Fly from Manila to Brazil with Ethiopian Airlines!

When I was applying for universities back in high school, one institution I really wanted to get into was Ateneo. Aside from its reputation, there was pressure from my grandmother as she really wanted me to study pre-law at the prestigious school.

At the time, I was confident that I would pass only to have my heart broken when the results were released. I didn’t pass. Not even wait listed. I still remember the breakdown I had at home that day. I laugh now thinking about my overreaction.

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DLSU Graduation with my Mom

I applied at its rival school with no pressure. I vividly recall the moment I finished the entrance test and sat on one of the benches at the LS building. There was a tingly feeling in my heart that it felt so right to be there.

After graduating from DLSU, I told my mom that it was the right school for me. I cannot fathom a life where I didn’t meet the people I did and learn from the experiences that I had. I realized then and there that the little tingly feeling I experienced was significant, I was meant to be there. I was destined to study at DLSU.

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Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

That serendipitous emotion is what I deeply feel and felt for Brazil. More than the fan fare and my favorable perception of Fast Five and Twilight: The Breaking Dawn Part 1, there was always a part of me that wanted to experience Brazil.

As a kid who grew up with a grandmother who was strictly Catholic, seeing Christ the Redeemer in all its glory was something I thought to be a spiritual success.

From a girl to a woman who grew up loving the tropical scene, Copacabana and Ipanema became a part of my must-see beach list.

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A cloudy afternoon at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Every time I came across anything Brazil or Rio de Janeiro, there was a yearning. So when the time came and I finally had the chance to take my first steps in one of the most popular destinations in South America, just like after that entrance exam in DLSU, I had that tingly feeling (a lot stronger this time!) and I knew I was meant to be there. It was an overwhelming moment of living in my dreams.

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Iguassu Falls (Brazil Side)

No other country has made me feel like what I felt in Brazil! I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had visiting exhilarating destinations like Niseko and the Biei Snow Fields in Japan or Whitsunday Islands in Australia but it did not uniquely provide that emotion of I’m really destined to be here! Wow-za! moment. Only in Brazil!

I know you’re probably excited to read my Brazil story. That’ll come in the next few weeks!

READ – My Brazil Adventure: A Complete Travel Guide & Tips for Filipinos

But first, let me share my experience on how I got there!

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Municipal Market in Sao Paulo

Travel with me & Ethiopian Airlines (EA) and see my flight experiences from my departure in the Philippines and arrival all the way on the other side of the world in Brazil (& vice versa)!

 

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

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#FlyEthiopian (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

As of January 2019, there are no direct flights from the Philippines to Brazil from any commercial airline.

But if you’re like me and have wanted to visit Brazil for years now, you’ve probably checked flights. What I always factor in is cost so I usually check Sky Scanner for the best rates. 99% of the time, the most affordable (not necessarily cheap) fare for a Philippines to Brazil flight route was/is provided by Ethiopian Airlines.

The average price for a roundtrip economy flight is $1,508 or ₱80,000 (based on mock bookings on EA’s website) which is actually a good rate because compared to its competitors, this is definitely the lesser of two evils. According to the airline’s mission statement, they always aim to be better in quality and value than their competition.

But if you’re lucky enough to come across a seat sale (especially special announcements from Secret Flying like the one dated January 3, 2017! Search ‘Secret Flying Manila Brazil’ on Facebook!), you can have the opportunity to book and fly to Brazil for only $499 or ₱26,000+.

I found out about this from Trisha Velarmino of PS I’m on my way. She shared the Secret Flying link and said it was one of the most affordable rates of a Manila to Brazil flight she’s ever seen.

One of the travel bloggers (Doi Domasian of The Travelling Feet) who answered a lot of my inquiries while I was planning my Brazil trip was one of the lucky travelers who had the chance to book that flight fare. The sale fare hasn’t popped up since but let’s cross our fingers that it will soon!

