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Philippine Airlines (PAL): A Quick Guide for Travelers

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the flagship carrier of the Philippines. It was founded in February 1941 by Andres Soriano and his associates. It is the first and the oldest commercial airline in the entire Southeast Asia. PAL is owned by billionaire entrepreneur Lucio Tan.

Previously named Philippine Air Lines, Inc., it has a rich history and numerous milestones. PAL’s maiden flight was from the Nielsen Airfield in Makati to Baguio in 1941. PAL momentarily stopped operations during World War II, but resumed it again after the war ended. They began flying to 15 local destinations.

PAL at airport

In 1946, PAL was the first Asian airline company to have a regular international flight across the Pacific Ocean — its destination was San Francisco, California, USA. It also flew American servicemen to Oakland, CA, Guam, and Honolulu.

Currently, Philippine Airlines serves domestic and international flights to various local and international destinations including East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Oceania. It continues to expand its flight routes and taking the Filipino around the world.

Top PAL Local Destinations

  • Manila
  • Cebu
  • Davao
  • Bacolod
  • Iloilo
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Cagayan de Oro
  • Coron (Busuanga)
  • Clark
  • Tagbilaran (Bohol)
  • Kalibo (Boracay)
  • Tacloban
  • Dumaguete
  • Caticlan (Boracay)
  • Ozamiz
  • Siargao
  • Legaspi
  • Butuan
  • Basco (Batanes)
  • General Santos City
  • Zamboanga

Top PAL International Destinations

  • Bangkok
  • Hong Kong
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Singapore
  • Taipei
  • Tokyo
  • Guangzhou
  • Macau
  • Los Angeles
  • Jakakrta
  • Seoul
  • Nagoya
  • Shanghai
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Fukuoka

Philippine Airlines Terminals


Currently, NAIA Terminal 2 is reserved for all of Philippine Airlines’ domestic and international flights.

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Mabuhay Miles Frequent Flyer Program

Mabuhay Miles is Philippine Airlines’ frequent flyer program. Each flight grants you “miles” as points that you can save up to upgrade to business class or even upgrade your current MM ranking.

You’ll be able to use these miles for flying and more. It is free to enroll, so you can enjoy many perks when you fly with Philippine Airlines.

PAL Mabuhay Miles

There are four types of membership:

  • Classic. This is the regular membership for Mabuhay Miles.
  • Elite. The first type of upgrade you can apply for. There are annual qualification needed to get this membership such as earning 25,000 Tier/Flight Miles on Philippine Airlines and Code-Share flights.
  • Premier Elite. Mabuhay Miles’ second type of upgrade. To be eligible, you must meet certain requirements including earning 45,000 Tier/Flight Miles on Philippine Airlines and Code-Share flights.
  • Million Miler. The ultimate privileges are waiting for a Million Miler. Members here are individuals who have flown one million miles. They automatically gain lifetime membership and have exclusive benefits.

How to Enroll

How to Enroll Mabuhay Miles

It’s easy to enroll for a Mabuhay Miles. You can apply online ( or get forms at any Mabuhay Miles Service Center, Philippine Airlines Ticket Offices, Airport counters, Mabuhay Lounge, In-flight, Mabuhay Miles booths, Program Partners, and Travel Agents.

You have to be at least two years of age to be able to apply.

How to Earn Miles

There are two ways of earning Mabuhay Miles: flying and shopping. The number of flyer miles varies from country to country. For example, if you have a round trip vacation from Manila to Bangkok, you’ll get around 862 miles.

Shopping is another option for you to get miles, especially if you don’t travel as often as you want to. PAL partners with different establishments like hotels and banks where you can earn miles when you book a hotel or use a bank’s credit card when you purchase things.

Redeeming Miles

You’ll need at least 3,500 miles to be able to avail of awards. These are transferable but cannot be converted into cash.

