Monday, February 20, 2012

My first Travel Expo experience [SMX Convention]

Hey Biyahera's & Biyahero's!

Did you go to this weekend's Travel Expo at SMX Convention? I did!!!

Well, to cap thing's off, the expo ran from February 17-19, 2012. I went on a Friday, so I was hoping there weren't going to be too many people yet. But since Rubel and I only took the MRT going to Mall of Asia (MOA), we already got there around 10 am. The line was pretty long by then, and it stretched and curved towards the direction of the newest MOA Eye. But waiting in line didn't take that long.

When we entered SMX, a P50 entrance fee was charged to us (valid for the whole day). Now, the convention wasn't that jampacked as what I expected it to be. So there was a lot of room to walk around without having to body bump with anybody. Of course, there were a lot of people going around the different booths. But the ones that caught our attention right away were the bulk of guests that all lined up at the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air booths.

My boyfriend works for PAL, so we were already hoping to find some of his friends working that day. True enough, one of his closest friends was there, roaming around -- clutched to his clipboard of flight schedules. And who wouldn't pass up the chance to reserve right there and then, right?! So we ambushed him and started asking for our desired flight. But since he was also busy that morning, he just promised to find us a suitable schedule before the day ended. And after about 3 hours, he gave us the go signal to purchase the ticket. He had me booked for a flight, which Rubel paid for afterwards. Rubel already saw a lot of his batch mates. Some were manning the cashier & ticketing counters, so he was able to ask one of his friends to book the ticket for us. And before 4 PM came, I finally got my golden ticket! 

Rubel only bought one for me, since he already had a free ticket to use for any of his desired destination/s. *Just simply one of the many great perks of working for PAL.* But the best thing about that day was his connections/network. I know it was a hectic day for them, so I really couldn't stop thanking his friends for booking me this trip.

Entertainers [PAL Booth] 

Anyhow, while we were waiting for my booking reservations during the day, Rubel and I decided to walk around the convention. Since my kuya was also looking for cheaper alternatives for his US trip, we made it a point to ask for the most affordable deals. Good thing United Airlines had a booth. So we managed to inquire from them. 

Now, one thing that I noticed from UA was their Customer Service Representatives. I know they're the front liners and a lot is typically expected of them when it comes to assisting their guests. Well, the CSR ladies were super nice and all smiles, except for this one guy who looked all harassed. He carried with him this tired smile (it was still morning then), and always had this impatient tone when talking to his guests. I encountered this attitude, and it made me uncomfortable to ask more of my questions. Good thing the ladies from United were nice enough to answer all of my queries.

Pen From United Airlines, Bag from Japan Embassy, Pin from PAL 

Other than our United encounter, there were also other international booths. Singapore Airlines was there, as well as Qatar, Cathay, Etihad, and a few other ones. Travel agencies, as well as local resorts were also there. We even saw Mr. Jimenez, our current DOT secretary, giving a talk. *Such an amazing guy!* He's actually one of the people who helped create the famous slogan, "It's More Fun In The Philippines"

Ok, so we finally decided to go home after purchasing my ticket, as our feet were already too tired to walk any further. But all in all, our time in the Expo was well spent. We even got some goodies to take home! It was fun, and I would definitely go back next year, and buy my future plane tickets from there again.

Explore & Be Free!
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