The 5 Best Airlines in the Philippines
Our Criteria for the Best Airlines in the Philippines
Value for Money
We evaluated each airline’s ticket prices and only included those that offer the greatest quality and service.
Since we place a high value on passenger experience, we included airlines with top-notch in-flight services and reservation systems.
We examined the routes and schedules of each airline and chose those that fly to major cities both inside and outside the country.
We also looked into the airline’s extra benefits for loyal customers and selected those with a wide range of exclusive deals.
To guarantee that you get the best treatment, we picked airlines that place great importance on customer service.
1. Philippine Airlines
Route Network: 33 domestic and 44 international
Fleet Size: 46
Main Office Address: PNB Financial Center, CCP Complex, Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact Number: +63 2 777 4800
|Value for Money||3.5/5|
- Wide range of routes available
- Exceptional customer service
- Easy conversion of miles
- Complimentary in-flight snacks and drinks
- Quite expensive
- Switches gates the most
One of our favorite things about Philippine Airlines’s (PAL) is their wide selection of routes. They offer 31 domestic routes and 44 international destinations, making them the airline with the broadest reach in the country.
Hence, we definitely think they’re the best option if you’re looking for an airline that offers many routes for local and global travel.
We also love that they offer a frequent flyer program called Mabuhay Miles, where you can earn miles by flying with PAL.
The miles conversion is relatively easy; you just have to look in their rewards catalog and log into the Mabuhay Miles website. From there, you can buy a ticket with your points or upgrade your seat to premium economy or business.
It’s also worth mentioning that they also offer several non-flying options to increase your points, which we think is a great deal for infrequent travelers.
When flying, we think it’s a plus that they offer complimentary snacks and drinks. This way, you don’t have to worry about flying on an empty stomach.
Additionally, the we like that their airport staff and flight attendants are kind and accommodating. They promptly handle any problems you may throughout your travel with them.
However, we’re bummed that their flights are more expensive than other airlines on this list. As a result, they aren’t the most budget-friendly option.
Aside from that, we should warn you that PAL tends to switch gates the most, which we think can confuse passengers. While it’s understandable given the size of their fleet and routes, we suggest double-checking your flight details to avoid any mishaps.
2. Cebu Pacific
Route Network: 34 domestic and 19 international
Fleet Size: 48
Main Office Address: Airline Operations Center Building, Old Domestic Road, Manila Domestic Airport Complex, Pasay City
Contact Number: +6 328 540 0393
|Value for Money||5/5|
- Has frequent promo offers
- Offers CEB Super Pass
- Often overbooks their flights
- Incurs the most delays
If affordability is at the top of your priority list, we think you should go for Cebu Pacific (CebPac).
We enjoy that CebPac offers the cheapest plane tickets on this list. It’s also great that they have a ‘Piso Seat Sale’ from time to time for travelers on a budget.
Aside from that, they offer Ceb Super Pass, a one-time coupon that allows you to book and redeem flights without needing to prepare ahead of time. Because of this, we also think they’re the best when it comes to flexibility.
While they have eye-catching promos for those on the hunt for a great deal, we noticed that they tend to overbook their flights, resulting in bumping off some passengers.
From our view, this can bring about a great inconvenience despite the affordable ticket if you’re unlucky enough to get booted.
Other than that, we noticed that they incur the most delayed flights compared to other airlines on this list. However, this is understandable given that they are a low-cost airline with limited time on the ground.
As a result, we only recommend using CebPac if you’ve got time to spare while traveling. Thus, we don’t think they’re a good choice if you have connecting flights, especially with other airlines.
3. Philippines Air Asia
Route Network: 15 domestic and 15 international
Fleet Size: 15
Main Office Address: RedPoint Office, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: +63 2 8672 7886
|Value for Money||4.9/5|
- Has flight and hotel deals
- Offers Air Asia credit card
- Some inefficiencies in customer support
- Refund can take a long time to process
For those who want to save money by availing both flights and hotels for a discounted price, we highly recommend Air Asia.
