The new route to Manila is significant for world travelers and employees alike
More flights to Europe? Check. More flights to Australia and New Zealand? Check. And just when you thought it wasn’t possible for us to announce additional routes this year, we decided to throw in a few more flights across the Pacific.
This fall, United will be the only U.S. airline flying non-stop from the continental U.S. to the Philippines. Our direct flight from San Francisco to Manila departs for the first time on October 29 (schedule subject to change), joining our existing service to Manila from Guam and Palau. Along with this new route, we’re adding more nonstop flights to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei, serving a total of 16 different long-haul destinations across the Pacific this winter—that’s more than all other U.S. airlines combined.
More than a milestone achievement, our new flight to Manila also marks a memorable moment for United travelers and employees looking to reconnect with their home, family, and culture. “Out of all the new routes we’re launching, this one means the most to me,” says Jez Sabaduquia, Senior Analyst, Clubs and Lounges, and the Asian American Pacific Islander Co-Chair for UNITE, United’s multi-cultural business resource group. Sabaduquia will be on board the Boeing 777-300ER inaugural flight to Manila, traveling on the same kind of aircraft that carried him and his family to the U.S. from their home country of the Philippines 16 years ago. “This route is life-changing for my family,” he says, “and makes it so much easier for us to visit home.”
Travel Tips for the Philippines
The Philippines, an archipelagic country composed of more than 7,000 tiny islands, is a bucket-list destination for many people due to its bustling capital city, stunning beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the friendly locals and fantastic food. Aside from sharing the sentimental value of the new flight, here Sabaduquia and other UNITE members offer some of their Philip-pines travel tips.
As with any country you’re visiting, it never hurts to learn a friendly phrase or two in the local language. Many employees recommended learning basic greetings in Tagalog (one of the main dialects spoken in the Philippines), which can go a long way with the locals.
If you find yourself visiting the country’s capital, be sure to check out the fifth-largest mall in the world, SM Mall of Asia, where you can do some shopping and take in stunning views of the sun setting over Manila Bay. If you’re venturing outside of Manila, hop on a short flight to the islands of Boracay, Palawan, or Camiguin to experience some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in the world.
Let’s not forget a few edible delights: Foodies must visit Binondo, Manila’s 400-year-old Chinatown district, which has become a magnet for food bloggers. Those with a sweet tooth should be sure to try at least one Philippine mango, as well as halo halo, a refreshing dessert generally made with everything from sweetened red beans to sweet potatoes to gelatin cubes and topped with shaved ice and evaporated milk. Craving something savory? Sample sisig, a popular pork dish that was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain’s.
Given that there are thousands of islands and areas to explore, these tips are just a starting point for all there is to find in the Philippines. Luckily, you can experience the country for yourself with our new flight to Manila, now available to book on united.com and the United app.