You may get award ticket redemption forms at any PAL ticket office. Be sure to show your MM card, a valid ID (ex. Passport), and extra cash for possible taxes, surcharges, and fees that may be collected during redemption.

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PAL Web Check-in Process

NAIA Terminal 2

Want a hassle-free way of checking-in? Do it online! Here are the three easy steps on how to check in online for Philippine Airlines:

  1. On their homepage, choose the Check-In tab and enter your Booking Reference and Last Name in the appropriate fields (or your frequent flyer number or e-ticket number).
  2. Select the seat you want.
  3. Print your boarding pass.

Philippine Airlines Check-in

To ensure a smooth online check-in, do it 24 to two hours before your flight departure. You can also check-in your connecting/returning flight.

Take note of these things before doing a web check in for PAL.

  • Unaccompanied minors and passengers with special needs cannot use the Online Check-In services.
  • You can reserve seats using the Online Check-In, but you can’t for Premium Seats.
  • You can use the Online Check-In service for a maximum of 15 people.
  • Those who do not know how to check-in online can do regular check-in. Seniors have an express check-in lane and can bring up to two companions.

More Tips for Online Check-In

PAL Check In Counters

For Domestic Flights:

  • With check-in baggage: Go to the Online Check-in Bag Drop Counter for documents verification and acceptance of check-in baggage.
  • Without check-in baggage: Go to the boarding gate no later than 30 minutes before the flight departure.

For International Flights:

  • With or without baggage, go to the Online Check-in Bag Drop Counter for documents verification and acceptance of check-in baggage at least 45 minutes before the flight departure.
  • Exception are flights from Bangkok, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London, New York, Riyadh, Shanghai, Toronto, and Vancouver which require at least 1 hour before estimated time of departure.
  • You are allowed one piece of hand-carry with a maximum weight of 7 kilograms (15 lbs).
  • Boarding gates close 15 minutes before the fight departure.

Meanwhile, if you want to do a regular check in, there are several check-in lanes in NAIA Terminal 2 where grounds personnel can assist you in checking in for your flight. Be sure to arrive at the airport early enough since lines can get long. Unlike checking in online though, you cannot get preferred seats and other benefits.

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PAL Baggage Allowance

Philippine Airlines Economy

Hand Carry – Bag Size and Weight

The bag size and weight vary from destination to destination and class type, but the regular weight is 7 kilogram maximum for a hand-carry baggage. Take note of the allowances so that you don’t have to pay for excess weight.

Check in Baggage

Philippine Airlines offer Free Baggage Allowance depending on the fare and route class per destination. For domestic flights, the minimum is 20 kilos for economy class and 30 kilos for business class. If you have an excess baggage, you’ll have to pay PHP 200 per kilo per piece.

For international flights, the minimum is 23 kilos for economy class and 32 kilos for business class. Excess baggage charge depends per destination.

Restricted Items

  • Corrosive items
  • Camp stove/LPG
  • Magnetized materials
  • Bleach/organic peroxides
  • Toxic substances
  • Fireworks /explosives
  • Lighters/matches
  • Infectious substances blood
  • Oxidizing materials/paint stripper
  • Radioactive material
  • Flammable liquid/paints/thinners/fuel (lighter refills)

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PAL Fun Facts

  • First airline in Asia to fly across the Pacific.
  • The Philippines’ first female pilot is also Asia’s first female pilot.
  • PAL was the first to introduce real beds called “Skybeds” for first class passengers.
  • PAL has had a colorful slogan throughout its history. Some successful slogans were “Asia’s First Airline,” “On the Wings of Change,” “Asia’s Sunniest,” “Your Home in the Sky,” and its latest: “The Heart of the Filipino.”
  • A commemorative stamp of Philippine Airlines was issued in 2016, during PAL’s 75th anniversary.
  • In February 2018, Skytrax, an airline and airport review and ranking site from London, certified PAL with a 4-star rating because of its upgrades in ground service and passenger service.

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