knew the flight we were to arrive on but when we typed it in and hit submit it flagged the cell. So, we lied and chose one from the dropdown menu. All good then. Finally made it to the check in counter and the lady could not get us all our boarding passes. She could see the last flight on the list but the boarding pass was unavailable. This of course meant that the bag tags were not available and we would have to pick up bags in Manila and transport them ourselves to the domestic airport for the final leg of the flight. In the long run this turned out to be easy and we are sure our bags made it at least as far as Manila.

On the plus side the ladies at the Philippine Airlines desk in Vancouver were exceptionally helpful. Although they could not get bag tags for the journey to Puerto Princesa they did get us boarding passes and got us checked in properly.

The flight was at night and super smooth. First impression of Philippine Airlines is that it rates high on the ladder of airlines. The people are friendly and helpful. The workers made the flight enjoyable and seemed like they had a good time doing it.

Things went pretty well until we went to board the plane in Manila to go to Puerto Princesa. Our new boarding pass would not let us board the plane. There is a long line of people behind us wanting to get on the plane and the lady has some paper work for us to complete before we can board. For some reason no one up to now had caught this but our tickets had been downgraded and we were entitled to compensation to the tune of 8500PHP ($200 CAD) each. A tidy sum of money. The lady seemed to want us to do the paper work at that moment and we held the line up for a couple of minutes. We must go to a Philippine Air ticket office to redeem the chit. AND it is only a voucher, only good for 1 year. Real useful to a person from North America. This of course was their mistake (plane change or whatever) and they get to keep the money. A bit of BS if you ask me. Had we made the change I could see it but we had nothing to do with it. They overcharged us and they profit. So for all the good about Philippine Airlines……..

The landing in Puerto Princesa was bumpy like the trip experience so far but we’re here and our status is 1. (inside computer joke, the trip is either 0 or 1, 0 the trip is in progress, 1 we have arrived at our destination)

The hotel had a bump as well. Their credit card machine is not working and we could not pay. Somehow this seems to be in our favour but I am sure the problem will be resolved before we leave.

Our first tour of the city revealed not much. A pretty standard Asian small city. Lots of traffic, the main streets lined with shops that could use a lot of upkeep, and an up-to-date air-conditioned mall of little interest.

6.30pm and neither of us can keep our eyes open. I am trying to type this and wake up with only 4 more words on the page. 7pm and I’m going to crawl into bed. I’ll be up at 3 but such is life.

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