Let’s follow Ethiopian Airlines’ & Secret Flying’s social media accounts so we’re always aware of these once in a lifetime affordable flight rates like that ₱564 flight fare from Manila to Batanes with Skyjet

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#FlyEthiopian (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

Ethiopian Airlines, one of its continent’s leading flight carriers, launched its maiden flight from Manila to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia back in July 9, 2015, the first African airline to fly direct from the Philippines. It paved way for the airline’s expansion in Southeast Asia and provided travelers and other stakeholders more flight options for connecting between Asia & Africa and even beyond that.

The airline’s fleet includes ultra-modern and environmental friendly airplanes such as:

  • Airbus A350
  • Boeing 787-8
  • Boeing 787-9
  • Boeing 777-300ER
  • Boeing 777-200LR
  • Boeing 767-300ER
  • Boeing 737-800W
  • Boeing 737 MAX
  • Boeing 737-700NG
  • Boeing 777-200LR & 757-260F Cargo
  • Bombardier Q-400 

At present, the total operating fleet of Ethiopian Airlines is 111 and they have a Fleet on Order of 63. 

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#FlyEthiopian (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

As a Star Alliance member, the first and one of the largest airline alliances in the world, Ethiopian Airlines together with some of the best airlines offer smooth connections to 1,300 destinations within 190 countries and lets travelers earn & redeem miles and other benefits from a massive network.

EA’s miles program, Sheba Miles, is a frequent flyer program where passengers can earn points when they fly with Ethiopian airlines and other Star Alliance carriers. The airline has been a member of the alliance since December 2011.

Ethiopian Airlines is ranked high along with some of the best airlines in the world like Singapore and ANA Airlines. In its own right, EA has received numerous awards from different organizing bodies like SKYTRAX’s best airline in Africa (undisputed & current actually!) and AFRAA (African Airlines Association)’s Airline of the Year Award for 6 consecutive years!

With these honors, the airline hopes to achieve Vision 2025: to be the most competitive and leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market driven, and customer focused passenger and cargo transport, aviation training, flight catering, MRO, and ground services.

Ethiopian Airlines flies from Manila to Addis Ababa 4x weekly (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) and connects to 61 African cities and 119 international passenger & cargo destinations like:

  • BRAZIL! ♫♫♫ At the Copa (Copacabana)! ♫♫♫
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Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

  • Johannesburg
  • Cape Town
  • Victoria Falls! Google image this destination right now! It looks so breathtaking during sunset! So beautiful!
  • Nairobi! If you’re a Sense8 fan, this is definitely an interesting place to visit! VAN DAMME!
  • Kilimanjaro
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Buenos Aires
  • Tel Aviv
  • Seychelles! I’ve been eyeing this to be a part of my travel bucket list! It resembles the island and sea images of Maldives!
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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Network (Screenshot from Ethiopian Airlines Fact Sheet December 2018)

Although Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is a primary connecting hub to stunning destinations worldwide, a connection in these domestic destinations is worth the research as well:

  • Lalibela
  • Gondar
  • Axum! A destination I feel Dan Brown should visit and be inspired to make a novel out of!

The African region should also be a travel destination worth looking into! Ethiopian Airlines provides convenient flights and opportunities for us to experience an unexplored region by many Asians or a destination that is commonly known for Safaris and Lion King references only (which I may or may not write one later! HAHA!).

Aside from flights, Ethiopian Airlines also offers travel packages. For passengers with a minimum layover time of 8 hours, the airline offers products and services that include hotel accommodations, transit visas, meals and airport transfers.

EA also provides travelers with the ET Holidays Program which are land arrangements to different destinations like Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Africa. For more details, visit www.ethiopianholidays.com

One of the benefits of flying through Addis Ababa is the non-requirement of any transit visa. But if you want to explore the country, obtaining an e-visa can be done through www.evisa.gov.et/#/home. This is open for all nationalities.

