My First International Trip After COVID Lockdown
My friends and I initially planned to go to Korea, winter of 2020. We already booked our tickets and accommodations but then COVID happened so we had to cancel and change our plans. We got our booking reservations and flight tickets refunded since we were not really sure when we’ll be able to travel as a group again given all the restrictions.
After almost three years of just staying in the Philippines, exploring what I can, and visiting nearby beaches, I finally booked a flight out of the country. This is not my first time traveling to Singapore but some of my friends haven’t been there yet.
One random day, my partner and I started to search for flights. We were not really thinking of inviting our usual travel group since we weren’t sure where to go, but when we found a great deal on Singapore Air, we immediately told our friends about it. And as always, they said “game!”.
I’ve tried other airlines such as Cathay, VietJet, Scoot, AirAsia, and JetStar but we almost always fly via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines in our travels. I seldom check flights on Singapore Air because I know they can be expensive. But for some reason, we tried to check flights there and what we saw surprised us.
Singapore Airlines probably had a seat sale and we were lucky enough to catch it. We scored cheap return tickets at around ₱12,000.00, that’s approximately $200 (USD). For a Singapore Air return flight, that’s a steal! Normally Singapore Air flights cost around ₱25,000.00 and can reach up to ₱65,000.00.
Disclaimer: Flight fares vary depending on exchange rates.
Singapore Airlines Experience
Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Singapore with its hub located at Singapore Changi Airport. It has been ranked as the world’s best airline by Skytrax four times.
I know people who have flown Singapore Air and they said it was one of their best flight experiences, I’d say I agree.
Although the plane is not that big, there was enough legroom. It’s also a plus to have in-flight entertainment, you can watch movies, listen to music, or play games. You can even see the location of your plane mid-air, which I think helps ease people who are anxious or nervous.
Did I mention, they also serve meals on every flight? They normally have two options for meals and it comes with bread, spread, milk, and dessert. You can also request your drinks, be it water, juice, soda, or even wine.
I never felt the flight was more than three (3) hours. We flew from Mactan Cebu Airport at around 7:45 PM and landed safely at Singapore Changi Airport at around 11:30 PM. We booked a night at YotelAir, one of Changi Airport’s hotels, as we wanted to explore Jewel Changi before heading to the city proper.
The flight back to the Philippines was different though, since we had to pass by Davao City before making the final stop in Cebu. I think the airline got other passengers from Davao who are also bound for Singapore (the same plane goes back to Singapore that same day). Those passengers had a layover in Cebu before their flight to Singapore.
We initially booked a non-stop flight but the airline changed it into a connecting flight. We were given the option to accept the changes or extend a day in Singapore. As much as I want to extend, my friends had work waiting for them in the Philippines. I didn’t mind the quick stop in Davao but it definitely took more time.
How to Score Cheap Flights
I’ve been asked countless times how I score cheap flights. I don’t really know the right answer to this question but I can give some tips.
- Use the flight search engines and compare prices. I usually use Cheapflights and Skyscanner and compare fares with direct airline websites.
- You can never be picky and cheap at the same time. Budget airline is the way to go if you want to save more.
- Look out for promo fares. Airlines do seat sale promotions on holidays. Make sure you are subscribed to their newsletters too, sometimes they announce promos earlier via email.
- Book your flights during the wee hours of the day when most people are still sleeping, especially when you’re booking during a seat sale.
- Go for connecting flights if you have the patience and energy for it. Sometimes a flight with connections is cheaper than flying directly to it.
- If your travel dates are flexible, identify the cheapest day or month to fly out. Skyscanner users would know since there is a feature that allows you to check the cheapest month to fly. I also suggest looking for flight deals first before requesting your vacation leaves.
- If you’re a cardholder, you can fly for free using your points. Redemption varies depending on your bank and your chosen airline. Banks also have travel promotions so watch out for that.
- If you’re not fixed on the country of your destination, you can find the cheapest place to fly. Kiwi.com is where you can start.
- If your destination and date are fixed, don’t hesitate and just book it. Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches. Seat sale promos get sold out and it’ll be a risk to wait for another seat sale to come by.
- Unusual tip: Flight prices do increase when a route is repeatedly searched. Reset your cookies and clear your cache by searching flights in incognito mode or private browsing mode.
I hope this will help you score a great deal for your next flight! If you have some sneaky techniques to save big on flights, share them in the comments!
If you have questions or need any clarification, feel free to leave a comment or message via e-mail. If you like this article and want to see or know more about my other trips and tips, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.