Piso Fare Sale and Broken Hearts

It was around 12 midnight when I was just browsing the Internet for random stuff. A “ting” came by and I shifted my gaze from the center of the phone screen into the top part to see my notifications. [Some image] PISO Fare…

I panicked but I’ve faced this battle before so I was prepared. I turned my laptop on and prayed that my Globe data connection will not falter me.

Just like last year, I opened one browser and went ahead to open another. But I realized I only had Chrome so I hurriedly downloaded Mozilla Firefox browser and hoped Globe will not send me a message saying, “…you only have 10 mb left…” because this is WAR!

I was surprised because in less than 2 or 3 minutes, I was redirected to the booking page and it didn’t take long to see the new loading animation of CebPac’s website.

Enough of drama, I booked a piso fare for me and my sister, P5,000 for the both of us, ILO-MNL-KUL then SIN-ILO. Great deal, ‘ayt?

I opened Facebook and found happy travelers like me who were all in cloud nine for a simple thing to others but a big thing for us.

And then there are those who are complaining, and whining, and etc. about being unable to enter the site, failed booking, etc.

I especially love this post:


I also saw one post trading a date for Valentine’s Day for a piso fare. Haha!

So, okay. I don’t claim to be a piso fare guru, or a seat sale guru, but here are my tips to be triumphant in the Battle of Piso Fare (…or cheap fare).

Disclaimer: I’m not promoting any airline but these are just my observations.

  • If you have tried to Google “piso fare pattern,” then hello there classmate! I looked for that too and mostly said there’s no pattern or definite schedule for piso fares. But mostly, watch out for flight sales when there’s an upcoming holiday, like Valentine’s Day, or Labor Day, or Christmas Day or summer season. But don’t expect to get cheap flights for one or two months after. These seat sales are for travel periods of four months and more from the time of booking.
  • Subscribe to the airline’s newsletter. These e-mails are super helpful. Or download the app to get timely alerts. Or follow the airline’s social media account. Then watch out for it like there’s no tomorrow!
  • Make sure you have a good Internet connection. Common sense. And don’t complain about not entering the site or the site is down. It’s just like a free concert, first come first serve and because it’s free, naturally, people will flock around it and you have to push through the crowd to get the best spot.
  • What I do is I open two different browsers because sometimes, the other browser is faster or works better than the other. That’s what I did last year. I ran to the Internet cafe, opened two browsers, hit refresh every now and then. I did that for an hour or something. Patience is TRULY the key.
  • It’s good if you already have a planned itinerary of some sort so that when the seat sale comes, you will not spend time thinking where to go. It’s also okay to settle for the cheapest one but remember that you’re struggling to enter the site. It’s not advisable to keep on going back to the search flights page to check if this place is cheaper than this place.
  • It helps to have the data of your travel buddies. Take note of their complete, full name, birthday, contact number, etc. Because it’s a pain in the ass waiting for a reply from your friend to go ahead or not… or you’ll lose the chance.
  • If you’re a group, it’s okay to book altogether (which means you book for the same flight, on one itinerary). Odds are, I think it’ll show you the same flight but an expensive price. Don’t be “mapili.” Your option is for some to take this cheaper flight (because… two seats left!) and some on this other flight (which is just P100+).
  • Have your payment ready. Make sure you always have some remaining balance in your credit card or that you have savings for this once in a lifetime opportunity!
  • Just book and don’t hesitate! If you’re not sure, just choose the “Pay within 24 hours at payment centers.” The thing is, you’ve already booked so you have 24 hours ticking like a bomb for you to decide to go ahead or to go and look for “pautang.” Haha!
  • But, I have read somewhere it’s not also good to keep on booking seat sales. You have to be practical. The thinking that this seat sale was so cheap, I don’t want it to go to waste doesn’t apply every time.
  • I think CebPac has seat sales more often than other airlines. And even though I use Skyscanner sometimes, I still go check CebPac because they’d still have the cheapest ones (for flights Philippines to outside of the country). But I think AirAsia sales are to watch out for, too. I once saw a sale from Manila to Maldives at just around less than 10K and I think that’s pretty cheap.
  • Check out the local airlines too (where the airline is based at). If you’re heading to Malaysia, check AirAsia. If to Singapore, TigerAir. Jetstar, although Australian, offers low-cost fares within Asia.
  • Ang piso fare is just base fare so don’t expect to pay just P1. There’s web admin fee, and other fees and the tax (not really sure if it’s the tax) is different for every airport. Like our Kuala Lumpur piso seat sale is around P500 compared to Singapore’s P 1,000+ because, duh, it’s Changi Airport.
  • Most important of all, at least for me, take screenshots so that you have the data (booking reference number, flight data, etc) when you need to retrieve your itinerary because the e-mail didn’t reach your inbox or something. Or if you chose to pay within 24 hours, take note of the booking reference number. I once expected they’ll send me an e-mail of the itinerary but I realized that’s only for confirmed flights. If you haven’t noted your booking reference number, you don’t have that to show the payment center, thus goodbye luck.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t booked on the first day. Watch out in 24 hours because you might grab the piso fare seat that others have booked but wasn’t able to pay for it. Alam nyo na! Last year, during the first day, MNL-ILO skyrocketed to P3,000 – P4,000+ on my chosen date. But when I checked the next day, I found a P120 fare in between P3,000 the day before and P4,000 the day after. Yay!

Do you have any other tips? Or did I get anything wrong? Please share in the comments section. Let’s learn from each other, ’til the next big war.


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