As world travelers, we use foreign budget airlines that are unfamiliar to most Americans. That includes Batik Air and Cebu Air Pacific. Both are airlines that we ourselves had never heard of until we looked into airfare options around Southeast Asia.
Air Asia is dominant in the region, but these two smaller companies deserve look for their lower pricing. This post covers what you get for those lower fares.
As always, these are independent reviews and we get nothing in return, unlike many other travel bloggers.
Honest reviews of Batik Air and Cebu Pacific
Batik Air is an Indonesian airline with flights around Southeast Asia. Batik Air is owned by Lion Air. It started flights in 2013 and in a few short years it has established hundreds of routes in the region.
We flew Batik Air from Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, to Labuan Bajo, Indonesia to visit Komodo National Park.
We bought tickets in late September for our early November trip. Economy round-trip airfare for two people cost $237. We each got one checked bag for under 20 kilos for free – so we had no extra baggage fees.
We did not pick our seats, but when we checked in, counter agents were able to seat us across the aisle from each other on the flight out and next to each other on the flight back.
Water and a pastry was provided on the flights. There was an in-house entertainment system to keep people amused. The plane was relatively new and appeared clean. Seating room was fine for me, but I’m short. It was tight for German the next to me.
Overall, I would rate the experience 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I would fly Batik Air again.
Cebu Air Pacific
Cebu Air Pacific is Asia’s oldest low-cost carrier. The Philippine-based airline started in 1988. Its routes include destinations in Southeast Asia, China, even Dubai.
We flew from Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, to Cebu, Philippines, with a Manila connection in mid-November. We booked the flight several months early – in June. With that much advance time, our one-way tickets cost just $102 for two people! But, there also was a $24 charge for our one checked bag, which brought the total to $126. Still – that’s deal!
The amenities on Cebu Air were typical of a budget carrier (none), and so was the amount of room on board (small spaces). Larger-sized Americans might find it uncomfortable, but we were fine.
The connection from Manila to Cebu was a little late (maybe an hour), but overall the flight experience was OK.
If there was any ‘bummer’ to this experience, it was the booking process itself. Cebu Air’s website was slow and cumbersome. But we got beyond that with some patience because we wanted to get great airfare.
Worth noting: Cebu Air asked us for proof of onward travel from the Philippines. If you don’t know what that is, please see an entire post that explains proof of onward travel for long-term, slow travelers like us, and how we easily meet requirements with a shortcut.
Overall, I would rate the experience 3.75 out of 5, and I would fly Cebu Air again.
Batik Air and Cebu Air aren’t the only budget carriers we have reviewed.
We spent the better part of two years exploring beautiful Mexico, and our reviews of budget airlines based in that country is one of our most popular posts of all time.
See why we liked Volaris and Interjet, and why we didn’t like Viva Aerobus, in another post.
Also, we previously reviewed Air Asia and the time our carry-on bags were checked for weight limits.
We hope you like our reviews of Batik Air and Cebu Air.
You might also like these independent and honest reviews:
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