Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Scariest Flight of My Life

I found myself in one of the most enchanting spots in the Philippines, El Nido. This is the 1st of 6 parts.

I love going to new places. 

I love it even more when I get to explore these new places unexpectedly just like my recent trip to El Nido.

When I learned that I was invited for a conference at El Nido, I didn't think twice and confirmed my participation in a heartbeat since El Nido is one place I wanted to see in this lifetime.

El Nido didn't disappoint as it was the magical enchanting destination it is touted to be. 

But before I show what El Nido has to offer, allow me to share my experience in what I consider as the scariest flight of my life.

El Nido is a 75 minute plane ride from Manila via SEAIR or on a chartered flight with Island Transvoyager Inc. (ITI), the official air service provider of El Nido resorts guests. 

We were booked with ITI and I had to go to A. Soriano Hangars for takeoff.

One needs to be at the hangar only an hour before the flight given the limited number of travelers.

Being at the hangar was stress-free...

Quick Security Check

Exclusive Passenger Lounge

Complimentary Breakfast

until I learned that I had to be weighed in order to get my boarding pass!

Check-in Counter and the Weighing Scale

Thankfully, I survived the incident unscathed because the staff of ITI was very discreet. The weighing was done in less than 5 seconds with no mention of the actual weight. whew!!!

Ready to Go

ITI uses German made 19-seater Dormier aircrafts for all its flight to El Nido. Being a small plane, there's no room for a fight attendant, food, tray tables, TV monitors, and other such comforts we are accustomed to. Seats are also not assigned.

The 19 seater plane
A Closer Look

Unfortunately, I was too slow during boarding and found myself seated at the back of the aircraft. This was not good because the back part of the plane gets the brunt of turbulence.

View from the Back

In a matter of minutes we were up in the air.

I wasn't nervous at all until we encountered our first turbulence. I have always considered myself brave but I learned that it wasn't enough for what was to come. 

Without a doubt, this was the scariest, most nerve-wracking airplane experience I've had. To say that the flight was bumpy is an understatement. The aircraft shook more times than I could have cared to count and I felt that I was riding a roller coaster at times with the way the aircraft plunged.

It didn't help that the plane was not pressurized and the temperature inside the aircraft was on the warm side. I was dizzy and felt claustrophobic. 

I tried to sleep but I was unsuccessful for the plane shook every time I was about to fall asleep.  

Needless to say, the 75 minutes it took for us to reach El Nido felt more like an eternity.

Words really can't express how happy and  thankful I was when I finally saw this:

Made the Turbulent Flight Worth It


To be fair to ITI, the flight back to Manila was smooth. So smooth in fact that I'm willing to fly with ITI again on a return trip to El Nido.

I'll just take a sleeping pill next time.

Island Transvoyager Inc. (ITI) is located at the A. Soriano Hangar at the corner of Lima Road and Andrews Avenue, Domestic Airport, Pasay City, Philippines. Roundtrip fare roughly costs 14,000php. For more information, click here.

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