Updated 2019: Cebu Pacific is a low-cost carrier based in the Philippines and has been my “home town” airline for many trips from Manila. You can snatch great fares, fly with friendly crews on new planes and now even earn points for it – what’s not to like? Find out more in my “Travel Made Easy” about the fleet, destinations, safety record, experience and reward program!
The Airline: Cebu Pacific Air (airline code 5J) is a low-cost carrier, based out of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). They are the largest Filipino airline by passengers and serve 64 destinations in 15 countries. They use a fleet of 68 planes with an average age of only 5 years, consisting of Airbus A330, A319/320/321 and ATR72 planes.
SkyTrax rates them as a 3 (out of 5) star airline, putting them on par with their local competition of Philippine Airlines as well as United, Delta or American Airlines.
AirlineRatings gives them a perfect 7 (out of 7) stars for airline safety after completing the (voluntary) IOSA safety audit.
You can find more details about the Cebu Pacific fleet and plane configurations, their destinations, their ratings and why you should consider them here.
The Experience: Cebu Pacific offers some of the lowest fares around Asia – and it shows in the low-cost experience. You can book your tickets online, best during one of their many sales. They operate mostly new Airbus planes and the staff is very friendly, on the ground and in the air. You will be packed in on those nice planes, with a seat pitch of only 29 inches, making it comparable to other Asian LCC, but tighter than most international airlines. There is no business class, so even on long-haul flights, this is all the room you will have! And the seats are thin, ok for flights of up to 4 hours, but uncomfortable for longer trips! You’ll have to pay for food and drinks, both surprisingly good. There is no audio, video or internet on board, so bring your own entertainment. The new Cebu Pacific Airbus A321 feature USB ports, so at least you can keep your own devices charged.
Cebu Pacific has one of the worst on-time performances in the industry. While part of that is due to crowding at their hub Manila, some of it is due to poor operational performance, stretched schedules and lack of backup. Be prepared for delays and plan accordingly – I don’t recommend to book back-to-back tickets on Cebu Pacific or other LCC on the same day – you don’t want to loose an expensive long-haul tickets because of it.
And watch out for ancillary fees – checked luggage, seat assignments, insurance and web booking fees can add up – watch my video how to book & save without the fees! Read my full review of their economy class here!
The Rewards Program: Cebu Pacific also has their own rewards program, GetGo! It will allow you to earn and redeem points for Cebu Pacific flights as well as with some merchants and a growing list of credit and debit cards issued by all the major banks in the Philippines. You can find the best cards here!
It’s a revenue based program: You earn approximately 9 points per USD and each point is worth about 0.7 cents US when redeeming it for a ticket. That reward rate is comparable to other programs, like United or Delta. An innovative feature is the ability to pool your points with family members or friends and share them for a redemption! There are no elite levels and no special perks for members. You can get the best value during frequent promotions when flights have been available for as little as 50 points! You can check out all the details in my review here!