While I’m still in Canada, I willy-nilly booked a Cebu Pacific flight for the first time.
It was my goal to find a flight within my 3-week vacation in the Philippines. Two days after my arrival we left from Manila to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Getting plane tickets was my priority; understanding the expensive receipt is the goal of this post now that my vacation is over, after all the chaos.
Lowdown of the Cebu Pacific Flight
Because I booked the flight as a group, I divided the expenses to get the fee for a single flight booking.
The flight was booked one month and three weeks ahead.
I used Google Flights to search the available flight and chose Cebu Pacific because of the convenient schedule and cheapest ticket price.
Round-trip Flight – Manila to Siem Reap
Saturday – Depart
Departure: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 3 Andrews Avenue, Pasay City
Arrival: Siem Reap International Airport
Thursday – Return
Departure: Siem Reap International Airport
Arrival: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Terminal 3 Andrews Avenue, Pasay City
Base Fare: Php 4,776.00
Other Fees and Taxes:
Fuel Surcharge: Php 436.00
Passenger Service Charge (LI): Php 491.07
DPSC Value Added Tax: Php 58.93
KX: Php 1,320.25
L5: Php 264.05
Administrative Fee: Php 600.00
Seat Selection Fee: Php 460.00
PH Tax Fee: Php 100.00
PH Travel Tax: Php 1,620.00
Total Amount: Php 4,776.00 (base fare) + Php 5,350.30 (fees and taxes) = Php 10,126.30
The total of fees and taxes is greater than the base fare. I am dumbstruck.
I don’t even have any idea what are those fees and taxes for like KX and L5. On the other hand, DPSC is a terminal fee included in the booking except for Clark.
You can view a summary of fees (baggage fee, rebooking penalty, etc.) for a trip. It’s the fastest way to have an idea of a partial fees before booking a flight.
Travelling is a pleasure, but is it justifiable to have high fees and taxes?
There has to be a way to travel on a budget through Cebu Pacific Flight. More on that later because you don’t have to pay as much as I did if you have ample time and tips.
Related Post: Malayan Insurance: Get a Travel Insurance Online
Expenses You Can Avoid
With hindsight, I could have paid less for a Cebu Pacific booking flight. I managed to not pay two unnecessary expenses and you could do the same. Or why not do better.
1. Seat Selection
Let’s start with what I screwed up. I paid Php 690.00 for seat selection because I wanted my siblings and I to seat in a row.
While I’m not fighting over whose going to sit by the window, I could have paid more attention and avoided the fee.
You don’t have to pay for seat selection.
It was pre-selected; all you have to do is click Remove seat selection.
Imagine how much it would cost if you are travelling as a group. If you are booking a flight, let’s say, three months ahead, then it’s unlikely for the group to be separated.
When I boarded the plane and looked around, I saw a lot of empty chairs. Hmm. . . why is that?
So it doesn’t matter what’s our seating arrangement. My siblings and I wouldn’t be separated. (Why am I writing as if one would be up for adoption? Someone wants to be part of a Royal Family.)
2. Pre-ordered Meal
The photos online are more enticing than what I saw when I was booking and wondering whether I should pre-order meals or not.
I chose not to have meals in a one-hour-and-a-half flight.
You can bring your own snack. Now I remembered, we bought empanada at Red Ribbon; I forgot about it until we arrived at the hotel.
Pre-ordered Meal (Initial Booking)
Light Snacks – Php 179.00
Noodles or Rice Meals – Php 249.00
Pre-ordered Meal (Manage Booking)
Light Snacks – Php 250.00
Noodles or Rice Meals – Php 300.00
Similar to paying for baggage fee, pay for a meal on initial booking because the price is cheaper.
I’m still wondering how the prices of food in the Philippine are so expensive that it became the norm.
Why does a simple meal cost Php 300.00 when I were able to buy my favourite burger steak for only Php 50.00 during my college days.
Instead of spending a ridiculous amount for a bowl of rice and tofu for myself, we ate at a Japanese restaurant in Terminal 3 before boarding. The bill was expensive but justifiable.
