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Philippine Airlines Business Class Review A321neo Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Manila (MNL)

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Philippine Airlines had received a number of Airbus A321s just before the pandemic and had plans to use them for its high-margin business class network to and from Australia’s east coast.

Planes have a non-stop range from Manila to most cities in Australia. Equipped with a lie-flat seatI was positively surprised that the A321neo was a last minute equipment replacement on my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Manila.

Philippine Airlines sells very affordable fares in the Asian economy and uses a very attractive price fixed cash upgrade chart (for flat seats).

Today’s simple flying video

Philippine Airlines Business Class Review – Airport and Boarding Experience

Philippine Airlines uses the Plaza Premium Lounge at Kuala Lumpur Airport. The lounge was closed at the time of my flight, so I went to Sama “Sama Express – The Airport Lounge” which I can access with Priority Pass. The lounge is part of an airport hotel and the lobby is improvised like an airport lounge. However, there was hot food and plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Kuala Lumpur Airport is a sad shadow of the great transport hub of just a few years ago. Air traffic and gate utilization are likely around 20% of pre-pandemic levels, with most airport outlets closed. There are fewer passengers and buses instead of trains. It all works, but it looks like a more improved regional airport compared to the hub feeling it emanated at the end of 2018.

Boarding was perfectly on time and the flight was only about half full in both economy and business.

Philippine Airlines Business Class Review – Takeoff and Flight Path

Despite its reputation for rough flying conditions, Kuala Lumpur is often found to be very clear and free of turbulence. Kuala Lumpur also uses parallel takeoffs (both KLIA and KLIA2) and is assigned one runway. We found a beautiful flight path flying north over Kuala Lumpur’s city center and new buildings around KL’s newest skyscraper, The Exchange.

Philippine Airlines Business Class Review – Lie-Flat Seat

Philippine Airlines uses full-flat business class seats that might remind you of the 2-2 configuration of American Airlines’ A321T (Sharklet) business class. Ensure only minimal privacy and allow direct aisle access only to passengers seated in aisle seats. However, it will be in a perfectly flat position. This is how far too few single-aisle planes are.

The footrest is narrow, and it’s hard for tall people to stretch their legs, but it’s flat, so I didn’t have any complaints!

Sadly I slept through the entire lunch service and was unable to take any photos of the catering service.

A typhoon was approaching near Manila, so our flight path would be very interesting to find a region of stable air in the last hour of the flight.

Philippine Airlines Business Class Review – Summary

I was very positively surprised by this flight. I wasn’t expecting much from Philippine Airlines business class, but this full-flat product is great for a single-aisle short-haul aircraft. On long flights the width and leg room is pretty tight which can be annoying but I see him doing 7-8 hours. Philippine Airlines is one of the last ‘non-aligned’ airlines in Asia, but such solid performance will probably lead him to join SkyTeam or 1world soon.

It was a shame we didn’t get to see the food that was served, but now is a reason to try this again :)More

This post was sponsored by Mighty Travels