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6 hours ago, Balisidar said:

Well, it happened as I expected.  Asiana airlines changed our flight date and messed up the connecting flight to Manila.  Since my wife and I had no desire to stay in south Korea for a week or two waiting on another connection (Any other time than now we would have loved it and toured Korea.).  We decided to take members advice and I've booked a flight from LAX on the 1st of October on Philippine Airlines.  Booked the flight over the phone and talked to an agent who assured me the flight was almost full and shouldn't be cancelled.

As expected a lot more questions.  I assured them I had a sealed VISA packet with me (13A).  I'll also have a stamped copy of my marriage license with me just in case, although that's also part of the package.

Now to make reservations with the Belmont hotel in Manila.

Fingers crossed and I'll let you know how things progress.😀😉

 

Asiana has demonstrated they are pretty undependable.  They book flights, wait to see if the plane loads, then cancel them if they don't.  So, who am I booked on?  Asiana, of course.  I originally went with them because I was real intent on landing in Clark.  MUCH nicer airport to go through, minimal hassle, and almost in my mother-in-law's back yard.  A few weeks ago, they cancelled our Seoul to Clark leg...but did not cancel the Seattle to Seoul leg.  So if we cancelled our itinerary, they'd owe us a refund - meaning wait for two months to get our $2000 back.  Instead, we took the free re-booking and are now set to connect through Seoul to Manila.  But damn, they make me nervous.  We might ultimately be in the same boat and just have to re-book the direct PAL flights everyone is recommending.  Kinda stuck with Plan A until we see what happens.  Good thing we are in the position to adjust on the fly - but the sense of "what's next" gets to be a drag.

Meanwhile...as I mentioned earlier, we plan to come back to the US for Christmas and have reservations on Asiana to fly back Manila to Seoul, and connect  to Seattle.  Well, that plot thickened too.  A while back, in the forum, there was some passing conversation where someone had heard that the Koreans were putting restrictions on transit people.  I researched it, looking at our US to Seoul to Philippines trip, and there are no restrictions going that way.  BUT, I kept hearing about it here and there so I looked into it again.  Turns out, if you are transiting Seoul, and originating in one of six countries, you have to get a COVID test before you can deplane in Korea.  The Philippines is one of the six countries.  That means, 48 hours before leaving the Philippines, you have to go to one of the hospitals approved by the Korean Embassy, get the test, and bring along the proof you tested negative, or you can't transit in Seoul.  St Lukes in Manila is one of the listed hospitals.  So...my wife and I are in another wait and see and then decide cycle.  We'll see what looks feasible by the end of November.  We were coming back out of Manila, so we'd be in Manila anyway - it might be just a need to go to Manila a few days early and take the test and be done with it.  But layered over that is a need to find out just how big a hassle it is to get that done, and the ongoing uncertainty of dealing with Asiana.  

For now, we'll keep our fingers crossed that our Seoul-Manila connection goes as scheduled.  We may very well eat the return ticket and just re-book from scratch on PAL direct to the west coast.  

This whole thing caught us already in the midst of booked arrangements.  For one thing I had to show the consulate in San Francisco that I had a round trip flight booked in order to bet my 9A Visa, so we bought it early.  But for anyone not already committed, strongly advise you pay attention to all the people advising the direct PAL flights.  Asiana might end up working out, but why add the extra layer of finger biting to deal with it?  There's already enough silly BS to work to make this travel work, so who needs more?

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3 hours ago, DaveB said:

Asiana has demonstrated they are pretty undependable.  They book flights, wait to see if the plane loads, then cancel them if they don't.  So, who am I booked on?  Asiana, of course.  I originally went with them because I was real intent on landing in Clark.  MUCH nicer airport to go through, minimal hassle, and almost in my mother-in-law's back yard.  A few weeks ago, they cancelled our Seoul to Clark leg...but did not cancel the Seattle to Seoul leg.  So if we cancelled our itinerary, they'd owe us a refund - meaning wait for two months to get our $2000 back.  Instead, we took the free re-booking and are now set to connect through Seoul to Manila.  But damn, they make me nervous.  We might ultimately be in the same boat and just have to re-book the direct PAL flights everyone is recommending.  Kinda stuck with Plan A until we see what happens.  Good thing we are in the position to adjust on the fly - but the sense of "what's next" gets to be a drag.

In reading your past posts it seems you have done all that anyone can do to reduce risks (and stress!) for the trip.  But left yourself plenty of backup plans -- vital for anyone traveling now!

Looking at Flightaware , The Asiana flight OZ703 ICN-MNL has been very reliable for the last 27 days.  No cancellations and only one flight with a significant delay.  That should be a little comforting.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, KC813 said:

In reading your past posts it seems you have done all that anyone can do to reduce risks (and stress!) for the trip.  But left yourself plenty of backup plans -- vital for anyone traveling now!

Looking at Flightaware , The Asiana flight OZ703 ICN-MNL has been very reliable for the last 27 days.  No cancellations and only one flight with a significant delay.  That should be a little comforting.

