This is one of the events Filipino jet setters have been waiting and bracing themselves for: The Travel Madness Expo 2013. With the European Union lifting the ban on Philippine aircraft, this expo just got bigger, madder and crazier!
Going to a travel expo is like going to war. No, more like going to the Hunger Games, and great flights are the cornucopia. You have to be fast, decided, and patient. You must have a good eye for finding great bargains and packages as well as patience for long queues. The good flights dwindle as the hours progress so it’s better if you have someone with you so that you could check out several packages and flights at once (then just communicate via phone to discuss which deals you should get). For faster transactions, it’s better if you already have a plan readied beforehand (you should list down your free dates, holidays, planned destinations, etc), because if you don’t you just might get buried underneath all of those travel brochures. By the time you’ve made up your mind, the good flights and prices will be long gone.
Majority of the major airlines have their own booths in the expo so. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and Qatar Airways were only some of them. TIP: The queue at PAL is almost always crazy long. This is because most people think they can only book PAL flights there. What they don’t know is that almost ALL of the travel agencies there are tied-up with Philippine Airlines, so booking with them is practically the same as booking with PAL directly. They all see the same screens so no need to hassle yourself with PAL’s insane queue.
Like I said, going to this was like going to war. Expect the crazy crowd of jet setters and vacationers. Just look at those seas of people! Most of those people are trying to find the same flights you are, probably even on the same dates, so patience and determination is key. Queuing and waiting can really make people hungry, but thankfully there were a lot of food stalls in the area.
At the end of the day, we got out with two booked trips and a lot of brochures to pond over at home. Going to travel expos is also a good way to network and meet contacts with travel agencies so that you can have agents constantly search for good deals for you.
Travel Expo Madness was definitely one tiring experience, but the good kind. Definitely worth the hassle.