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Originally posted by charlie-xray

PAL is the most dirty most corrupt airline in the asia pacific next to PIA and Bangladesh airline. I would not entrust my boomer with them.

P lane
A lways
L ate

Kaya nga natanggal service niyang mga arroganteng yan dito sa saudi arabia, imagine naka-tatlong complaint ako about their ego-centered and ego-maniac GURANG na stewardess to no avail, kaya nung i-announce na aalis na yang PAL sa saudi arabia ang sagot ko BUTI NGA.
If I may ask, when was the last time you travelled with PAL? I took PAL from Vancouver to Manila in May and it was a rather good flight. IMHO, service was better than Northwest which we always take when travelling to the US because of the convenience of connecting flights to my brothers in Tennessee.

The flight attendants were very courteous and helpful. They announced that food, drinks and snacks were always available at the pantry even after they served meals. And they were super efficient. They were always available during the 13.5 hours of the flight. The seats of the A340 was more comfortable than the B747 400. BTW, this was in economy class.

The decision of PAL not to fly to Saudi Arabia was a wise decision with regards to PAL's profitability. Competition on Saudi Arabian routes is so stiff that PAL would rather concentrate and improve revenue-generating routes such as MNL-Las Vegas-Vancouver which is always full; and not too many airlines have this route.

With regards to the age of the flight attendants, they're not actually old. They just look old because of years of flying. Cabin air is so dry that it dehydrates your body (and skin) so much, and altitude plays a big factor in ageing your skin. That's the price you pay for being a cabin crew.

A smile as memorable as historic PAL flight

By Nikko Dizon
Last updated 05:53am (Mla time) 07/31/2006

Published on page A1 of the July 31, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ANY STORY about the history of Philippine civil aviation would not be complete without the memory of her smile.

Rebecca Verzosa was the only Filipino and lone flight attendant on the first flight of Philippine Airlines (PAL) across the Pacific 60 years ago today.

As the flight attendant of that historic DC-4 journey, Verzosa thus became a pioneer in what has become one of the most popular, in-demand and well-paying jobs today.

Yet, nothing much is known about Verzosa, except for the scant details the airline managed to put together through the years.

One of the few mementos PAL has of Verzosa is a black and white picture showing her wearing an attendant’s cap, a collared white blouse, and a brilliant smile captured on camera for eternity.

That smile might have been one of the things that inspired a PAL slogan years later exhorting travelers to “Come fly the friendly skies.”

On that July 31, 1946, flight were four other crew members -- all Americans, including the two pilots.

Finding Verzosa, or at least her close relatives, for the 60th anniversary of PAL’s first crossing of the Pacific to the United States was an unfulfilled, aching wish of the people who organized the celebration this year.

For them, the anniversary of the first flight of a local airline to the United States would have been an excellent chance to give due recognition to Verzosa and her service to PAL.

Moreover, an account from Verzosa of her experience as a pioneering Filipino flight attendant would have been a remarkable addition to the history not only of PAL but of local civil aviation as well.

Verzosa would be around 85 years old today.

At that age, she would have a lot of stories to tell, said Jonathan Gesmundo, editor of PAL’s corporate magazine, PALiner.

Gesmundo himself seems to be a walking repository of historical data and trivia about PAL and Philippine civil aviation history, what with his wealth of knowledge gained from research he has done at the Filipinas Heritage Library, the National Library and the University of Santo Tomas Library, among other libraries.

But to Gesmundo, Verzosa has become an elusive subject.

“The most recent information we got, and this was a few years ago, was that she was supposedly living in the US,” Gesmundo told the Inquirer.

Homesick passengers

PAL chartered its first flight to the United States from a company called Trans Ocean, after a dock strike in the US West Coast prevented US ships from sailing to the Philippines to pick up homesick American soldiers.

There were not enough US planes and ships then to transport the Americans back home.

The flight was an ordeal for the crew that included Verzosa, and for the passengers consisting of some 40 American soldiers eager to go home with the end of World War II.

The DC-4, a surplus military aircraft, was not known for comfort. Passengers sat on what were called “bucket seats” -- no armrests and no backrests.

5-foot-tall beauty

According to PAL, the plane “could make just over 200 miles per hour at cruising speed, was unpressurized, and could not fly much higher than 10,000 feet.”

Verzosa, believed to be just 5 feet tall, not only made sure her passengers were comfortable during the flight, she also cooked meals “when meal times came en route.”

“She also had to keep the lavatory clean, not a pleasant task when the passengers became airsick,” PAL said in its media release.

At that time, airsick bags were unheard of, Gesmundo said.

But hadn’t the US soldiers flown helicopters and planes during the war?

41-hour flight

“Yes, they did. But not for 41 hours with just four stopovers,” Gesmundo said.

Verzosa was also on the flight that returned to Manila, but this time, thankfully, there were no passengers on board.

Laughing, Gesmundo said that if he ever met Verzosa, he would not hesitate to ask her some naughty questions, like: “Did any pilots court you?”

“It’s common those days, you know,” Gesmundo quipped.

Time of reconstruction

If anything, Versoza proved that being a flight attendant could be a career at a time when the main concern in the Philippines was the reconstruction after the war, Gesmundo said.

“It was July 1946, the new republic has just been established and granted independence by the Americans. It was an era of reconstruction. Literally, rebuilding their homes and their businesses was on top of their minds,” Gesmundo said.

Being a flight attendant was an American influence, he added.

At that time, then PAL owner Andres Soriano, who was a Spaniard who became an American citizen, would scout around for flight attendants.

“Soriano or some American pilots would see a mestiza and ask her if she would be interested to become a flight attendant. It wasn’t for them to apply,” Gesmundo said.

Prize in a beauty pageant

Soon, becoming a flight attendant became prestigious. So much so that, Gesmundo said, he discovered in one of his research that one postwar beauty pageant offered for its second prize “becoming a trainee for cabin attendant for PAL.”

First prize was a PAL ticket to any domestic destination, and third prize was getting any job in the airline.

Verzosa spent some 10 years as a flight attendant, eventually becoming manager in charge of cabin crew training.

She also spent more than 10 years doing office work at PAL, Gesmundo said.

She showed the way

Verzosa showed that being a flight attendant was not just being a “glorified or a glamorous helper” on an airplane.

Flight attendants are “hurt” when they hear that nasty tag, Gesmundo said.

He said being a flight attendant was also not only about charm and grace.

As Verzosa showed on that 41-hour flight 60 years ago, it is a lot about grit, hard work and selflessness.
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