This is the second installment to the two-part narrative about my first time taking business class in a flight from Manila to Bangkok on Philippine Airlines. Read more…
|Photo credit: Airbus|
As I was catching a whiff of what was cooking in the galley, the senior cabin crew came out with a pile of iPads we were allowed to loan. Instead of fitting seats with traditional inflight entertainment (IFE) screens, Philippine Airlines is stepping up its game and keeping up with other top carriers by opting for tablets in their newer aircraft. Their iPads contain a bevy of new and classic movies, music albums, apps, and games, although what tickled my fancy then was the TV show The Carrie Diaries, which I have always been curious about.
First drink service came, cueing the start of mealtime. Our starters were shortly presented: orange tea-marinated salmon with green mango salad—a combination of food that I like. The seasoning was just right, and it was refreshing throughout. In addition to it was a selection of hot bread, such as sourdough, rye, and ciabatta, that had pure butter on the side.
As soon as our appetizer plates were cleared, the attendant elegantly carried our meals one-by-one, warning us that the plates were hot. There were no aluminum trays and plastic cutlery, only ceramic plates and silverware, and the food was gorgeous. Yes, airlines do train their flight attendants to decorate food up to specific standards.
While the words ‘deep fried’ may be off-putting when it comes to steak, the huge hunk of tenderloin was surprisingly soft to the bite. And while the a part of the sauce may have evaporated during reheating, the savory steak remained tasty and not salty at all.
We were offered two more rounds of beverages before desserts were handed out. The final course was rather simple; we were served Magnolia Ice Cream. I took ube (purple yam) and cheese, my two favorite flavors combined into one, so again, I was very pleased.
I spent most of the time post-meal watching more TV episodes and reading Mabuhay Magazine, and while the others had settled for a nap, those of us who were awake were kindly being offered more drinks—as if our bladders can take in any more liquid. But how can I resist a Coke Light? As an added touch, we were offered a packet of premium mixed nuts.
Time flew fast, pun not intended, and soon, the call for descent was made. We touched down on-time, uneventfully at Suvarnabhumi Airport and got parked at the gate at once. I sat a little longer, savoring my last moments with my seat, but I was already among the last ones in. Thus, I inevitably had to deplane, clear immigration, and retrieve my priority-tagged suitcase. Receiving my luggage ahead was indeed the cherry on top of a great experience.
Some who’ve read this may dismiss the story as humble bragging, but hey, flying business class is one dream crossed off my checklist, and I cannot let myself be deprived of the joy of sharing (read: flaunting) it. The way I see it, the experience was as significant as other life events—like my first passport stamp, for instance. And besides, it’s highly likely that I would write the part two to this narrative, the journey back, as more matter-of-fact, and for sure, that time will come when I ride business class like any other flight.
But let me just say how I loved every minute in Philippine Airlines’ Business Class. Riding their exclusive cabin afforded some leeway for a sense of privilege and entitlement. In front of the plane was a different reality, where passengers ate better and were given more attention, and where it’s normal to see experienced flight attendants chat with guests.
However, it’s no secret that flying fancy can cost a bundle. After all, industry experts claim that while there are fewer passengers riding these sections, airlines make more on them in total. I honestly cannot make this a regular thing as I would hope, but I am overly content that at least I am now aware of what truly happens beyond the curtain.