AirSWIFT Airlines Philippines Review:

My family and I were invited to witness the charm of a paradise-like island named Isla Echague, located in El Nido Palawan. It was our first time to actually set foot in El Nido and since we were under time constraints, we had to book a flight the quickest time possible. As highly suggested by our friend, AirSWIFT Airlines’ route from Manila to El Nido was the fastest way to go.

Honestly, I’ve never heard of Airswift Airlines being patronized by family, friends, or even by people I follow on social media. Since it was deliberately on my “never tried” list, I thought of writing a review about it as well as share a little storytime about our experience. So in this article, I’ll share the following:

  • AirSWIFT versus regular airlines
  • Booking experience online and how much it costs
  • Our flight experience and what to expect inside the plane
  • Punctuality
  • Customer Service and in-flight entertainment
  • Lio Airport Terminal: El Nido Airport

AirSWIFT Airlines Philippines Review: How to get to El Nido

AirSWIFT Airlines operates direct flights to popular tourist destinations such as El Nido, Coron, Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Clark, Romblon, and Sicogon. As I’ve read across the web, passengers have often praised AirSwift for its convenient connections to these picturesque locations, making it a great choice for travelers seeking to explore the beauty of the Philippine islands.

AirSWIFT versus regular airlines

  • Airswift renders DIRECT FLIGHTS, meaning you get to save a lot on travel time. But of course, your convenience comes with a price.
  • If you decide to fly a different airline to El Nido, you’d have to fly to Puerto Princesa airport and ride a six-hour shuttle to get to El Nido. But with AirSwift’s one-hour direct flight, you get the quickest and easiest option to head to your resort and start relaxing.
  • It’s a matter of what is important to you: TIME or MONEY? If you plan on traveling on a budget with lots of time to spare, opt for the usual airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and the like. But if you’re short on time or you’re just simply fed up of long travel days with a thousand other passengers, and if you do have more wiggle room in your travel budget, then AirSwift is your best option.
AirSWIFT Airlines Philippines Review (Manila to El Nido)

AirSWIFT Manage Booking

Bookings on their website were smooth and simple, and thankfully, I did not experience any glitches on their website. We booked a roundtrip for 2 adults and 1 child.

Having booked at least 2 weeks before our chosen date, I noticed that the Promo, Basic, and Value seats were easily sold out and so the only available option was the Premium seats. Booking 2 weeks prior to our chosen date costed us around Php 6,200+ per person from Manila to El Nido which eventually meant it would cost us the same heading back to Manila. Realistically, this was pricey compared to the basic seats which cost Php 5,900+ per person only.

So if you really want to grab ahold of their cheap airfares that range from Php 4,000 to Php 5,900, heed my advice: book your flight months in advance. This also applies to other airlines as well.

AirSWIFT Manila to El Nido

It was our first time to set foot in El Nido, Palawan and since we were under time constraints, we had to book a flight the quickest time possible. We opted for Airswift’s Manila to El Nido route.

So on the wee hours of June 19, we arrived at NAIA Terminal 4 for our 5 AM flight. The usual security checks and claiming of boarding passes were done. We were also given a sticker to wear on our clothing as a way for the airline to know that we are authorized to board. There were food kiosks and refreshments around in case anyone got famished while waiting for boarding time.

My son and I waiting patiently at NAIA Terminal 4.
Wearing the sticker on my shirt as a way for the airline to know that we are authorized to board

Flight experience and what to expect

We were booked for flight T6114. As soon as we headed to our boarding gate, we rode a bus that brought us to our designated plane.
A quick bus ride to our designated Airswift plane

As we got on the plane, the flight attendant ushered us to our seats and even helped us with our carry-on bags (which she didn’t really have to do).

Cleanliness and comfort are of utmost importance and yes, we definitely experienced those – no stains, no foul odors, and no chewing gums under the seat. LOL! The compartments to place carry-on luggage were spacious and I liked that they built the plane with a 2-2 seating configuration. Legroom and seat comfort were wide and also essential because our little 4-year-old rascal was with us. It was spacious enough for him to stand, do a happy dance, and snooze on my lap during the flight.

