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Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles

(48 ratings)


This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in March 2008. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the national flag carrier of the Philippines and the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia. It began operations in 1941 by making one flight daily between Manila and Baguio. From its main hub at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippine Airlines now flies to 18 destinations in the Philippines and serves 26 destinations in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Mabuhay Club and PALsmiles, Philippine Airlines' loyalty and first frequent flyer program, was launched in 1984 and was open only to international first and business class passengers. In 1989, PALsmiles was enhanced to include all frequent travelers travelling on all sectors (international and domestic) on all classes of service, and partnerships were added to the program.

In August 2002, PAL unveiled its new frequent flyer program (FFP) which integrated all of the Airline's FFPs -- PALsmiles, the Mabuhay Club and the Flying Sportsman now called SportsPlus -- under one brand, Mabuhay Miles, that was on par with existing customer loyalty programs. A development team consulted current members, frontline staff and analyzed trends in the industry when creating the program. All existing members were automatically enrolled in the new program and Mabuhay Miles now has an estimated 1.9 million members.



Members earn actual miles flown and class of service bonuses between 25 percent and 75 percent, with the exception of most T and U class tickets that will not earn any miles for flights. Mabuhay Airlines has a full partner list and members can earn miles for partner airline flights, hotel stays, credit card spending, car rentals and real estate, among other services.



Domestic award ticket redemptions can be made for one-way or roundtrip flights and international award tickets are only available for roundtrip travel. The Web site offers an award chart and a mileage calculator where members will have to type in an originating city and destination to view the mileage requirements. Award redemption starts out at 3,000 miles for a one-way domestic award.

A roundtrip standard domestic award ticket between Cebu and Manila is 8,000 miles in Fiesta Class (coach) and 10,000 miles in Mabuhay Class (business); a Flexiflyer award is 12,000 miles. Mabuhay Miles Flexiflyer award is not capacity controlled and allows members to redeem miles on full flights. Flexiflyer awards are only available in Fiesta Class and require an additional 50 percent of the normal mileage requirement. Members can mix and match awards and fly on a standard award ticket one way and Flexiflyer on the return trip. There are no blackout dates for award travel.

A roundtrip standard award between Manila and Tokyo is 20,000 miles in Fiesta Class and 35,000 miles in Mabuhay class; a Flexiflyer award is 30,000 miles on this route. A roundtrip standard award between Manila and Los Angeles is 60,000 miles in Fiesta Class, 90,000 miles in Mabuhay Class and 125,000 miles in first class; a Flexiflyer award is 90,000 miles on this route. Compared to other airlines in Asia, Mabuhay Miles transpacific award is good. A roundtrip award flight between Manila and Los Angeles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is 70,000 miles in coach, 120,000 miles in business and 180,000 miles in first. Korean SkyPass award flights from LAX to Manila are 85,000 miles in coach, 125,000 miles in business and 170,000 miles in first.

Upgrade awards on Philippine Airlines on domestic flights are available for 2,500 or 3,000 miles and for international flights for 10,000 or 35,000 miles, depending on the destination. Members can only redeem miles for Philippine Airlines flight awards, partner awards are not offered.



Members can earn miles on Philippine Airlines codeshare partners: Air Macau, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Royal Brunei Airlines. A flight has to be flown under a PAL flight number to be eligible to earn miles and award tickets on partner airlines are not available. Peggy Bonoan-Calawod, Mabuhay Miles Product Loyalty Marketing Officer, says they are working on adding partner airlines awards to the Mabuhay Miles program.

Members can earn miles for hotel stays in the Philippines and worldwide. Earning rates vary between 250 and 500 miles per stay at hotels such as Microtel Inns & Suites, Shangri-La, Golden Tulip and Marco Polo Hotel Group.

HSBC Mabuhay Miles Visa cardholders earn 1 mile for every PHP 45 spent on their card for purchases. Members who participate in partner credit card reward programs including Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, East West Bank, American Express, Banco de Oro, Union Bank, Metrobank, Diners Club and Philippine National Bank (PNB) Big Time Privileges Program can convert points into miles.

Members who open select accounts with Allied Bank can earn one mile for every PHP 2 net interest earned on accounts.

Hertz is the only car rental partner and members can earn between 250 and 500 miles per rental.

Members who book a cruise with Star Cruises can earn 500, 700 or 1,500 miles when staying in an Inside Stateroom, Oceanview Stateroom or Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony room. Mabuhay Miles partners with Papillon Airways and members can earn between 10,000 and 15,000 miles on qualifying tour packages at the Grand Canyon.

Mabuhay Miles does not offer a mileage-earning mall, but members can earn miles for purchasing American Tourister products, OSIM health equipment, Time and Fortune magazine subscriptions, SM-Advantage card purchases and tickets to the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Members who purchase an Eton Emerald Lofts property in Pasig City, Philippines will earn 7,500 miles for every PHP 500,000 of the total contract price.

Members who purchase travel insurance through Travelplans by Philam Insurance can earn up to 5,000 miles, depending on the type of plan you purchase.

