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Jun 20

Philippines Day 1 Abu Dhabi to Manila

Welcome on our first Blog Entry. Follow us and take part in our trip to the Philippines.

 We booked our flights with Oman Air two months ago. Although we have a stopover in Muscat, the lower price was worth the additional 3 hours journey time.

The price for the ticket was 1985 DHS which is approximately 480 Euros. A non stop flight would have been more convenient of course but Etihad Airways asked for over 3000 DHS at that time.

The baggage allowance is 30kg per passenger.

Oman Air is a very good airline. Both flights (Abu Dhabi to Muscat and Muscat to Manila) were on time.

Muscat is a small convenient airport. With certain credit cards you can enjoy free lounge access world-wide.

In Muscat (MCT) we go to the Plaza Premium Lounge.

What is the good thing with lounges?

 

  • Free food and drinks (yes, the Plaza Premium Lounge does offer free alcoholic drinks)

  • Shower facilities (free of charge)

  • Smoking Area

  • free WiFi

  • quiet seating area (although at peak times it might get crowded)

 

If you don´t have a credit card or frequent flyer status which gives you free access to lounges, you can still access some of them by paying a fee.

 

Flight Abu Dhabi to Muscat

Departure time is 05:35 in the morning. On international flights we prefer to arrive at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure.

During holiday season Abu Dhabi Airport can get very crowded and you might spend a lot of time at the security checks and check in counters. Before entering the airport building you have to undergo a security check unlike in most german airports. This will cost you additional time.

 

Have you ever missed a flight? Leave us a comment below.

At 02:30 we arrive at the airport, not really well rested. 😀

Check In is very smooth.

Have you heard of the bullet scam in Manila Airport? Also called lagla bala or tanim bala. Newspaper reported that airport officials planted bullets in passengers´luggage and try to extort money from you.

We have heard of that so we tried to take some precaution. After entering the airport building we go straight to the luggage service and wrap our backpacks in plastic.

We recommend that anyway, no matter where you travel to.

 

Wrap your luggage

Wrap your luggage

The cost for the wrapping service vary depending on the size of your luggage between 10 and 40 DHS. (2-10 Euros). In Abu Dhabi Terminal 1 you will find the baggage service before the check in.

 

 

Check Inn and security check went well. Residents in Abu Dhabi can use the SmartGate Gates for immigration. The good thing is, you don´t have to queue up and your passport is not filling up with exit and entry stamps.

The flight itself took only 45 minutes. The distance is around 380km. A car drive would take around 5 hours.

Aircraft type was an Embraer 175 with two rows of 2 seats each. The leg room was excellent. You cannot compare that to certain European domestic flights where I have trouble to get to my seat as I am 2,08m tall.

 

StefanandMercy_Abu_Dhabi_to_Muscat_Embraer_175

Manila we are coming!!!

 

Oman_Air_Embraer_175_Muscat

Oman Air Embraer 175 Muscat International Airport

 

The connecting flight will depart at 10:00. That means we face a 3 hours stopover in Muscat. This is okay as this time includes transfer from/to the aircraft, security checks etc.. So the actual waiting time might be 90 minutes only.

In Muscat we have to take a Cobus to the terminal and go straight to the Plaza Premium Lounge.

Time for a second breakfast and a shower.

Far away from home (Stefan is originally from Munich, Bavaria) we find this in an Middle Eastern Airport.

Plaza_Premium_Lounge_Muscat

Time for breakfast

 

Flight Muscat to Manila

If you wait in an airport lounge, make sure to keep an eye on the screens showing the status of your flight. Mostly the staff will not give you any notice that your flight is ready for boarding.

One last cigarette and off we go to the boarding gate, enter a Cobus and head to our aircraft. All on time. Beautiful!

 

Oman_Air_A330_Muscat

Oman Air A330

 

Oman_Air_Muscat_A330

Oman Air A330

 

 

This time the aircraft is a bigger one. An Airbus A330.

We prefer that rather than a Boeing 777, as there are only two seats in the windows rows. So you have a little bit more privacy.

Usually I ask at the check in counter to get a seat in the exit row. Mostly I get one. But this time I wasn´t succesful with that.

That meant a rather uncomfortable 8 hours flight to Manila. The leg room was okay for normal grown people. But with my 2,08m actually any Economy Class is a torture.

Nevertheless the service on board was excellent, Inflight Entertainment was good. You can´t do much wrong with Oman Air. If the price is good, we will book them again.

Make sure you sign up with the Miles Programme before you fly with any airline. You never know what it might be good for in future.

 

Manila here we are!

At 22:00 we arrive finally in Manila. There were no immigration cards handed out during the flight. So we queue up at the counter and wait and wait and are then told that Stefan has to fill one out. So back to the cards, fill one out and queue up again.

They could really have placed a sign there.

Immigration itself was not a problem. We did not have to show any return tickets nor bookings.

Most annoying part of flying is waiting for your luggage.

 

Finally it arrived. Watch your luggage very well in Manila! We head out to the drop off zone and wait for a shuttle which we organised with our guesthouse.

As we will fly to Naga City in Carmarines Sur the next day, we booked one night at Salem Domestic Guesthouse with agoda.com.

The guesthouse is located opposite NAIA (Manila) Airport Terminal 4. Perfect location to catch our domestic flight the next morning.

 

Salem Domestic Guesthouse is well worth it when you just need a place to spend a night next to Manila International Airport (NAIA).

We booked the room already in Abu Dhabi via Agoda and paid 1985 Php which equals 38 Euro.

Salem_Domestic_Guesthouse_Manila

Sale, Domestic Guesthouse

 

Salem_Domestic_Guesthouse_Manila2

All we need

 

 

Salem_Domestic_Guesthouse_Manila3

Bathroom

 

We reach the guesthouse at midnight. You can find some eateries and fast food restaurants next to the guesthouse. There are many people and security around so we feel quite save.

The next flight will depart the next day at 9:00. That means waking up in 6 hours. After the exhausting flight from Abu Dhabi that is definitely not enough sleep, But better than nothing.

 

 

How did you like this article? Have you ever stayed in a guesthouse or hotel near Manila Airport? What was your experience in Manila?

We are looking forward to your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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