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All Things Philippines and COVID-19/Corona Virus

All Things Philippines and COVID-19/Corona Virus

Old Feb 27, 20, 9:08 am
  #1  
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All Things Philippines and COVID-19/Corona Virus

I thought it would be a good idea to start a new thread on Philippines travel and everything that is going on there with the Corona Virus. The Philippines isn't currently a hotspot for the virus; however, many of their gateway cities are, such as Hong Kong, and now South Korea.

I am traveling to the Philippines with friends very soon, and 2/3s of us have been dealing with rebookings because of all the restrictions in the Philippines when coming from some of the other countries in Asia.

None of us received any notification from our respective airlines - Cathay Pacific and Delta. We learned about the restrictions by doing our own research. I'm sure the airlines would have contacted us eventually, but there is no telling when that would have happened and we leave in a week.

I am hoping others can use this thread to keep travelers informed, and to suggest work-arounds.

Thanks
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Old Feb 27, 20, 9:17 am
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Here is what I know so far. My friends were supposed to travel to Cebu via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. I saw on Philippines CNN that flights were no longer being allowed from Hong Kong. I contacted my friends, and they were able to confirm this and get full refunds. They are now routed to Manila through Singapore.

My husband and I are flying Delta through Narita to Manila, which is fine. However, several months ago Delta rerouted our return home in April to their new service via Incheon. We have been carefully monitoring the news. 2 days ago when Delta issued a caution that some flights through Incheon may be affected, I called them twice and Delta could not find an alternate path out even if I purchased my own inexpensive tickets to Singapore. Then last night my husband found a new Delta news release at this site: https://news.delta.com/delta-reduces...id-19-outbreak. In the middle of this announcement, it says, "The airline’s new service from Incheon to Manila, previously scheduled to begin March 29, will now start on May 1. Full schedule details will be available on delta.com beginning Feb. 29."

I called late last night to beat the rush, and Delta rebooked us on a PAL flight from Manila to Haneda in Tokyo. In Haneda, we will continue our trip home on a Delta flight. They gave me the usual warning that this is the way things are now - but they don't know what the future will bring.

I hope this info will help someone else.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 10:55 am
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Check out the wikipost of corona virus thread in China Forum for pointers...

Originally Posted by Carol202 View Post
...None of us received any notification from our respective airlines - Cathay Pacific and Delta. We learned about the restrictions by doing our own research.
FYI. Due to the virus outbreak, COVID-19 related threads are popping up in different airline/destination fora. China Forum MODs did a great job compiling a list for those threads in the wikipost of the following thread:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chin...ona-virus.html

The existing COVID-19 discussion threads in both DL & CX Forum are mentioned is that wikipost. Check out that wikipost and locate some carrier-specific threads may save you time.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Mar 6, 20 at 11:57 pm Reason: Spelling of COVID
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Old Feb 27, 20, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Carol202 View Post
I thought it would be a good idea to start a new thread on Philippines travel and everything that is going on there with the Corona Virus. The Philippines isn't currently a hotspot for the virus; however, many of their gateway cities are, such as Hong Kong, and now South Korea.

I am traveling to the Philippines with friends very soon, and 2/3s of us have been dealing with rebookings because of all the restrictions in the Philippines when coming from some of the other countries in Asia.

None of us received any notification from our respective airlines - Cathay Pacific and Delta. We learned about the restrictions by doing our own research. I'm sure the airlines would have contacted us eventually, but there is no telling when that would have happened and we leave in a week.

I am hoping others can use this thread to keep travelers informed, and to suggest work-arounds.

Thanks
I would be wary of thinking that any country isn't a hotspot. Just because they have low numbers doesn't mean there aren't a lot of hidden cases.

From what I've read, I've found many main line carriers are willing to exercise reasonable common sense when it comes to rebookings and cancellations.

So for any travellers, do contact your airlines as they might be able to offer you a full refund or credit for a booking in the future.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 6:20 pm
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Let's not jump to blaming the airlines.

Could it be the poor communication and action plans of the PH government?

They banned entries without any advance notification and did not notify airlines who fly into MNL. They turning away flights after they landed in MNL. They denied entry to all the pax. Another issue is that in the Philippines, anyone in a uniform, has a badge or any authority makes up or interpret the rules.

As good as the idea of the purpose of this thread, one should read it with the understanding of how things work or not work in the Philippines. The previous datapoint posted just hours ago could be different.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 4:26 am
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Has anyone arrived in MNL from HKG on CX recently? Could you please share your experience?

