For many Filipinos, returning to our native homeland has been out of reach because of time and budget, however with the influx of competitive rates, many more Filipinos have been able to fly home more consistently. With the growing number of Asian and Middle Eastern carriers to expand their routes to the Philippines, many players such as Korean Airlines and Delta Airlines have begun to lose their market share which in turn has caused competition and allowed airfare prices to drop. Today, Filipinos can enjoy an assortment of choices to travel to the Philippines and we have benefited with more affordable prices.
Although we are able to select different airlines based on itineraries, service and added benefits, many travelers ask me, “When is it the best time to fly to the Philippines?’. Here are a few tips to consider when planning your next trip.
From January to March and also from September to November, you will normally find some of the best deals to Manila from the U.S. Children are in school and the majority of travelers wait until the summer to fly back home. Most of the airlines begin promoting special rates and lower fares to attract passengers to book early. Keep in mind during these months, promotional fares usually run 4-5 days before they expire. Have your tentative dates and be ready to book as soon as these amazing deals begin to run.
Like many top destinations, the high season for travel is during the summer months between May – August. Most people prefer to travel with their families and wait to travel all together. Usually rates during these months can range between $1,200 – $2,000 per traveler. The demand for flights are high and if you have specific dates, I would recommend booking at least 3-4 months in advance to avoid price hikes. Waiting to purchase your tickets within 2 months will limit your choices and expect to seats to be limited. During the Christmas season, expect even higher prices due to the holidays. If you plan to travel between December 15 to January 15, don’t expect to see any promotions without sacrificing with longer layovers or multiple stops.
Avoiding Holy Week
Consequently to avoid paying higher fares, traveling at the end of March through the beginning of April, specifically around Holy Week is a no-no. Since the Philippines is predominantly a Catholic country and the festivities surrounding this religious time can create a high demand on balikbayans traveling back home. It will be difficult finding affordable prices during the Easter holiday.
Finding fares within your Budget
If you are trying to stay within a certain budget, consider a couple of tips to help you minimize the cost.
- Be flexible – Airline prices are based on availability which means that depending on the number seats available on a flight, prices will fluctuate daily. If you do not have a set time to travel, advise your travel agent and they can find the best deals 2-3 days before and after your preferred dates.
- Avoid weekends – Leaving on Friday – Sunday may be convenient to maximize your time, but you will end up paying more when leaving on these days. Midweek rates are fare more cheaper especially if you leave/ return on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
- Don’t be afraid to try a new airline – With the Manila market exploding with competition, many international carriers are offering lower fares to Manila to gain a piece of the market. These rates are more reasonable and can save you a lot of money. Airlines like Emirates, Etihad, EVA Airways and Air China have some amazing deals while providing superior service.