Tonight we will to fly to Cebu at 7:20PM through ZEST Airways. I am a frugal traveler and often prefer to buy reasonably cheap airfare so I regularly visit websites of local airlines in the Philippines. Luckily, six months ago, Zest Airways was having a promotion of 300PHP basic fare from Manila to Cebu. Right then, I used my credit card and was billed an amount of 1,500 pesos, including taxes and other charges, for the entire family tickets. It was a big discount and I can basically set aside some of our airfare savings on shopping or use as contingent fund.
Apart from the fare, I also consider the baggage allowance provided by the airline because we have heavy luggage and an LCD TV. Beforehand, I heard stories that some low cost airlines offer cheap airfare but can rip you off with baggage charges. Being proactive, I browsed the ZEST AIRWAYS website and found out that passengers can opt for prepaid baggage both for domestic and international flights. However, this option cannot be availed online. I call the hotline and the customer service agent advised me to be in the airline office four hours before our schedule flight departure time to pay the baggage onsite. Otherwise, we will pay the regular baggage fee at the check-in counter instead.
We leave my sister’s-in-law apartment at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon to give ourselves enough time to travel and settle in the airport. It was also a coincidence because that same hour, the famous comedy king actor in Philippines – Rodolfo Vera “Dolphy” Quizon – was laid to rest in Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City. Other than that, this day is Sunday and basically a rest day for the many so there is less traffic and few vehicles on the highways. This weekend seemed perfectly works on our favor because we are smooth traveling and arrive in the domestic airport Terminal 3 in less than one hour.
At the airport, Jesse immediately unloads our baggage and place on trolleys. He search for the airline office and is directed to a small center just across the terminal. The agent asks our tickets and proof of identity then offers the baggage allowance we would like to buy. You see, inside the office, there is no weighing scale and there is no way for us to know the total load of our baggage. It is just like a guessing game and a trial-error test actually. Why? Because if there is still excess we will pay 150PHP/kg plus VAT at the check-in counter or the prepaid baggage cannot be downgraded and have the excess fund refunded. It was a crucial point for us to decide. But I just made a quick estimate and buy the large size of 26-30 Kilograms at 700PHP.
We wait for the check-in counter to open and when it was our turn, we still have an excess of four kilos. Surprisingly, the lady in the counter allowed us to unload some of our belongings and hand carried them instead. Whew! It is a great relief.
Thirty minutes before departure, a ground crew holding a sign card “CEBU FLIGHT 382” stands near the gate while another mate calls out the passengers using his megaphone. We gradually head to the aircraft. Again, just another luck, the rain drops right after we get inside the plane.
An hour later we landed in Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. My parents and sister are patiently waiting in the arrival lobby. After seeing each other, we exchange our hugs and cuddles. Beautiful smiles are gleaming on our faces, signs of happiness and gladness because after three years we finally come home.
Afterwhich, we take a late dinner at Chowking and get to our Hotel in Colon Street for a night of sleep and rest.