Since it was a small plane, there were only a few passengers as compared to the huge international and medium-sized domestic civil aircrafts.

AirSWIFT Airlines Review (Manila to El Nido)
2-2 seating configurations with spacious compartments.

The seats were pristine and spotless; each seat could be reclined and had a table, a safety instructions card, a travel magazine, and a sickness bag.

NOTE: If you’re flying to El Nido, sit on the right side of the plane as this is where all the scenic views are. I can vividly remember the pilot informing us to look to the right and view the beautiful islands out the window. Then if you’re heading back to Manila, sit on the left side.

The temperature inside the plane was cold and was very much-needed due to our tropical weather. Conversely, for our flight heading back to Manila, the temperature in the plane was hot enough for you to break a sweat. Take note that this was just during boarding time. I’m not sure if it was because at that time, it was an 8 AM flight or they intentionally lowered the airconditioning while waiting for all passengers to arrive. This is the only thing I can call them out for but nonetheless, when you’re up in the sky, the temperature lowers, and all is cool and good again.


As I mentioned, we needed to fly ASAP, and so timeliness was crucial for us. As soon as all passengers were complete, the flight attendants locked the doors and in just a few minutes, we were ready for take-off –no hullabaloos, no beating around the bush, and no unnecessary time killers!

Airswift has also declared that one trip would take 1 hour and 30mins but honestly, we were able to reach Lio airport Terminal in (El Nido) and Naia Terminal 4 (when heading back to Manila) in just 1 hour for each flight. So kudos to them for their on-time departures and arrivals as this definitely has contributed to a smoother travel experience and has increased our customer satisfaction.

Customer Service and In-flight Entertainment

You really won’t expect much in-flight entertainment on a 1-hour ride, would you? Having said that, compared to other domestic and international airlines, there were no built-in screens to watch a movie and play video games, nor were there headphones so you can listen to some soft, soothing music. So you really have to bring your own forms of entertainment such as a book, cellphone, or laptop to keep you preoccupied. Or better yet, just get some shut-eye.

I was sort of expecting a little snack from them or maybe a cute kiddie giveaway for my son as a remembrance (which I used to receive when I flew as a child). Sadly, there weren’t any since our travel hours were really short. Bottled waters were the only available beverage that you could get for free.

I do have to commend the friendly flight attendants talking politely to my son whose excitement kind of took over his obedience since it was his first time on a plane.

Baggage Handling

Airswift Airlines did prioritize careful handling of our luggage and I’m glad to say that we didn’t need to report any lost or damaged baggage. The ground crew did carefully handle our luggage as they placed it onto the conveyor belt.

Lio Airport: El Nido Airport

After a smooth flight, we arrived at Lio Airport Terminal in El Nido, Palawan. Lio Airport is dedicated for AirSWIFT airlines’ landing and I must say, it was the smallest and *calmest* airport I’ve ever encountered! As seen in the photo below, as soon as all passengers alighted, I felt like we were the only ones in the airport.

Little to no human traffic at all except for the staff and the three of us.
Lio Airport Terminal: AirSWIFT Airlines Review
My boy marveling at the astonishing sight of airplanes while waiting for our pickup.

The comfort room in Lio Airport was immaculate! I hadn’t taken a picture of it but I can testify that it was so clean, well-lighted, smelled wonderful, and was always disinfected as I noticed that there were always cleaners nearby.

Food kiosks and refreshments areas were available but food options were not as plenty as what we’ve seen in NAIA Terminal 4. Since there are limited options of what to eat, the food there was a little pricey. But since we hadn’t eaten breakfast, we bought burgers and some salad to stay satiated.

Even though I’ve read some negative reviews online, I’m still happy that we took a chance on AirSWIFT Airlines. Take note, my little boy loved his experience. Thankfully, for both ways, traveling to El Nido and back to Manila, we really felt safe. Flight attendants and ground crew presented themselves professionally and ethically. We had a stress-free and comfortable ride throughout the whole flight and en route to the gate and baggage claim. So thank you, AirSWIFT, for giving us a swift ride! We look forward to booking with your airline again!

AirSWIFT Airline Philippiness Review (Manila to El Nido)

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.