Domestic Flights within the Philippines

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Domestic Flights in the Philippines

Search and buy domestic flights within the Philippines with Alternative Airlines! Discover the benefits of catching a domestic flight, and check out our list of FAQs…

Why choose domestic flights within the Philippines?

 

phillipines flag logo

The Philippines is composed of a few thousand islands; luckily, there are a numerous budget airlines that fly between all major destinations, meaning travelling throughout the Philippine archipelago is actually really easy!

Planes to and from Manila, the capital of the Philippines, are numerous, and many of the big names in aviation fly from all over the world to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, including Emirates, United Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines.

But, when it comes to travelling between islands, one of the best, and only, options is to fly with much smaller domestic airlines, on planes that are sometimes so small they can feel like private jets!

AirAsia Philippines, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific are the main domestic carriers. Being the only airlines to offer a traditional cabin service, such as snacks and drinks, PAL and AirAsia Philippines tend to be the most expensive.

There isn't a massive amount of variation between domestic airfares on the budget carriers, and the decision of who to fly with is likely to come down to route specifics. See our list below for full details!

 

Key Domestic Airlines within the Philippines

For more information, including baggage allowance, simply follow the links to each airline's page

Philippines AirAsia 

Founded in 2010, the airline is the affiliate of AirAsia, a low-cost airline based in Malaysia. The airline lets you fly in comfort, with economy and business fares, as well as in-flight menu and upgrade services. The airline operates a vast network throughout the Philippines, with its main hub at Mactan–Cebu International Airport in Cebu.

The airline also has secondary hubs at: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila); Laguindingan Airport (Cagayan De Oro); Mactan–Cebu International Airport (Cebu); Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao); Kalibo International Airport (Kalibo); Puerto Princesa International Airport (Puerto Princesa).

Domestic flight check-in times

Online: Online check-in opens 14 days before scheduled flight departure time and closes one day before.

Airport: On all domestic flights, airport check-in opens two hours before scheduled flight departure time and closes 45 minutes before.

Philippine Airlines 

Philippine Airlines is the flag carrier of the Philippines and operates to 31 destinations across throughout the islands.

If you want to travel in comfort, Philippine Airlines offers class economy and business class, as well as on-board services such as entertainment systems and a comprehensive menu selection.

Philippine Airlines flies to all major cities, as well as numerous smaller airports, across the Philippines. Top cities include Cebu, Clark, Davao, Kalibo, and Manila. The airline operates from its hubs at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Metro Manila); Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao Region); Clark International Airport (Luzon); Mactan–Cebu International Airport (Central Visayas).

Domestic flight check-in times

Online: Online check-in is available from 24 hours—1 hour before scheduled flight departure time.

Airport: passengers must visit the Philippine Airlines check-in desk to check-in at the airport, no later than 45 minutes before their scheduled flight departure time.

Cebu Pacific 

Cebu Pacific operates numerous flights out of its hub in Cebu City; if you’re exploring the islands, this could be beneficial as it saves the effort of backtracking to Manila. For example, you can fly straight from Cebu City to Caticlan (for Boracay) and Siargao.

Cebu Pacific currently flies to 37 domestic destinations, and has hubs at: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila); Laguindingan Airport (Cagayan de Oro); Mactan–Cebu International Airport (Cebu); Clark International Airport (Clark); Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao); Iloilo International Airport (Iloilo); Kalibo International Airport (Kalibo).

Domestic flight check-in times

Online: Online check-in opens 72 hours beforehand and closes 2 hours before departure for domestic flights.

At airport: Check-in for your Cebu Pacific flight at the airport self-service kiosk 4 hours to 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Cebgo 

Cebgo (formally Seair) is a low-cost airline owned by JG Summit, the parent company of Cebu Pacific, which operates the airline. Cebgo flies to 27 destinations in the Philippines, and has its main base at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, in Metro Manila. Key routes include Manila to, among other places, Clark, Caticlan (for Boracay), Batanes and Tablas.

Domestic flight check-in times

Online: As Cebgo is owned by airline Cebu Pacific, passengers can check-in online for their Cebgo flights via the Cebu Pacific website. This service will close 1 hour prior to departure for domestic flights.

Airport: Passengers departing from Manila Airport need to check in from the terminal in which your flight departs from by visiting the Cebgo check-in desk. You can see your boarding pass or ticket for information about where your flight is departing from, and for information regarding opening and closing times for Cebgo check-in.

Air Swift 

Air Swift operates flights from Manila, Caticlan and Cebu City to El Nido, and is owned by El Nido Resorts, a luxury resort operator, with space for both guests and nonguests alike.

Domestic flight check-in times

Check-in Online: AirSWIFT does not currently offer online check-in for flights.

At airport: Arrive at check-in desk around two hours before flight departure. Check-in closes 45 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure.

Sky Pasada 

Sky Pasada links several cities in North Luzon, including Vigan, Tuguegarao, Basco (Batanes), Palanan and Maconacon, and operates from its hub in Binalonan, Pangasinan (2½ hours north of Manila). The airline uses 15- to-19-seat turboprop planes, which are also available for charter.

Domestic flight check-in times

Online: Sky Pasada do not currently offer online check yet for any of their flights.

Airport: Sky Pasada requires passengers to check-in at a set time before departure flight. However, like with baggage, the check-in time will depend on the chosen route and the departure airport. The check-in time and information will be issued and provided when booking your ticket.

 

Booking domestic flights in the Philippine’s: Important Booking Tips

 

Almost every time you leave an airport in the Philippines you’ll need to pay an exit fee – usually around $5.75USD (300PHP)

 

Be aware that flight routes are skewed towards Manila, as well as Cebu, although to a lesser extent. If you want to fly between other cities, you might need to purchase two tickets and transfer through one of those hubs.

 

If you plan on travelling throughout the Philippines during a Christian holiday, including Christmas and Easter, expect the fares to go up. You will need to plan ahead, especially if you need to head out of big cities to reach the airport, as the transport system can become strained.

 

From July to December, typhoons and other adverse weather conditions can often ground planes. Expect flight delays in the Philippines. Try to avoid planning a too tight a schedule for connecting flights.

 

Key Domestic flight FAQ's

 

Do I need a passport when travelling domestically within the Philippines?

There are no internal passport checks in the Philippines. However, airlines do require passengers to present one valid form of identification during airport check-in and pre-flight boarding. This can be a passport, or other form of valid identification, often a Driver’s License.

 

Do I need a passport to travel to Boracay?

Boracay is an island approximately 196 miles south of Manila (about a 45 minutes flight), and 1.2 miles off the Northwest tip of Panay Island, in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Normally, passports are not required to be presented at Boracay's Caticlan Airport, if you are travelling on a domestic flight from major cities such as Manila or Cebu.