From the onset I wanted to make sure that my long-winded flights were as comfortable as what my budget would take me. Naturally, I had to be booked on business class. I checked out a few airlines that flew out of Manila -- Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, Eva Air, Northwest, so on and so forth. I've experienced flying on PAL, Eva Air and Northwest. Out of the three, Philippine Airlines had the best service and was the only one that flew straight to California without lay overs. Eva Air was nice too, but required one long stop over in Taipei. Northwest -- what can I say, is probably the worst airline in the whole wide world.
Anyway, as I canvassed for business class tickets, Eva Air was the cheapest -- $2100 for a round trip. PAL costs $400 more. The others are waaay out of my league. Eva Air's business class service, called Premium Laurel, got glowing reviews from sites that I found on Google. If you find the price tag as too steep, they have their second highest class, Evergreen Deluxe Class, that costs less than half ($900). Seats are a lot roomier than coach and have generous foot rests (coach seats don't have foot rests). For sadists, there's coach that is crazy cheap at $500. I won't even go there. My cousin almost lost it after 11 hours.
Ok, so my journey began 3 days ago on July 2, 2009. I traveled with my cousin Clarice. Unfortunately Eva Air is still stationed at the nasty old NAIA terminal. Why they haven't moved to the newer one is beyond me. Check-in was quite easy because of my ticket. Took 5 minutes to get our boarding passes. 2 minutes to pay the terminal fee of P750. 10 minutes to get through immigration. Ok, sometimes being early isn't always the best idea. We had 2 and a half hours to wait for our flight LOL. We headed upstairs to the Sampaguita lounge where they offered wifi and food for P300. The lounge was clearly not well-maintained, but as long as they had wifi I didn't care.
Fast forward to boarding time. I was excited to see my seat. Damn, it was huge!
The chair had a panel where you control the angle of the seat, the backrest and footrest. There's one button to push that turns it into a full-size bed! But I found it strange that even though the bed is flat, it's angled at like 30 degrees. Without the footrest, I'd easily slip down under the seat in front of me haha.
For lunch, they served Beef Pepper Steak, which was just okay for me. Since I had a longer flight after this one, I knew there were more meals to look forward to. The flight to Taipei took only 1 hour and 30 minutes. Our next flight wasn't until 3 hours later so my cousin and I had ample time to roam the duty free shops inside the airport.
Guess what store caught our attention.
THE SANRIO STORE!!! LOL
It's the ultimate wet dream for Hello Kitty fans out there (ehem, ehem). I actually know a few guys who are hahaha.
But you know, when I was kid, I remember having a stuffed toy of this fella here:
His name is Tuxedo Sam. Not many people know him and I didn't see him at the Sanrio store. :-\ Bless his soul.
Ok, so I kinda got sick walking around. I abandoned my cousin and checked out the Evergreen Lounge. Regrettably, I didn't take pictures but it puts all the other airport lounges to shame. They had a full-on buffet, free drinks, free wifi and xboxes! Huwaw!!
Here are more pics taken on the connecting flight to San Francisco:
Notice the white wine? After two lame glasses I got drunk. I'm such a loser.
I'll make succeeding posts about the rest of my trip soon. For now, I hope you liked this one!