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#FlyEthiopian (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

In the Philippines, the general sales and marketing agent of Ethiopian Airlines is Pan Euro Travel, one of the leading specialized tour operators and destination management companies in the country. 

The Ethiopian Airlines Manila team’s office is located at 12/F Frabelle Business Center, 111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City 1229 headed by its country manager, Mr. Solomon Bekele (SolomonB@ethiopianairlines.com).

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Ethiopian Airlines Manila/Pan Euro Travel Team (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

If you’re interested in booking flights on Ethiopian Airlines or have other queries, visit www.ethiopianairlines.com or you can contact the Ethiopian Airlines Manila/Pan Euro Travel team through:

  • mnlsales@ethiopianairlines.com
  • etsales@paneuroph.com
  • rsvntktgmkt@paneuroph.com

 

#FLYETHIOPIANAIRLINESTOBRAZIL

BEFORE THE FLIGHT

Before I share how the flight went, here are some things you should do or know before the actual flight: 

Well first things first of course, you need to BOOK YOUR FLIGHT! There are 3 ways to do this:

  • Through www.ethiopianairlines.com! This is just like your normal booking. Visit the website, choose your departure & arrival destinations, and do the CLICK NEXT dance! Just kidding! Keep clicking NEXT or PURCHASE or PAYMENT until you’ve successfully booked your flight.
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Ethiopian Airlines Booking Page (Screenshot from ethiopianairlines.com)

  • You can also book a flight through the Ethiopian Airlines APP. For more details, visit www.ethiopianairlines.com/AA/EN/ethiopian-app. When you reach the homepage, press Booking, after that the same system goes as if you’re booking on a desktop.
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Booking a flight (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

After booking through the APP, you can view your flights through My Trips. Through this function, you can also select your seat, change specific details, or cancel your flight. 

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Checking trips (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

Other features of the APP include access to your Sheba Miles account, checking of your flight status, copies of your boarding passes, and contact us & feedback forms. 

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Other App Features (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

  • Last but not the least, you can reserve a flight via Ethiopian Airlines’ general travel agent in Manila, Pan Euro. You may call their hotline at 8480978 to 79 or 522-4869 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, visit their office at 12/F Frabelle Business Center, 111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City 1229 or email them at
    • mnlsales@ethiopianairlines.com
    • etsales@paneuroph.com
    • rsvntktmkt@paneuroph.com

After booking your flight, START PLANNING YOUR ITINERARY! 

  • There are just a few travel blogs or articles on Brazil from Filipino travelers so you’ll have to rely on travel guides from foreign bloggers or tourism websites. Don’t worry, my #GRATEFULinBRAZIL Travel Guide is coming soon!
  • You might read a number of articles that say Brazil is very dangerous and this may instill fear. I know this because I was really worried. I asked quite a number of people who’ve been to Brazil, “Is it safe?” But when I got there, I just used the same precautions I usually do when I travel and I enjoyed. I read in a blog, “If you’re just going to be scared most of the trip, why go?” Don’t let fear take over, pray & be grateful, and just experience a beautiful place! I’m saying this because while I was doing my itinerary, I really had second thoughts or doubts about the trip. But when I got to Brazil, all that worrying was for nothing! So I hope this statement helps you while you’re planning your trip.
  • If you have any inquiries on your flight or trip, the Ethiopian Airlines Manila team is very accommodating. They quickly responded to my questions on the layover, yellow fever vaccine, flight specifics, and others. 

GET A YELLOW FEVER VACCINE!

