Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flying to Coron, Busuanga

In my recent trip to Coron, Busuanga, I redeemed a travel voucher with Cebu Pacific from my previous failed trip. True to their word, I didn't have to pay a single cent for that. I only had to make a phone reservation, email the travel voucher (and present them during check-in) and got the email confirmation four hours later. Anxious about their customer service performance record, we arrived at the airport two hours before the flight. I guess my fate has changed, we met no problem. Except for the long queue for security check early in the morning.

The plane left on time. The plane was almost full, passengers were even seated on stewardess seats while stewardess were seated in the middle fronting the aisle on make-shift seats! Wow, this budget airline has its way of maximing its capacity.

In all the flights I've been to across the world, the door to the lavatory is faced on the side of plane. But on this plane, the lavatory is at the tail end. I was facing its tail end trying to open the door, I had to look at the stewardess for assurance that what I'm doing was right and got a nod from them. Not seeing what's behind that door, I could only imagine I can be suctioned out of the plane when I open the door. LOL paranoia!

While waiting for the luggages to be out, arrival card needs to be filled up at the arrival hall. A lady came to distribute and collected them after.

It took a while before luggages were out, there is no conveyor belt, luggages were lined one by one on a platform just like in many provincial airports in the country.

Out of the airport, several drivers are holding on placards of names of passengers or resort destinations. After a while our host came to meet us, whew! I thought she didn't get my message, I was trying to reach her before the flight but she can't be reached. Apparently, mobile phone signal in the area is weak.

Flying out of Busuanga, we took PAL Express. Check through to PAL flights was not allowed. I was expecting a new plane like we had in Caticlan (Boracay) but it wasn't. The plane arrived late thus, our flight departed late too but it wasn't a long wait.


Small low flying planes fly from Manila to Busuanga Airport via PAL, Cebu Pacific, Zest Airways and Seair (while passesnger vessels of Superferry docks in Coron Town after 12 hours at sea). Flights are almost an hour except for Seair's Donier that only takes 35 minutes. (get 15% discount on seair flights HERE.)

Baggage allowance is limited to 10kgs for PAL, Zest Airways and Seair and 15kgs for Cebu Pacific. Excess baggage is charged between 80 to 100 pesos per kilogram.

There are several vans by airlines, resorts or simply awaiting for passengers to be transferred to Coron Town. They charge P150 per pax for shared transfers and P1,500 per van for private transfers. Coron Town is about 45 minutes away from the airport crossing on bumpy road with mountain view along an animal ranch. Concreting of roads is on its way, this should cut travel time further.

See my Calamian Islands Travel Guide: Coron, Busuanga, Calauit, Maricaban.

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