Philippine Airlines Business Class

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Philippine Airlines Business Class may not be as luxurious as on some other carriers but it is cheaper and offers very competitive value. With six new Airbus A321neo aircraft, consider these good reasons to fly with PAL. 

Philippine Airlines Business Class

Philippine Airlines (PAL) PR211 Manila to Sydney

PAL airline
Travelling to the Philippines soon? Read this Philippine Airlines Business Class review to find out if it’s worth upgrading.

Philippine Airlines Aircraft

New Airbus A321neo, of which PAL has six.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) fleet has six of these aircraft which produce significantly lower noise and carbon emissions than earlier generations.

Visiting the Philippines? Also read:

Philippine Airlines Loyalty Scheme

PAL’s Mabuhay Miles is a stand-alone scheme but members may also earn points with code-share partners such as ANA.

PAL is not a member of a global airline alliance.


Seven hours, 55 minutes. Manila pushback is right on time at 22:25 and the plane arrives early in Sydney at 08:20.



Philippine Airlines Check In 

May be done online, from 24 hours prior to take-off.

Manila offers dedicated business class check-in and boarding lanes.

If connecting at Manila from another international flight, it is necessary to reconfirm at PAL’s Transfer Desk, which can involve a chaotic crowd scene.

The business class lounge is functional rather than flash.

Philippine Airlines Seat 

philippines airline business class
Here’s a good look at a Philippine Airlines Business Class seat.

Window seat K2 in the second row offers plenty of legroom and reclines fully flat.

Business class has just 12 seats arranged in three rows of four, with a centre aisle dividing them.

A fixed privacy screen separates the paired seats.

Each has a USB port and universal power outlet, plus various bins and nooks for ample storage.


Checked baggage limit is 35 kg in business class, with seven kg hand carry, as well as laptops and handbags.

Business class luggage is tagged Priority and my bag arrives without much delay.


The otherwise adequate amenities kit lacks earplugs (which are available on request).

The single loo is always clean.

The seat reclines effortlessly.

One ergonomic drawback is that the 13.3 inch (33.7 cm) touch-operated entertainment screen is far from the seat, especially when reclined, necessitating a major stretch.


Among the 300 hours of entertainment offered, including Filipino and other Asian options, the mainstream English language movie selection is bland and unadventurous.

Ranging from blockbusters and cartoons to multiple James Bonds, almost everything is Hollywood, with few if any art house or European offerings.

On the other hand, the complimentary (to 100 Mb) in-flight myPAL WiFi system is an agreeable alternative.

Philippine Airlines Service

The smartly attired cabin crew, male and female, are mature, friendly and right on the ball.

Meals, drinks, trays and hot towels are delivered smoothly and, importantly, removed promptly.

Water, slippers, headphones, duvet and pillow arrive without requesting.

Philippine Airlines Food

Kick-starting with a pre-departure Louis De Sacy Grand Cru champagne and then following through with a chicken and marinated prawn salad starter, I then pick a main from among three options.

The Filipino favourite, barbecued, marinated chicken with peanut sauce and light java rice is perfect.

A very smooth Californian Beringer 2017 chardonnay sees me through to a simple dessert cup of ice-cream and lights out.

Two hours before landing a breakfast snack of smoked salmon, cheeses and artichoke, plus coffee, is all I need.

One More Thing

PAL describes itself as “Your four-star national carrier,” a refreshingly moderate claim in an industry clamorous with five-six-seven star aspirants.

PAL’s nifty business class flight scores well above its too-modestly declared four stars.

The Verdict

A good meal, a fair night’s sleep, a roomy seat and smiling crew.

Say no more.

More Business Class Reviews:

Business Class

Business Class

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john borthwick
A travel writer is a home body who’s almost never home. I’ve been writing and photographing distant places for three decades and then bolting back to Sydney to render them down to magazine and newspaper articles, and occasional books. The latter include the travel collections, Summer In Siam, Chasing Gauguin's Ghost and The Circumference of the Knowable World. It all started with a hitch-hiking trip to Coolangatta in my teens and hasn’t ended yet. In between I’ve managed to fit in, among other diversions, a PhD in travel literature and a swim at the North Pole. Awards I've won include a PATA Gold Award for best destination journalism and a Friend of Thailand gong, plus many Australian Society of Travel Writers’ awards for writing and photography. My feature stories appear regularly in The Weekend Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian and colour magazines.
philippine-airlines-business-classReview of Philippine Airlines Business Class aboard Airbus A321neo from Manila.