How about you, do you like to eat on the plane during a short flight?
3. Baggage Fee
We paid nothing for baggage fee. Backpacking kept us from paying check-in baggage.
A passenger is allowed to carry one item (7kg or less) on the plane.
I used and sling bag and a CabinZero backpack (42L) which is more roomy than the backpacks of my siblings. Whatever doesn’t fit in theirs were stashed in mine.
If you want a check-in buggage, take note of the fees. Before booking a flight, decide whether you want an extra baggage or not because the price varies depending on when you paid for it.
Tip: Pay for baggage fee on the initial booking instead of manage booking, that is, after you book the flight.
Prepaid Baggge Fee (Initial Booking)
Standard (20kg) – Php 850.00
Large (32kg) – Php 1,400.00
Large Plus (40kg) – Php 2,000.00
Prepaid Baggge Fee (Manage Booking 15 days or more from Departure Date)
Standard (20kg) – Php 1,099.00
Large (32kg) – Php 1,749.00
Large Plus (40kg) – Php 2,449.00
Prepaid Baggge Fee (Manage Booking 14 days or more from Departure Date)
Standard (20kg) – Php 1,249.00
Large (32kg) – Php 1,899.00
Large Plus (40kg) – Php 2,799.00
Other Baggage Fees
Excess Baggage Rate (per kg) – Php 400.00
Airport Bag (20kg) – Php 1,700.00
Sports Equipment Fee (15kg) – Php 1,000.00
Surfboard Regular Rate – Php 2,000.00
Surfboard Airport Rate – Php 2,500.00
Let me talk you out into having an excess baggage with the advantages of backpacking.
- Spend less time through the immigration and security.
- Save on baggage fee.
- Bring only important belongings. I can put minimalism into practice. My travel gears include packing cube, power bank, mirrorless camera, toiletries, selected clothing, and water bottle.
- Maintain a clean hotel room. Less stuff, less mess.
- Focus more on the moment than stuff. It’s less stress knowing that all I own fits inside my backpack.
We were sweating so much that we had to change and take a bath three times in a few occasions.
Because we brought few clothes, we had to wash our clothes in the sink. Good thing we brought detergent powder and there are many hangers in the room. (Truth be told, my brother borrowed some hangers from unoccupied room. I don’t know why some rooms in Angkor Pearl Hotel weren’t locked.)
Those are some expenses that you can avoid. To save more, you have to look for a bigger fish to fry. Or ripe fruits to chow down for vegetarian.
Where are the Cheap Flights
I missed it because my sister doesn’t have a passport yet during the Cebu Pacific seat sale.
And for OFWs like me, it’s hard to grab a seat sale that coincide with a vacation that must be approved by a supervisor.
As for the rest, it is such a treat yet challenging to get cheap flights especially if you are not travelling alone. Everybody should be on board with the schedule.
Let’s have an example. This is a round-trip flight from Manila to Boracay.
The base fare for two passengers is Php 3,996.00; the third passenger is free.
The total of taxes and fees is Php 3,921.96; hence the total is Php 7,917.96 which is not bad for three musketeers roaming on the sand of Boracay. Please keep the beach clean.
Know Before You Go
Aside from tips about fees, I’ll share what other things I learned about our first Cebu Pacific flight.
Keep an eye on the advisory. Check if there’s any changes like flight cancellation.
Observe the people around you. While waiting to board on the plane at Siem Reap Airport, we noticed some caucasians rushing to another gate. How come we haven’t heard any announcement from a staff?
Check your companion how they are doing. My siblings were a bit nervous even if they didn’t say anything during the flight, especially the take-off and with a bit of turbulence. My sister had a headache or was it her ear she was complaining about. Fortunately, we have our handy dandy medicine kit, candy, and earplugs.
The next time I will book a Cebu Pacific flight, I’ll do it at least three months ahead and definitely avoid paying the unnecessary fees.
I wonder where are we going on our next Asian trip. How about Thailand and Vietnam.
Were you able to book cheap flights at Cebu Pacific? Where is your next adventure?
Photo Credit: CEB Meals