Here’s a guide on how to get the cheapest and most affordable airfares to Philippine destinations. Air Travel used to be reserved for big time businessmen and travelers who can afford expensive airfares but due to the proliferation of budget airlines and increased competition flying has become very accessible even to budget travelers and backpackers. At busy air routes between major cities, traveling by plane is cheaper than by land or sea.

Compare Flights and Airlines

There are 7 major commercial airlines in the Philippines namely: Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, Zest Airways, AirPhil Express, SEAIR, and AirAsia Philippines. You should visit the website of each airline and check/compare the prices and availability of flight whenever planning to travel. Booking online is safe and very convenient. For most routes, there’s no airline that constantly offers the lowest fare. The cheapest airfare for a given route will depend on the time you book the flight, your travel date, and the seats available. As a general rule book your flights at least one month before the travel period to ensure that you get the cheapest seats.

SEAir is another big airline in the Philippines but they only fly mostly to smaller destinations mostly out of the way or high-end tourist destinations.

Watch out for Seat Sale and Promos

Airlines like to hold seat sale and promotions at variable times of the year. Depending on the promo, passengers can save a few hundred to a thousand pesos off their flight fares but once in a blue moon you can book flights at super discounted rates. Cebu Pacific is very popular for their frequent promos and seat sales, they even hold a system wide ZERO or P1 (Piso) airfare once or twice a year. Frequent travelers, especially travel bloggers, are always at the frontlines during airfare promos. If you want to receive updates on the latest promos, you may head over to Promo Alerts.

Cheap year-round Philippine Flights

Cebu Pacific – the cheapest airfares at Cebu Pacific is called “Go Fares,” there are limited “Go Fare” seats for every flight so you might want to book early for them. They also have “Go Lite” seats, which shaves off P100 to the airfare. “Go Lite” passengers only allow hand carry items with a maximum 15kg weight and cannot check-in their baggage/luggage. If you decide to check-in or are forced to check-in your items (if you’re carrying a tripod, canned foods, flammable stuff et…) you will have to pay a penalty of P400 to have them checked in so I do not advice going “Go Lite” since P100 is a small amount nowadays IMO. “Go Lite” passengers do not include inflight snacks.

Philippine Airlines – the lowest airfares at Philippine Airlines is called “Econolight” fares. “Econolight” fares also have a 15kg limit but you can check-in your baggage/luggage. If you carry more than 15kgs, you can get the “Economy Fiesta” fares, which are a few hundred pesos more. “Econolight” passengers are given very simple inflights snacks.

Zest Air – they allow a bigger chunk of their flights for the low airfares seats. Although a bit more expensive than “Go Fare” and “Econolight,” Zest Air allows baggage/luggage check-in and unlimited inflight drinks. Check-in items in excess of 15kg (or 10kgs for select flights) are allowed but subject to space and weight availability on the aircraft. You will be required to pay the applicable charge of PHP80+12% VAT per kg for the carriage of that excess baggage.