A friend recently recommended Traveloka, a flight and hotel booking app, for my smartphone. I’ve had previous experiences checking for flights using apps, but haven’t really done any bookings through it. I’m on the page that thinks it’s cheaper to book on airline sites itself, but my friend was quite adamant that I use it, they always have online promos that can shave a few hundred of pesos from your final fee, he says. I downloaded it immediately.
|TRAVELOKA DISCOUNTS ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE|
I’m familiar with the Traveloka brand from TV and web ads I’ve seen. I knew they’re an international brand from Indonesia who’s now trying to work their way into the Philippine market; they’re legit and I’m confident that I won’t get scammed or anything. They’re somewhat similar to Agoda crossed with Skyscanner, a useful tool for checking the cheapest hotel rentals and flights for users. And since I wanted to go back to Davao this year, I decided to give it a go.
|CLEAN APP INTERFACE|
The landing page for the app is neat and tidy. On top are the promo announcements, and right below are the options for booking either flights or hotels. It also has price alerts and an ongoing promo tab (so you don’t have to wait for all the slides to show at the top). At the bottom are the My Booking and My Account tabs, where you can register and input your details—even your usual trip companion’s—so you won’t have to input it over and over again every time you book.
|BOOKING A ROUNDTRIP FLIGHT USING TWO AIRLINES IS A BREEZE!|
So I tapped on flights, set my origins and destination for Manila to Davao, inputted my departure date (which was quite innovative as it shows on the bottom the holidays for the month and are highlighted in red on the calendar itself), how many persons I’m traveling with, and pressed search. A list of airlines flying to Davao soon filled my screen with the lowest-priced set right at the top. I clicked on that one and was immediately sent to the return flight selection. I clicked on the cheapest flight again.
|DREAMING OF DAVAO|
Hmmm, I actually like the fact that I can book a roundtrip flight from two different airlines in one go without the hassle of going to their separate websites, searching for their lowest-priced flights and going through the motion of removing all the extra fees.
Yes, using the Traveloka app, I don’t have to remove the pesky pre-ordered baggage allowance, the set paid seats arrangements, and the usually unwanted travel insurance. My fare is as bare and as low-cost as most backpackers want it in the first place.
|FILLING IN MY DETAILS|
So, on to the next page. I was shown a summary of my flights, then was asked to fill in my details. Since I already set my particulars on registration, it was as easy as clicking the Add to passenger list button and everything was already pre-filled. For my companion, I manually added her deets, which, thank goodness, the Traveloka app automatically saves for future use.
|CEBPAC TO DAVAO, AIRSIA BACK TO MANILA|
The next page takes you to a final summary of your flight dates and time, the passenger details, baggage allowance purchased, if any, and the price breakdown. I can see a Convenience Fee, highlighted in green, but this is set to zero. Well, it is convenient but I’ll take it for free too! Lol.
|MINUS PHP500.00! NOT BAD!|
The total price is shown on the next page and it was at PHP7,586.38 for two persons roundtrip on two different airlines—Cebu Pacific from Manila to Davao, and AirAsia for Davao back to Manila. On the next page, I tapped on USE COUPON, added the promo code, and instantly, my flight fare was PHP500.00 cheaper. Yehba. That’s 7,086.38 for two, or 3,543.19 round trip. Not bad for a non-promo fare flight.
|TRAVELOKA PAYMENT PARTNERS|
|PAYING FOR MY TRAVELOKA BOOKING VIA 7-ELEVEN|
Now for the final payment. The Traveloka app allows users to either pay via credit card, which is quite convenient. Unfortunately, my card was maxed out at the time (too much Lego, my friend), so it was good that they have an over the counter payment for 7-Eleven, M. Lhuillier and BDO. Note your payment option expires after a certain period. Mine was set for two hours. With still a lot of time, I sauntered over to the nearest 7-Eleven in our neighborhood, presented the barcode on my phone to the cashier—which he promptly scanned—paid it and walah, I’m done! Hello Davao! I’m coming over soon!