Cebu Pacific Review: Sydney to Manila

With Cebu Pacific you get what you pay for. Make sure you arrive prepared for a comfortable flight.

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Heading from Sydney to Manila for a work trip, I was concerned about keeping myself entertained for the 8-hour flight.

You won’t have anything to worry about if you plan your flight properly.


Flight details:

Flight Number(s): 5J 40
Aircraft Type: Airbus A330
Route: Sydney to Manila (return)
Class: Economy
Dates Travelled: 10th-21st March
Frequent Flyer Program: N/A

What did I like?

  • From Sydney to Manila we got lucky. The seat formation is 3-3-3 and I had three seats all to myself. It was incredibly comfortable and spacious but looking around, other passengers were not as fortunate.
  • The food and beverages sold on the flight were reasonably priced and the selection is pretty interesting: ramen cup noodles and unicorn bagels will set you back a few bucks.
  • Customer service is above average, and some of the staff went above and beyond to accommodate my requests.
  • Good dollar value; for the price you pay the airline is reliable.

What didn’t I like?

  • If you check in online, you still need to wait in the regular queue to drop off your baggage. There is no benefit to checking in online.
  • The seat sizes are noticeably smaller compared to other budget airlines.
  • No in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi or charging stations.

Would I use Cebu Pacific again?

If I were on a budget, I would definitely fly Cebu Pacific again, but if I had a bit more financial flexibility I would opt for an airline like Qantas. It’s the little things like a blanket and slightly bigger seating that go a long way.

Bonus tips:

Preparation is key with Cebu Pacific, and you really get what you pay for. Doing your research beforehand will determine your own comfort. Understand any limitations the aircraft may have, and be sure to bring your own entertainment.

  • Bring as much entertainment with you as you like, as there is no in-flight entertainment. I recommend downloading music and audiobooks in advance, or bringing a thick book or word puzzles.
  • A sleeping mask, neck pillow and blanket are not supplied, so bring your own.
  • Wear layered clothing as the air conditioning can get cold at times.
  • If you want a hot meal, you must pre-order before the flight (we received salted egg with chicken and rice).

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