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Bureau of Quarantine in Manila

  • My flight was booked back in June 2018. At the time, there were articles or travel advisories being posted online about the spread of yellow fever all over Brazil even in beach areas such as Rio. So, the vaccine was definitely a must! Getting one is really easy. You just visit the Bureau of Quarantine in your city, in my case Manila (there’s also one in Cebu, Iloilo, & Davao), fill out a form, have a quick check-up by a doctor, be pricked by the vaccine, pay the fee, and you’re done! Kudos to the Bureau of Quarantine in Manila! I spent more time in traffic going there than actually getting the vaccine. It took less than 10 minutes! That’s the fastest government transaction I’ve ever had in my life!
  • You might ask, do you really need one? I talked to a friend who recently went on a Brazil trip and she told me she didn’t get one. During my trip, the airline counters or immigration staff didn’t ask for it. They didn’t even inquire if I had it. But if you’re visiting countries like South America and Africa where receiving the vaccine has been a requirement for quite some time, better be safe than sorry, right? Just get it.
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My Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificate!

  • In the Philippines, if it’s your first time getting the vaccine, it will cost ₱1,500. But I read in an article from PS I’m on my way that if you visit any hospital in Brazil, the vaccine is free. If you want to risk getting past Immigration here in the Philippines without the certificate and receive the vaccine in Brazil, that’s your choice & risk to take. Here’s the article by Trisha Velarmino – psimonmyway.com/how-to-get-a-yellow-fever-vaccine-in-brazil-for-free
  • Please note that you should get the Yellow Fever vaccine at least 3 weeks before your scheduled flight to Brazil. The leeway is for unexpected reactions with the vaccine. My flight was November and I visited the Bureau of Quarantine in October. I did have come & go headaches for a few days but all was well after that.

PACK!

A lot of people dread this but I love packing! HAHA! The inner OC organizer or Monica from FRIENDS in me just dances to a crazy beat when I roll my luggage into my room.

  • If you’re visiting Brazil during the summer (November – March), pack like you’re taking a trip to Palawan or El Nido.
  • Bring a jacket! You need this while you’re in transit at Addis Ababa! I felt like I was in Japan during winter when I was waiting for my flights! There was a transit wherein we were waiting for others to board a bus and it was night time! It was really cold! Take note! It can also get very windy in São Paulo so the jacket really comes in handy.
  • Include moisturizing lotions or wipe-off masks in your carry-on. The flight from Manila to Brazil is really long so I recommend doing a skin care routine twice or thrice during the flights.
  • Pack a pocket wifi! One of the reasons why I felt safe in Brazil was because I stayed connected 24/7 with a travel wifi. I got to book Uber anywhere and updated my loved ones of my whereabouts. I used the Skyroam wifi from Big Sky Nation. Book your unit at bigskynation.com! Use discount code GRATEFULTRAVELS for 10% off! 
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‘Sky’ chillin’ at the Selaron Steps in Rio de Janeiro

  • Prepare all your documents! Make sure you have your identification cards, soft/hard/Xerox copies of these IDs and other documents like flight itinerary, accommodation, travel schedule, etc.

YOUR FLIGHT IS IN A FEW DAYS! So excited!

  • Online check-in is available 36 hours to 2 hours before your scheduled flight. Ethiopian Airlines will send an email reminding this. In my case, I downloaded the app and checked in online. As a result, I got 2 QR codes, one for the Manila – Addis Ababa flight and the second one for the Addis Ababa – Brazil flight. I just made a screen shot of these and saved it on my phone but you can still open the app and find it through My Trips or Boarding Passes. Even though I already checked in through the app, I still fell in line for my check-in luggage. When I got to the counter, they asked for my passport and still provided me with 2  printed boarding passes so I never got to test out the QR codes from the APP. This happened for both my outbound and inbound flights.
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Online Check-in (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

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Manila – Brazil Mobile Boarding Pass (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

  • A few days before your departure flights, Ethiopian Airlines might also send an email informing you that your reservation is eligible for the option to bid for a business class seat. Passengers have the chance to upgrade to a Cloud Nine seat by bidding any amount (when I tested this out, the minimum was $450). You can bid any price from the minimum, pay with your credit card, and wait for an email that confirms if your offer has been approved for upgrade. For more information, check out www.ethiopianairlines.com/AA/EN/book/booking/upgrade-to-cloud-nine

FLYING WITH ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES TO SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

This is it! Fly with me from Manila, Philippines to Brazil!