Firstly, we like that they have flights and hotel deals called SNAP on their website at discounted rates. Hence, we believe they’re the best option for those on the hunt for great deals.
Another thing that amazed us about Air Asia is that they offer a credit card with VIP privileges like priority check-in, boarding, and more. It also allows you to earn twice as many Air Asia points than when you use other cards.
However, we observed that their customer service might be inefficient at times. To be specific, they slow to respond to emails and getting an on-call representative to attend to your concerns.
Furthermore, refunds take a while to process when flights are canceled or delayed. To add, we find the absence of clear timeframes and updates frustrating.
You can only expect to be notified once they’re processed your refund, which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months.
It’s also burdensome that they offer to deposit the reimbursement to your travel fund. This means you can face a problem especially if you’re going on a business trip or have limited funds when traveling.
4. Air Swift
Route Network: 8 domestic
Fleet Size: 4
Main Office Address: 5001-5006, 5th Floor Ayala mall Manila Bay Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, cor Aseana Ave, Parañaque City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 5318 5940
|Value for Money||4.2/5|
- Only airline with direct flights to El Nido, Palawan
- Offers free rebooking
- Has Swift Rewards
- Has only a few routes
- More expensive than other airlines on this list
To those who want a direct flight to the country’s most popular beaches like Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Coron, and Cebu, then we think that Air Swift is highly worth considering.
Air Swift’s best selling-point is that they’re the only airline that offers a direct flight to El Nido, Palawan. Hence, you can skip the hassle of going through a 5-hour-long bus ride from Puerto Princesa.
This also allows you to maximize your time and skip the inconvenience of tedious connections, especially while carrying heavy baggage
While they only have a few routes, we think that their stellar customer service makes up for it. We appreciate that their staff is also easy to talk to when there are concerns about your flights.
It’s also a bonus that they have Swift Rewards for those who want to earn points and redeem them for more added perks.
However, the flights can be expensive, which is still understandable because they’re a boutique airline.
Despite being one of the smallest airlines in this list, they still offer excellent services similar to other more prominent airlines.
Having mentioned that, you can also expect that they have smaller planes. This means that fewer passengers can be accommodated and they may be often fully booked.
5. Royal Air Philippines
Route Network: 4 domestic and 7 international
Fleet Size: 4
Main Office Address: L1-0008AA Ground Level Landside, Clark International Airport Terminal 2, Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines
Email: [email protected]
|Value for Money||4.8/5|
- Affordable rates
- Offers vacation bundles
- Has 10 kg free check-in bag allowance
- Clean and maintained seats
- Limited schedule available
- Has few routes
Based on our assessment, Royal Air is a traveler’s favorite for those who want direct international flights to provinces like Tagbilaran, Caticlan, and Cebu.
For us, it’s the most convenient for some routes because other airlines require you to have layovers in Manila to go to certain provinces.
We also suggest you try Royal Air if you’re traveling for leisure and want to explore a tourist destination with affordable rates.
Among others, we like them for their vacation bundles because they are inclusive to most of your needs when you travel. For instance, they offer bundles that include airfare, hotel, roundtrip transfer, etc.
Their booking system is also straightforward similar to major airlines. You can simply browse through the available dates and routes, then move forward to paying.
Though, we noticed they have limited schedules available which can be understandable because not many people go to certain provinces regularly.
We also observed that Royal Air only has a few routes, so we hope they increase their destinations to accommodate more passengers.
Anyhow, we still think they’re a great choice for travelers who like bringing a lot. To the delight of many, their baggage allowance is 10 kg, whereas others only have 7 kg, so you can bring more without paying additional fees.
On the brighter side, their small fleet makes them easy to manage. Based on our observations, their facilities and amenities are well-maintained which is a plus for sensitive flyers.