Last edited by doublehaven; Feb 28, 20 at 4:28 am Reason: added airline
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Old Feb 28, 20, 11:45 am
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Had a trip planned JFK-NRT-MNL, was spending 4 nights in Tokyo and then heading on to Manila for a family wedding. I've been somewhat shocked at the low numbers of virus reports from the PH, as of now, still 3 with 1 death. Initially, I was skeptical at best as to how PH would handle the virus situation, however, it is possible that the quick travel bans they implemented actually worked and has kept the numbers so low. Alternatively, the reporting could be limited and they could be dealing with many more cases.
My main concern is the rolling travel bans and quarantines that could be implemented while abroad, therefore, I've canceled my portion of the trip.
To be transparent, my wife and daughter will still attend the wedding, traveling directly from JFK-MNL on PAL. If bans are implemented and they are forced to stay in PH, she has family and we have a property where she can stay. If a quarantine is implemented upon arrival in the US, we'll have to deal with that, but at least (I suspect and hope), they will be together for that. This is somewhat unchartered territory and I'm very curious to see how this all plays out.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 12:20 am
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Originally Posted by Carol202 View Post
Here is what I know so far. My friends were supposed to travel to Cebu via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. I saw on Philippines CNN that flights were no longer being allowed from Hong Kong. I contacted my friends, and they were able to confirm this and get full refunds. They are now routed to Manila through Singapore.

My husband and I are flying Delta through Narita to Manila, which is fine. However, several months ago Delta rerouted our return home in April to their new service via Incheon. We have been carefully monitoring the news. 2 days ago when Delta issued a caution that some flights through Incheon may be affected, I called them twice and Delta could not find an alternate path out even if I purchased my own inexpensive tickets to Singapore. Then last night my husband found a new Delta news release at this site: https://news.delta.com/delta-reduces...id-19-outbreak. In the middle of this announcement, it says, "The airline’s new service from Incheon to Manila, previously scheduled to begin March 29, will now start on May 1. Full schedule details will be available on delta.com beginning Feb. 29."

I called late last night to beat the rush, and Delta rebooked us on a PAL flight from Manila to Haneda in Tokyo. In Haneda, we will continue our trip home on a Delta flight. They gave me the usual warning that this is the way things are now - but they don't know what the future will bring.

I hope this info will help someone else.
Originally Posted by benjahman View Post
To be transparent, my wife and daughter will still attend the wedding, traveling directly from JFK-MNL on PAL. If bans are implemented and they are forced to stay in PH, she has family and we have a property where she can stay. If a quarantine is implemented upon arrival in the US, we'll have to deal with that, but at least (I suspect and hope), they will be together for that. This is somewhat unchartered territory and I'm very curious to see how this all plays out.
If you can still make changes to your flights if Delta still has a flight waiver in place, this is the route I would take as it is direct into MNL, you would just need to find your way to JFK. Now NYC has a few cases already, but if the airport is being disinfected, and you don't leave it during the transition, I would believe you are safe.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 8:49 pm
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Does anyone have any updates for the Philippines? I read that Duterte already declared a state of emergency, and someone in government even proposed a lockdown in Manila, which Duterte has refused.

I am supposed to fly DL to MNL in April, and I have already been rebooked on the same dates but via Europe instead. I am actually more afraid of being trapped in a lockdown, or being quarantined in the US (and subsequently furloughed at work), than contracting the virus.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 6:06 pm
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The information I got from MNL was the President declared a public health emergency to mobile all sources to combat the spreading of the virus. This is not a State of emergency. All schools in MNL are closed too.
There was supposed to be the nation wide civil service exams on the 15th which is now delayed. There is no current lock down but no one knows what may happen in the future at this stage.
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Old Mar 12, 20, 10:15 am
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Latest Duterte announcements: Metro Manila lock-down
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Old Mar 13, 20, 1:40 am
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Went to cancel my flight from BKK - MNL today as it arrived after the lockdown will have begun and I do not want to be stuck in Manila for a month. I was shocked that Philippine Airlines are not wavering fees on International Flights.
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Old Mar 14, 20, 8:26 am
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My domestic flight from Manila to El Nido has been cancelled on 28th March. The reason given was that domestic flights from Manila are all being cancelled. I will have to postpone my trip to the Philippines.
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Old Mar 14, 20, 6:26 pm
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Manila is quarantined. No one can move out of Manila. International flights are operating but anyone arriving is stuck in Manila.
the government has advised passengers who are going to other destinations in the Philippines to fly into Clark or Cebu.

But Davao city could be quarantined too very quickly as it was discussed by Davao Mayor Sarah Duterte. I am sure Cebu would be too.
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Old Mar 15, 20, 9:07 am
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Update. Cebu is banning all inbound travel from the 16th March. All ports including air and sea will be closed. Furthermore no one can get out of Cebu either. Only the movement of people are restricted while cargo and supplies are allowed under stringent measures.
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