Earlier this year flag carrier Philippine Airlines deployed its latest Airbus A330-300 on flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo Haneda, Nagoya, and Seoul as part of its fleet-wide revamp. The modern, three-class configuration includes PAL’s distinctive business class, featuring layered, lie-flat seats.
The Specifics: The new A330 can accommodate 368 passengers, with 323 in economy, 27 in premium economy, and 18 in business class. Premium economy and economy are both in a 2-4-2 layout while business class has a 2-2-2 configuration.
Before Take Off: If you’re travelling from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, visit PAL’s recently renovated Mabuhay Lounge ahead of your flight. The lounge offers a respite from the bustling airport and a quiet place to check emails. A spread of cakes, cookies, and paninis are on offer, along with Filipino favorites like Arroz Caldo porridge—but health-conscious travelers may find the selection lacking in options. Full beverage service is also available with Bloody Mary cocktails served from the early morning. A small “theater” screens films throughout the day.
The Seats: Business class offers nearly two-meter-long lie-flat seats with a 147-cm pitch. The Equinox 3D seat includes in-seat power outlets, a USB port, and retractable privacy divider. The seats maximize space through a unique layout: when moving to the bed position, the window seat is elevated to the level of the armrest, while the aisle seat sinks down to just above the floor. In this position, the footrest of the window seat is slightly about the footrest of the aisle seat, creating a “layering” effect that maximizes space. This allows the seats to have an extra-long length, but aisle positions are still needed for unobstructed access to walkways.
The Entertainment: OnAir in-flight Wi-Fi allows passengers to connect personal devices with PAL’s entertainment systems for direct access to the airline’s library of movies, television programs, music, and apps for free. And instead of being installed on bulky seat-backs, entertainment systems come in the efficient form of iPad Minis.
The Food: Three-course business-class meals are served atop white tablecloths. Meals include choices like chicken rosemary in garlic jus with linguine in tomato concasse or Filipino dishes like bistek tagalog (stewed beef). PAL regularly features Filipino culinary personalities as guest chefs for its Food Festivals in the Sky program. Meals tend to be carb-heavy, and the wine selection is limited.
The Service: PAL flight attendants are always warm and accommodating, even when they can’t honor your requests. When the airline didn’t have a selection of fresh fruit aboard a recent flight, one flight attendant offered his own apple instead.
Our Insider Tip: Amenity kits are only available for overnight business-class flights, but they’re coveted among frequent flyers of the airline. Designer Bally supplies sleek nylon zippered packs filled with Clarins skin care products including hand and nail cream, lip balm, and signature fragrance.
For more information, visit Philippine Airlines.