Mabuhay Miles does not partner with any airlines and it ended its partnership with Air Philippines last year.
Interim partnerships included UNICEF where members were given options to donate their miles. Members also have an option to donate their miles to organizations such as the PAL Foundation -- a service organization catering to humanitarian and social development assistance.

SportsPlus is a unique subscription-based feature available only to Mabuhay Miles members. Sports enthusiasts who pay the annual fee (US$30, US$60 and US$120) receive an extra 20 kg luggage allowance for sports equipment on Philippine Airlines.



Members qualify for elite membership depending on the number of flight miles or segments they fly in a calendar year. Tier-based bonus miles do not count toward elite status. Members who earn 25,000 flight miles on Philippine Airlines, fly 30 segments in any class of service or 15 segments in first or Mabuhay Class will qualify for Elite membership. Elite members receive a 25 percent mileage bonus on all Philippine Airlines flights; lounge access; exclusive reservation line; priority waitlist, standby, check-in, boarding and luggage handling; 10 kg additional luggage allowance (except to/from the U.S. and Canada); SportsPlus Global and partner privileges and members may hold award flight reservations for four days instead of the usual three days.

Members who earn 45,000 flight miles on Philippine Airlines, fly 50 segments in any class of service or 25 segments in first or Mabuhay Class will earn Premier Elite status. Premier Elite members will receive a 75 percent bonus when traveling to and from the U.S. and Canada on Philippine Airlines and a 25 percent bonus on all other flights. In addition to Elite benefits, members will receive lounge access for a companion, 30 kg additional luggage allowance (except to/from the U.S. and Canada), an extra piece of luggage and members may hold award flight reservations for five days. Members will receive two upgrade certificates upon logging 45,000 flight miles, plus two additional certificates for every 25,000 additional flight miles accrued on Philippine Airlines flights. Upgrade certificates can be transferred to a traveling companion.

Elite members who list golf as their sports interest are invited to the annual Mabuhay Miles Elite Invitational Golf Tournament, a one-day event held during the month of November. The event attracted over 350 players last year and all registered participants receive gifts and prizes such as trophies and roundtrip Mabuhay Class tickets are given to the winners.

Members who accumulate one million flight miles on Philippine Airlines will be given "Million Miler" status and receive lifetime Premier Elite membership, four additional complimentary upgrade certificates each year and exclusive gifts.



Miles will expire three years from when they were earned, at the end of the calendar quarter. So all miles earned between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2005 will expire on Sept. 30, 2008. Award tickets are transferable to anyone and upgrade awards may be transferred to family and friends who are also Mabuhay Miles members.

If you already have 50 percent of the miles required for an award, you can buy miles at US$25 per 1,000 miles, up to 25,000 miles per year. Miles can also be purchased and given to someone else. A new feature is the ability to transfer miles to another Mabuhay Miles member's account in 1,000-mile increments for US$15 per 1,000 miles. Members may transfer a maximum of 25,000 miles per calendar year, and may receive a maximum of 25,000 transferred miles from other members' accounts per year. Purchasing, gifting and transferring miles also require a US$10 processing fee per transaction. Purchased miles are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Missing flight mileage requests can be made online within 12 months of the flight date or by sending the original boarding passes to the Mabuhay Miles service center or any PAL ticket office. For new applicants, retrocredits may be allowed for flights one month prior to date of their enrollment. For non-flight partners, members will need to contact the program partners within six months of the activity date.



The Mabuhay Miles service center in the Philippines can be reached from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday through Friday and from 8:00am to 12:00pm on Saturdays, Manila time. Customers in the U.S. and Canada can reach the service center from 9am to 5pm Pacific time, Monday through Friday. And you can email customer care anytime. Our e-mailed question was answered within 24 hours.



The key feature missing from the Web site is the ability to book awards online. Members must fill out a downloadable form, submit it to a ticket office and pick up award tickets at a ticket office -- you cannot request to have it mailed to you. And tickets must be picked up within three days of making an award reservation or the reservation will be cancelled. Buying, gifting and transferring miles also require filling out a form to mail in to the service center but requests for missing flight mileage can be made online. Members can enroll and view and update their account online.

Premier Elite, the highest elite level, requires only 45,000 miles and members receive a 75 percent mileage bonus on flights to the U.S. and Canada, two complimentary upgrades and all elite members receive complimentary lounge access. The subscription-based SportsPlus option offered to all members is useful to those who regularly travel with sports equipment and need an excess baggage allowance. Members report that award availability is good.

Mabuhay Miles does not allow members to redeem miles on airline partners, which limits award flight destinations to only those routes offered by Philippine Airlines. Members cannot book awards online, miles have a three-year shelf life and members do not earn miles when traveling in the lowest fare classes.

Manila 632/817-8000
Cebu 032/340-8000
U.S/Canada 800-747-1959

Mabuhay Miles
2/F Power Realty Building
1012 A. Arnaiz Street (formerly Pasay Road)
1223 Makati City

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
8.00 7.00 6.50 9.00 7.50 8.00 6.50 7.50
5.29 5.10 4.58 5.66 5.22 5 4.70 5.08

(48 ratings)


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