Here’s an overview of my Manila (MNL) – Hong Kong (HK) – Addis Ababa (ADD) – Brazil (GRU) journey so you know what to expect:

MANILA – BRAZIL

TIME

ACTIVITY

9:10PM – 11:00PM (MNL time) Manila to Hong Kong Flight – less than 2 hours
11:00PM – 11:55PM (MNL/HK time) Quick stop in Hong Kong (inside plane) – less than an hour
11:55PM (MNL/HK time) – 6:30AM (ADD time) Hong Kong to Addis Ababa Flight – 10 hours & 15 minutes
6:30AM – 9:30AM (ADD time) Layover at Addis Ababa Airport – around 3 hours
9:30AM (ADD time) – 5:10PM (GRU time) Addis Ababa to São Paulo, Brazil Flight – 12 hours & 40 minutes

The travel time from Manila to Brazil will take around a day and a half. This includes all the time allotted for check-in, waiting time at airports, stopovers, and layovers. If you enjoy flights then that’s great! But if you’re not used to long haul flights, it’s advisable to prepare yourself.

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Route from Manila – Hong Kong – Addis Ababa – Brazil (Screenshot from Rome2Rio)

Looking at the flight route on a map, it’s like I traveled ¾ of the world, right? If I just crossed the Pacific Ocean, I’ll be in Manila again! Kind of like a modern day Juan Sebastian Elcano (a mariner who continued Magellan’s expedition around the globe)!

MANILA, PHILIPPINES TO HONG KONG

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I left my home in Ortigas at 5PM for an expected arrival at NAIA 1 by 6PM. When I arrived at the airport, the Ethiopian Airlines check-in counters were already open. I was the 9th or 10th passenger in queue for the economy lane.

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A few meters away, you can find the check-in counter for Cloud Nine/business class passengers. Just find the red carpet!

While in line, an airport staff was inquiring our final destinations and placed tags on our luggage and carry-on. When it was my turn, I told her that I was traveling to Guarulhos (airport in São Paulo, Brazil). She placed a Transfer at ADD tag on my luggage and an Approved Cabin Baggage tag on my backpack. I also had another sling bag but she said a tag wasn’t needed for it.

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It took around 15 minutes before it was my turn to check-in. I gave the staff my passport and flight itinerary. She asked me if I had a sponsor in Brazil and what my purpose of travel was. I told her it was a solo tourist trip.

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She then requested for my accommodation documents. I provided her with my Airbnb & Agoda hotel bookings in São Paulo, Foz do Iguacu, & Rio. After checking my papers, she handed it back to me and asked me to sign up for Sheba miles.

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I informed her that I was checked in online and she just called out another staff about my status. That specific staff member handed her my boarding passes which she then gave to me. She also told me that I will see my luggage again in Brazil.

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It was a Thursday night and the lines were a bit long so immigration took another 15 minutes. This is my conversation with the Immigration officer,

IO: Saan po pupunta? (Where are you traveling to?)
Me: Sa Brazil po. (To Brazil)
IO: Wow Brazil. Ano gagawin mo dun? (What are you going to do there?)
Me: Tourist lang po. Solo trip.
IO: Marami bang pinoy dun? (Are there a lot of Filipinos there?)
Me: Konti lang po ata. (I think just a little)
IO: Okay, ingat ka & enjoy! (Okay, take care & enjoy!)

Then he stamped my passport. Please note that if you’re taking the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Brazil, no transit or entry visas are required. 

After that, there was a grueling line to scan the baggage. This took longer than immigration.

Walking towards the gates, I passed by the PAGSS (Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc) lounge area. This is where business class passengers of Star Alliance network airlines can stay while waiting for the departure of their flight. If you’re a Cloud Nine passenger on Ethiopian Airlines, you can relax at this area for a while.

