It is quite unfortunate that not all of the domestic routes of Philippine Airlines offer Business Class seats. In fact, according to their ads, only the high density of routes of MNL-CEB-MNL and MNL-DVO-MNL offer this kind of service.
In recent weeks however, Business Class seats, are available in other domestic routes especially the ones that experienced a surge of passenger numbers due to the incoming holidays. One example is the MNL-ILO-MNL flights.
Philippine Airlines’ workhorse for these destinations is the Airbus A321 aircraft. There are 12 business class seats available featuring supple leather covers, inflight meals, USB charging outlet and a generous seat pitch. There are no TV monitors available though. Inflight entertainment is offered via MyPAL wifi streaming.
Domestic flights in the Philippines never exceeds 1.5 hours in flying time. Thus, what interests me the most are not the amenities or seat pitch or even the entertainment system but the food! So, I checked out what Philippine Airlines has to offer to its business class customers in its MNL-ILO-MNL route.
For some reason, beef sausage with poached egg and potatoes is not a popular choice during breakfast because in two instances this is the ONLY choice left. This is when I took early morning flights and my assigned seat was at the back row of the business class section. Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with this particular meal. The potatoes are firm, the sausage is tasty and the egg was cooked just right.
Curious of the other choices, I vowed to reserve seat 1A on the next trip. I was successful but it was a late night flight and, as I expected, I am the first passenger to be asked of my choice meal. The choice was between beef lasagna and chicken alfredo. I chose beef lasagna. I find nothing particularly impressive with the dish although I must note that the broccoli is crunchy and buttered to my taste.
The best meal so far was offered during brunch! This was offered on a flight that leaves ILO at 1000 hrs. The choice was between pad thai and seafood marinara. Well, I did not regret my choice – the best phad thai ever! Who would have thought that the best Thai meal (being not really a fan of Thai food) I’ve ever had would be at 30, 000 feet? I would say kudos to the Thai chef of the Philippine Airlines!
Business class meals at the domestic routes of Philippine Airlines is a mixed bag. I will try my best to try all the available choices but not all flights on MNL-ILO route offers business class seats. In most cases, the aircraft is an aging A320 and only the premium economy seats are available. My advice though is – try the business class service of Philippine Airlines in its domestic routes at least once. It may not be the best in the industry but the meals are worth tasting!