When travelling locally in the Philippines like going to Palawan from Manila, I almost always take Philippine airlines (PAL) flight except when they are fully booked on my preferred travel dates. They are not paying me with this commendation but like everyone else will say, PAL have the best service, the seats are more spacious and they provide water and a tiny portion of snack, about one tablespoon. That’s better than Cebu Pacific and Zest air who do not give anything at all even if you have paid the same price for the same destination.
Anyway, I was booking for a domestic flight for my mum with Philippine Airlines (PAL) but stopped when I couldn’t find an option to add additional baggage. They only allow 10 kg check-in and 7kg of hand-carried bag. This means any additional baggage you carry will cost Php 150 per kilo. Disappointed over this fact, I went to check Cebu Pacific which allows additional baggage on booking but I am not a big fan of them and their price is much higher than PAL which I find ridiculous because compared to PAL they are trailing behind service and reputation-wise. So I asked Mr I-know-it-all Google how to add baggage with PAL and this is what I found out.
PAL and PAL Express websites and baggage allowances
PAL and PAL Express have different websites, thanks to Google for the information. Formerly known as sister companies and now have merged, these two seemingly separate entities allow booking for the same local destination in their separate websites. However, booking with PAL at philippineairlines.com will not give an option to add additional baggage. So if you are carrying more than 10 kg check-in baggage, make sure to book with PAL Express website at flypalexpress.com. Any additional bag or excess weight can be paid in advance while booking and 4 hours after booking. Here is the list of the fees from PAL Express website.
PAL prepaid baggage fees
Small bag 15 kg — Php200
Standard bag 20kg — Php350
Large Bag 30kg — Php 65o
Extra Large 45 kg — Php 1250
Sports Equipment — as low as Php 1000 per passenger per flight
PAL Customer Care is rubbish
I can rave about the comfort of PAL airbuses but sadly, their customer service sucks. Last year when I went home to Palawan I made the silly mistake of booking my flight thru philippineairlines.com. Despite my asking information about the excess baggage from a frequent-flier friend, I didn’t find the link nor the information about the “other website”. So I made an overseas call to their customer care and was told that PAL does not allow prepaid excess baggage. Probably implying that I have to pay at the check-in counter, he didn’t give any other information. Surprisingly, a lot of PAL customers are let down by their lousy, substandard customer care. Too bad. Those customer representatives should be axed for their rude and unpleasant behavior.
Update: Sending excess baggage as Cargo (added on Nov 8, 2014)
Excess baggage sent as cargo with PAL is PHP50.00 per kilo and there is no limit. This is three times cheaper than paying at the counter which is PHP150.00 per kilo. Although they have a cargo option, PAL staff are not telling their customers about this. My reliable source advised not to even ask them because they are not helpful.