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How To Use Mabuhay Miles To Book for Philippine Airline Flights

You guys know how I seriously join travel contests right? Well,  my roundtrip tickets to Hong Kong last year and this coming February in Vietnam are both a prize courtesy of two different airlines from a contest. Not only that, I scored 2, 000 loyalty points from Shangri - la Hotel in another contest which can give me a free stay in any of their hotels around the world. However the full - blooded backpacker in me isn't keen to stay at posh accommodations when there is another way to take advantage of it. 

My Golden Circle profile

After meticulously reading the terms and conditions of Golden Circle, the points system used by Shangri-la hotel to its guests, I read that it can be converted to airline miles! Practicality speaking, I need flights more than staying in 5 - star hotels. Don't get me wrong, of course I love staying at Shangri-la Hotels. As a matter of fact, I have stayed to two of their branches: Shangri-la Edsa in Boni, Mandaluyong and most recently in Shangri-la Mactan, Cebu. My mom and I also did an overnight staycation at Hotel Jen Manila, the sister 4 - star hotel of Shangri-la.

For complete information, you can click HERE Shangri-la Golden Circle's How To Convert Points To Miles

How to convert your Shangri-la GC points to PAL Mabuhay Miles
Shangri-la has lots of airline partners around the world. In the Philippines, only Philippine Airlines is in the list so it's my sole choice. Mabuhay Miles is a frequent flyer program by PAL.  mnimum 2, 500 points with subsequent 500 - point increments to proceed with the conversion. 1 GC point is equal to 1 mile. I only got 2, 000 points as I mentioned so me and mom's staycation in Hotel Jen Manila was double purpose: bonding together and get the remaining 500 points which can only be done via staycation. I figured out I can't afford a stay in Shangri-la hotel as five star so I found a way which is staying at Hotel Jen Manila. Their rate is much affordable since it is 4 - star but  staying to both of these are ways to get a GC point! When I mentioned that I am a GC member because I read somewhere that you can always request for early check in and late check out if it is not peak season, we had a total of 7 hours spare that was given to us by the manager.

I have no idea how the calcution was done because I know it is 1 GC point is USD 1. I ended up upgrading our room to Hotel Lounge because we want to take advantage of unlimited food they have. I spent around Php 6k but the points given back to me is a total of 20, 714! My goal is only to get minimum of 500 points so I don't know how it ended up with those figures. Of course, I don't want to complain about it!

You can click HERE my Hotel Jen Manila Club Lounge Review

Since the conversion is increment of 500 points, I only got 20, 500 points on my PAL Mabuhay Miles account. The remaining 214 is in Shangrila GC account which is about to expire Dec. 31st. This amount is too small to redeem for anything like dining vouchers nor I can gift it so these are wasted points.

Booking PAL flights using Mabuhay Miles at PAL ticketing office
You can do it over the phone or at PAL ticketing offices. I don't have a credit card so I ended up going to their branch in 6754 Ayala Ave so I can pay cash of the other fees. 

Requirements: 1 valid government ID,  Mabuhay Miles account number or your Mabuhay Miles ID 

Before proceeding, please make sure that your travel date should be more than 10 days before you book your flight. There's no way they can book a flight sooner than that. 

1. Fill out the Travel Award Redemption Form. Aside from booking flights this is also the one used to request for Service Class Upgrade redemption and Buy Miles / Miles Transform Form. 
2. Once done, the  staff of PAL will book the flight for you.
3. You will receive the print copy of your booking itinerary and an email confirmation that the corresponding points of your flight is automatically deducted. To be safe it is better to request of your booking details on your email as well, this is optional.

For local destinations, one - way minimum flight is minimum 4, 500 points. Need to pay cash or credit card Php 450 which is broken down to:
250 = ticketing service charge and 200 = terminal fee

For international Southeast Asia, one - way minimum flight say is 12, 500 points. My flight to Bangkok this June is not a problem anymore! Since I still have enough points to cover this. Need to pay cash or credit card Php 2, 000. I don't know the specific breakdown of fees since I haven't booked it but most probably it's the terminal fee of Php 1650 plus the ticketing fee of Php 350
Since there is no direct flight to Antique where I am going by Jan 12th, 2017 the route I chose is Manila - Caticlan. That day I checked via PAL website, the fare is Php 7, 000+. With my Mabuhay Miles, I only paid Php 450! Not only that, it came with free 20 kg check - in baggage allowance plus 7 kg hand - carry allowance. There's also a light snack to be served just not sure what it is. I decided to book one - way only because it is not clear yet what date do we exactly go back to Manila so to be safe I would rather just take a ship back. After Antique, we plan to go to Iloilo or Bacolod before heading home so I am super excited. 

Mabuhay Miles Travel Award Redemption Form

Common problems that arise after booking a PAL flight via Mabuhay miles explained by Jerrod, the PAL employee who assisted me

1. What if I cancel the flight? There's a $34 fee to get my points back. That's way expensive than what I paid for which is only $9! Only the terminal fee of $4 is refundable. The ticketing fee of $5 is not. 

2. How do I rebook my flight? It is always subject to availability.  
If I request to change my date of travel on:
 - The day itself, rebooking charge is $70
 - Two days before, rebooking charge is $56
 - Four to nine days, rebooking charge is $34 

My Mabuhay Miles account

In other words, once I book my flight, it's should be good to go. For now, I can relax for a while from keeping my eyes on promo fares because it has become quite stressful.   My Mabuhay Miles which is only worth 20, 500 is shouldering a local flight  (Antique ) and an short - haul flight (Bangkok). Here's the breakdown:

4, 500 Antique + 12, 500 Bangkok = 17, 000 points

What remains is 3, 000 points with an expiration date of first quarter of 2018. This is not enough to cover a local destination that leaves Manila. Minimum is again 4, 500 points. I have these choices below to how to gain more Mabuhay Miles: 

- Book Philippine flights at my own expense
- Stay at Shangrila Hotel / Hotel Jen Manila
- Buy Mabuhay Miles
- Refer more people to get an account for Mabuhay Miles

Or I can just stop there and redeem the remaining points as a gift card in Resorts World Manila. Next time you fly Philippine Airlines, make sure you are registered to their Mabuhay Miles account, it is free.

Note: This post is not sponsored by Shangri-la nor PAL. I am only sharing my personal experience of a travel hack I have proved correct.

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  1. Thanks! That's a really helpful guide. Keep it up :))

    1. Welcome :) glad this one helps you

    2. Just a question, when you redeem a flight in mabuhay miles, do they only offer one way flights? What about the return flight? I want to maximize the use of my mabuhay miles, so as to lessen my cash expenditures.