We are ready to leave Dumaguete for a week in Cebu..
Cebu Pacific Air departs at 11:20 from Dumaguete to Cebu. At least that’s what our tickets say. Cebu Pacific is seldom on time. As we sit in the departure room of the Dumaguete airport we can see that Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are the two competing airlines here. Most of their flights go to Manila but there is one a day that goes to Cebu.
The check in counter for our flight opened 2 hours before the scheduled departure time and we were the second couple in line. This means we cleared the check in counter in 15 minutes, paid 150 pesos each for terminal tax, and entered the secure area. There are 2 Xray machines in use. The first security clearance happens as soon as you enter the terminal. The second machine is used after you show your boarding pass. It is interesting that the first machine cleared our baggage without a hitch, but the 2 ladies at the second machine found a pair of ‘nippers’ that definitely had to be confiscated. For the men out there, nippers are very small manicure scissors that are the size and shape of miniature wire cutters. The first security team were male. They have no use for manicure scissors. It sure looks like we left a gift of ‘nippers’ to the ladies running the second machine.
If you asked me to recommend what time you should arrive at the Dumaguete airport for your flight I would suggest an hour and a half before departure time. Two hours ahead usually means you have an hour to wait before boarding. An hour ahead can be a problem if lots of other fliers are in line ahead of you. I see no restaurants inside the secure area so you may want to arrive two and a half hours before your flight and have a meal at the Finish Line Café. It is run by an American and located just across the parking lot from the departure area. Meals are tasty there and reasonably priced.
We are lucky today. The turboprop Cebu Pacific Plane arrives on time and we are on our way. The longest part of the trip seemed to be when we were in the taxi to Quest Hotel, near Ayala Mall where we shall spend a week. I swear it took an hour from the time we had claimed out luggage until arrival at the hotel. Cebu traffic is vicious, especially crossing the bridge from Mactan to the city center.
But all’s well that ends well and we ended our day with a late lunch at TGIFridays in Ayala mall. It’s just across the street from Quest Hotel. One of the most expensive dining places in Ayala Mall, it is still one of the favorites for North American visitors. So that was our flight. We paid 2100 pesos for two tickets which we bought on sale;. 300 for airport tax and another 500 for the taxi to the hotel brings the total cost to 2,900 pesos. That’s 4 times the cost of going by bus but loads of fun.