by Ronnie Charrier
Finding flights out of the Middle East can oftentimes be a challenge, both in terms of price and layovers. Readers of this site will know that we mainly fly business class by using miles (read about how we’ve accumulated more than a million miles here), but every now and then, we come across a deal so good that it makes more sense to pay cash. Take, for example, these roundtrip flights to Bali...
For just over US$1,200, you can fly from Riyadh to Bali in fully flat business seats with Philippine Airlines. We haven’t yet flown with this airlines, but everything we’ve read says that they’ve done a nice job of upgrading their cabins in recent years, and that their service is top notch.
There seems to be a fair amount of availability, both in terms of dates and cities in the Middle East and Indonesia, so you should be able to play around a bit in Google flights to find something that works for you.
In comparison, Emirates charges only $120 less for the same roundtrip flight in economy, and their business class pricing is over $4,000 a person! So the option is 26 hours in the air sitting up vs. laying down - I think you know what we’re choosing.
So what should you expect with Philippines Airlines business product?
Philippine Airlines is in the process of updating their A330 business product. The older setup are these fully flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The layout is a little odd in that the foot rests of two neighboring seats are above each other, putting one seat low to the ground and one higher up, but it is still fully flat, which I’ll take over many of the angled-flat beds any day.
Over the last year, they’ve been replacing these seats on all Airbus A330 planes with their best business class offering yet. They are installing Thomson Vantage XL seats in a 1-2-1 layout, with fully flat seats and direct aisle access for everybody. It’s a long and wide seat and they will have privacy dividers in the middle.
I haven’t been able to find when the conversion will be completed, but at that price, either option is going to make for a very comfortable trip to a beautiful destination.
Because of this, we are now planning to go on a yoga retreat next Spring!
So, where will you be going?