If you’re traveling from the United States to the Philippines and vice versa, a lot of variables can affect your choice of airlines. You may want to maximize acquiring frequent flyer miles or prioritize getting the best service and facilities based on your personal preferences and past experiences. You may find it crucial to get the most suitable itinerary or travel the shortest possible time. Or you may simply be most keen on getting the cheapest ticket available out there.
Your Airline Options are Always Changing
It is important to note that airline options and itineraries are always prone to changes, depending on the routes the different airlines offer at any given time. For instance, Hawaiian Airlines used to fly to the Philippines, but discontinued its service to the country in 2013. Who knows… it might just offer Philippine flights again in the future.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) granted the Philippines a Category 1 rating for the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA). This means that the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards and Philippine air carriers are already eligible to add flights and services to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers. This also means that its local carriers may just find their way servicing European and North American routes in the near future. With more competition among airlines, better ticket prices will most likely follow.
The Shortest Travel Time
If you prefer a shorter trip and traveling in a direct flight, the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, may be your best bet, as it is the only airline that provides direct flights between the U.S. Mainland and the Philippines to date. So far, it is the only Philippine carrier that services American destinations.
A number of other airlines also offer shorter trips with quick layover times, but most of these options are not the cheapest tickets around. Meanwhile, itineraries with odd hours for scheduled flights and long wait times in between airports are typically cheaper.
Connecting Flights in Asia and the Pacific via the West Coast
As a general guide, international flights originating from and returning to the West Coast feature the most practical connecting flights in between the U.S. Mainland and the Philippines. These flights feature itineraries that go westward to Asia by flying over the Pacific Ocean and passing by the International Date Line. Of course, the United States’ Hawaii and Guam, which are both located in the Pacific region, have significantly shorter flight times compared to those coming from the U.S. Mainland.
Even flights originating from the Midwest and the East Coast usually travel westward for more practical routes going to the Philippines. Many of these flights have stopovers at West Coast airports.
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines provide stopovers in Seoul.
Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Delta Airlines provide stopovers in Narita, Haneda, and Nagoya in Japan.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines provide stopovers in Hawaii and Guam.
Singapore Airlines provides stopovers in Singapore and Seoul.
Cathay Pacific provides stopovers in Hong Kong.
Eva Air and China Airlines provide stopovers in Taipei.
Air China provides stopovers in Beijing, China Eastern Airlines provides stopovers in Shanghai, and China Southern Airlines provides stopovers in Guangzhou.
Noticeably, with the exception of Hawaii and Guam, these stopovers are all in Asian countries. The international airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle are the best travel hubs for trips between the U.S. Mainland and the Philippines.
Philippine-bound flights from the Midwest and the East Coast often share the same itineraries as those coming from the West Coast. These flights usually have at least one stopover to a West Coast airport before flying to the Pacific.
Connecting Flights in Europe and the Middle East via the East Coast
There are airlines that specifically travel from the West Coast to Europe and the Middle East en route to the Philippines. These are flights that pass by major East Coast airports first. Most of these flights originate from New York. However, this flight option means longer travel time, especially when coming from the West Coast. This is due to the significantly longer distance it would take to circle the globe eastward to reach the Philippines.
The said flights often require more than 30 to even more than 40 hours of travel time. In such case, it may be a good idea to take a side trip within your connecting city while waiting for your next flight. Choose a flight with layover time of at least six hours or longer to take advantage of a short but relatively free trip around your connecting city. Of course, you can also do this in a connecting flight traveling westward to the Pacific from the United States.
KLM provides stopovers in Amsterdam.
Gulf Air provides stopovers in London, Paris, and Bahrain.
Air France provides stopovers in Paris and Amsterdam.
Etihad Airways provides stopovers in Abu Dhabi and Manchester.
Emirates Airlines provides stopovers in Dubai.
Qatar Airways provides stopovers in Doha.
Qantas provides stopovers in Sydney.
Thai Airways provides stopovers in Frankfurt, then Bangkok.