i just came back from the mabuhay miles center at pasay road, where i spent a good six hours in line just to book a ticket using my mother's mabuhay miles.
i found out about the great miles getaway promo of philippine airlines via email, and they told me that miles are now at 70% off! it came at the right time, since i needed to book susie and myself tickets to hong kong for the europe trip in october. airfare to european cities from hong kong are cheaper, so i decided to transit via hong kong this time. even with the taxes we paid for the redeemed tickets, it still out came out cheaper than buying tickets from manila to a european city.
booking and ticketing period for the promo is only from august 2 to 4, and travel is until december 7 only. i decided to go straight to the mabuhay miles center this morning so i can book and pay for the ticket already. when i got there at 830am, the line snaked from the second floor to the parking area of power realty building. the maintenance personnel of the building told us that people had started lining up at 5am. i expected a lot of people to be there for this promo, but i wasn't ready for THIS.
a few minutes later, i was finally ushered into the packed ticketing office on the second floor. i was given my transaction number: 5147. i looked at the screen to see what number was being accommodated then: 5023. niiiiice.
during the wait, i had made friends with rheean, who was also there to claim her tickets. she told me that she was able to book tickets over the phone, although she had to stay on the line for 8 hours. apparently, the promo started at midnight today, so she called the mabuhay miles hotline at 12, and was accommodated at 8am. it was an incredible feat, staying on the phone for 8 hours, but her tactic paid off: she was able to secure roundtrip tickets to hong kong for her and her baby, as well as osaka tickets for her and her friends.
while waiting, i asked my mom to try and book my dates over the phone. i was really lucky that she was able to get through and secure flights for the dates that i needed--i owe my mom a lot for this (since she also gave me her miles). at 230pm, my number was finally called, and my transaction went smoothly. at 3pm, i was able to have lunch.
it was one hell of an experience, but quite worth it, because I GOT MY TICKETS! i paid php 9806.00 for both susie and myself, which already includes travel tax. i'm hoping PAL comes up with a way to make their great miles getaway promo less of a hassle, but if this is how it goes next time, i've got a slew of tricks up my sleeve to make it worth my while.
this signals the start of the preparations for europe 2010. next up: visa application requirements.