A few articles back I wrote a piece about the various destinations close by the Philippines, useful for regular visa runs and also where Phil-Am couples can fly to together and then return so the foreigner half of the marriage can get a free one year Balik Bayan Privilege stamp.
I’m Always Watching For Good Deals On Flights
Ho Chi Minh City (NOT the capital of Vietnam by the way ) was one of the destinations recommended. A quick 2 hour flight from Manila, it’s regarded as a great travel destination by many and it’s particularly popular with many of my entrepreneurial expat friends as being one of the best cost of living bargains anywhere in Asia.
The Airlines Were Reading, Too
Here a current ad for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City from Manila. The return flight back to Manila will be by the same route, for the same price.
See anything a little “off” about the offer?
Well the price is not at all the lowest I have seen, with many Philippine discount airlines, like Cebu Pacific, you can probably find a price half of the offer here. But for less than $200 USD equivalent, this price here won’t drive anyone broke …so that’s not why I feel the ad is “off”
Take a look at the line in the ad that says “via Singapore Changi Airport”, and if you don’t have the same feeling I have. The airline, wanting to fill seats (which is, of course, their duty to their stock holders) is deepening upon many people’s well-know inability to read a map … or to even think about using one, for that matter.
Now Look At The Direct Line Map Route between Manila (RPLL) and Saigon (VVTS)
Right at 1002 miles. About 2 hours in a modern airliner.
Now Look At The Advertised Route: Manila to Singapore, the change for Saigon.
Almost 1500 miles to Singapore (roughly three hours), then the time to change flights and about 6785 miles from Changi to Saigon … more than another hour.
Now there is nothing illegal about advertising a flight routing like this. Many airlines do it as a matter of course.
But if you have to pay the fare, stand in security, and then go numb in the seat, is this the sort of route you would want to take … if given a choice?
I Surely Wouldn’t.
You can decide for yourselves.
Here’s a great tool you can check for this mapping on a moments’ notice http://www.gcmap.com You can learn a lot by looking at maps.