If you are coming from the Philippines (or Asia) to the United States; you might want to consider traveling through Guam and Hawaii. It is a route that people forget about but one that could save you having a seriously long flight across the Pacific Ocean.
If you are like me, you are not a big fan of flights that put you on an airplane for half a day or more. My idea of a day well spend does not include sitting in an economy seat on China Airlines eating bad food and having a dead battery on my Amazon Kindle (with no way to charge it). Sorry, just not ideal to me.
Many think that there is no other option out there. You just have to “take the bullet” and make the trip. In most cases, this is true because of the time factor. If I have to get to Missouri right away, I have to do a non-stop flight to Chicago or Dallas like the rest of us.
However, when time is not an issue and it normally isn’t for us travelers; there is a better option that alot of people have forgotten about!
United flies to Hawaii and Guam
Back in the day, I use to do this route alot when it was ran by Continental Airlines. United took over the route when they mergered. It is a great little trip and when I have the time, I will take it again for sure.
- Manila- Guam
- Hawaii-Los Angeles
Before I go into this any more, let me tell you some breaking news. Next month, the low-cost airlines out of the Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air will start flying to Guam for as little as $60. That is really good news because it use to be like $300 to make that leg!
Ok, the reason that this trip is wise is you have broken a very long flight into shorter flights and you can enjoy a cool part of the world that most people miss.
What I use to do is fly to Guam, stay a day or two there then go to Hawaii. Anyone in their right mind will want to spend a week in Hawaii if they can! It works out great to me: two side vacations and no long flights.
United does have some decent stewardess compared to Philippines Airlines and the food on the flights is not even a comparison in my mind. I am sure that United Airlines is not the top of the list for on board food but it is quite a bit better than Philippine Airlines. I do not even need to look to know that!
If you have time, a great place to stop and enjoy Hawaii is Maui
Plus, if you do not like the food, with shorter flights; you could eat in the airports before getting on the plane. I have done that on several carriers. It is a practice that I always have when I see the name Air Asia on my ticket. Anything will beat their food and I do mean anything!
Guam is a military island!
Why does this matter? It does. It means if you have a military ID, you have the commissary and the PX right there. If you are not military, having alot of military around means supply to products that you might not be able to find in Asia.
Alot of things in Asia are pretty low quality. In Guam, you have American standard of quality and you will be able to get for a reasonable price.
Another benefit of being on Guam is restaurants. With thousands of military families around; restaurants will pop up and you will be able to get good quality food at a decent price.
Basically, you will the tropical paradise that you want but you are just a drive from the store to pick up anything you need while on island too. It is the tropics with the American free market at your fingertips.
It is also worth noting that while there is not a Wal-Mart on Guam that you might need to pick up some things; there is a K-Mart there and that could come in really handy. It might not matter to you but it will matter to others. I am sure of that.
One other thing to think about is when the military on island, the beaches are somewhat looked after. They are made sure to be in top shape so that the personnel from the base can come and enjoy them on their days off. Everyone benefits from that care, no matter if you are military or not.
United Breaks Guitars
United Airlines has a very bad reputation for checked luggage. A country group, Sons of Maxwell, out of Canada had three guitars broken while flying with United. It became a major Youtube video that I will post below.
I do not know if this is just a one time deal with them but it is something to be mindful about. If they have a handling problem; having things like my camera gear could be an issue. I am not saying that would be but it could be. Always best to think about things like this.
My personal suggestion would like, like always, to try and keep anything of value with you in the cabin if you can. I always breaks both of my cameras on board. If the airlines tells me no, I ask them if they will pay to replace them if something happens. No more issues and they are on board with me. I also make sure the cases for the lens is solid and the lens are fitted with foam. It might not be cheap to do this but it is cheaper than replacing $3,000 lens; I promise you that!
As of today (February 21, 2016); the flights from Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles,California through Guam and Hawaii is $692 on economy and if you upgrade to business; it would cost $2,200. Considering the distance you are traveling; that is not a bad price either.