 

 

 

I ended up flying with PAL from LAX, I originally had a ticket with EVA but they cancelled the Taipei-MNL leg on me three times, the Seattle-Taipei flight wasn't a problem, when they cancelled the flights they never bothered to cancel the 1st leg, as if I would decide to just go to Taipei and stay, they also charged me for the rebooking when I changed dates, one of the agents I talked to said the problem was with the Philippine government changing the rules sometimes in mid-flight and expecting compliance. For those who decide to go with PAL make sure you bring a face shield, it's required for the whole flight, you're going to need it in the Philippines anyway, pay to get a decent one that you can actually see through if you can find one, mine was blurry and it kind of sucked, forget watching in-flight movies with one on.

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6 hours ago, KC813 said:

In reading your past posts it seems you have done all that anyone can do to reduce risks (and stress!) for the trip.  But left yourself plenty of backup plans -- vital for anyone traveling now!

Looking at Flightaware , The Asiana flight OZ703 ICN-MNL has been very reliable for the last 27 days.  No cancellations and only one flight with a significant delay.  That should be a little comforting.

 

 

 

Appreciate the insight.  Yep...makes me feel better.  Now...if we can just maintain for the next couple weeks...

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16 hours ago, DaveB said:

Asiana has demonstrated they are pretty undependable.  They book flights, wait to see if the plane loads, then cancel them if they don't.  So, who am I booked on?  Asiana, of course. 

I normally go with Asiana as my wife and I really like their customer service and the prices are decent, even in business class.  I also like PAL though so no biggee.

Belmont hotel isn't answering their phone right now though (I think it's 7:00 PM or so in the Philippines right now) so I guess I'll call them later when its Monday morning.

I don't really trust booking online right now with all this additional bull crap.  I'm sure they'll need more info than what their online booking is asking for.

 

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12 hours ago, Heeb said:

I ended up flying with PAL from LAX, I originally had a ticket with EVA but they cancelled the Taipei-MNL leg on me three times, the Seattle-Taipei flight wasn't a problem, when they cancelled the flights they never bothered to cancel the 1st leg, as if I would decide to just go to Taipei and stay, they also charged me for the rebooking when I changed dates, one of the agents I talked to said the problem was with the Philippine government changing the rules sometimes in mid-flight and expecting compliance. For those who decide to go with PAL make sure you bring a face shield, it's required for the whole flight, you're going to need it in the Philippines anyway, pay to get a decent one that you can actually see through if you can find one, mine was blurry and it kind of sucked, forget watching in-flight movies with one on.

Which hotel did you wind up staying in while waiting for your covid-19 test results?

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42 minutes ago, Balisidar said:

Which hotel did you wind up staying in while waiting for your covid-19 test results?

I stayed at the Conrad Manila, they gave me a free upgrade to a bay view room, it was really nice, best place I’ve stayed in the Philippines, they had electric blinds and I was able to shut out all the light and crash all day, very quiet, when I woke up I had an email that my test results were in and I checked out. 

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22 hours ago, Heeb said:

For those who decide to go with PAL make sure you bring a face shield, it's required for the whole flight, you're going to need it in the Philippines anyway, pay to get a decent one that you can actually see through if you can find one, mine was blurry and it kind of sucked, forget watching in-flight movies with one on.

My wife brought me home a shield and it was also blurry, kind of like looking through thin wax paper.  So about a week later when I went to Gaisano and noticed that some people's masks were clear but others were like mine.  So I decided to buy a new one.  When to the counter and asked the clerk if the ones they had were more clear.  He said "Sir, you need to peel off the protective layers".  Turns out there was a very thin protective layer on each side of the plastic.  It was stuck on there really tight and no mention on the box so I had figured it was just more crappy product from China.  I thanked him and gave him 20 peso for his help. 

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May see you there.  Retiring soon and also looking at Tagaytay and Lipa.  Wife is leaning towards Lipa.  Cheaper.  Doing the on-line property search and have a few in mind.  Wife is paranoid about COVID-19, so she's not traveling there any time soon.  It's very COVID-safe here in Korea at the  moment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well we did it.  Finally here in Manila at the Belmont hotel waiting on our corona virus test results.  

A few things to pass along.  Like others have said, the swab test is a pain...literally.  Both nostrils and a throat swab.

So the QR scan thing didn't work well for me at LAX.  I got the first part done but the second part was a pain.  The third part was done in NAIA to register for the test.  I had a heck of a time with that one. The first wireless connection I tried from NAIA couldn't connect to it.  The quarantine folks showed me to use another wireless account though that worked.  Can't remember the name though, although I think it had the name corona in it.  After that I was able to finish registering my wife and I for the test.  I took a screenshot of the QR codes and gave them to the technicians.  I paid for the tests with a credit card. 4500 pesos per test.

The rest was pretty straight forward including Immigration, who had no problems with my 13-A visa.

Now just chilling and waiting for the results.

 

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