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As I made my way to the departure gate, I found that there were around 10-15 passengers already. I also saw the airplane parked outside.

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I waited around an hour.

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A few minutes before boarding time, the airline staff called out OFW passengers for their terminal fee refund.

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After that, boarding commenced. Cloud Nine guests and passengers with infants & special needs were called to board first. Next were all the passengers from the last rows and everyone else (including me) were called last.

Once I entered the plane, I received a warm smile from a flight attendant who was wearing an Ethiopian dress. So pretty!

On my flights from Manila to Brazil, I chose the 15H seat. It was an aisle seat in the middle row. On the aircraft used (Boeing 787 Dreamliner), it was the first row in Economy class.

Here’s a graphic reference:

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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Seat Map (Screenshot from ethiopianairlines.com)

Although the airline’s seat map for a Boeing 787 says that my seat is supposed to be 11H, I know my seat was 15H! I read the sign twice. And it was my favorite seat! I can’t forget it!

Why did I love 15H?

  • It was an aisle seat!
  • I love leaning towards my right so it was comfortable.
  • I got to be one of the first passengers to be served meals as they started with the 11th row! HAHA!
  • A lot of articles say to avoid this area because it’s close to where the flight attendants prepare meals and it might be too noisy but there wasn’t that much sound. It wasn’t bothering at all!
  • THE LEG ROOM! It was like an exit seat! I loved that I could stretch my legs!
  • The entertainment screen pops out from the side. So if I want to watch something, I just click the button and it angles out and if I don’t want to watch anymore, I just return it. I prefer that the screen is not in front of me all the time.

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  • When the seatbelt signs are off, I can place my stuff in front and I still have enough space to stretch. I can also place my food tray there while waiting for the pick-up round so the tray table wasn’t out through it.
  • I got to be one of the first ones to deplane!
  • There’s a bathroom close by.

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When I got to my seat, I found a fresh blanket in plastic packaging. The seats are covered in cotton or polyester weaves I think as compared to faux/leather in low cost airlines like Cebu Pacific or Jetstar, ones that I’ve been used to. The seat was pretty comfortable.

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Once all the passengers were seated, the attendants handed out travel pouches. It was a small silk sling bag that had socks, a dental kit, eye mask, and earphones. 

A few minutes before departure, they displayed their airline safety video on all screens. I watched it through the big screen hanging on the wall in front of me as I didn’t want to take out my seat’s screen. The video was really creative especially about safety precautions when crash landing at sea. Their actresses were in bathing suits and displaying the proper acts during that certain situation.

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Observing the cabin, I found my seat to be refreshing because of the leg room. I found that other seats can be comparable to the leg room areas of low cost airlines I’ve flown with.

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Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine/Business Class (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

The Cloud Nine was in view when I passed the aisle going to the bathroom. It was very spacious. The seats were bigger (kind of like a living room one-seater couch) and passengers can recline their seats to a full bed so they can lie down. The flight attendants wearing Ethiopian dresses were tasked to serve there as well.

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Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine/Business Class Seat (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

You can view the interiors of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner through this video

I liked the Economy class’ yellow & green ensemble of seats. It provides a calming environment.

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Ethiopian Airlines Economy Class (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

And we were off! I was sinking into my seat and started to get very comfortable. Since it was around 9:30PM, I was dozing off a bit but the attendants started to hand out meals.

You’ll see a lot of meals in this post so get a snack so you won’t get hungry! HAHA!

Most of the meals on the flights consisted of:

  • Crackers
  • Cheese or Jam
  • Butter
  • Dessert
  • Bread
  • Side dish – salad or pasta
  • Main meal – beef, chicken, fish, pasta, or omelette
  • Drinks – soda, water, juice, wine, beer, etc

For the Manila to Hong Kong flight, I chose FISH!

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Since this was my first meal, I really liked the cream cheese, bread, and crackers. HAHA! I’ve always been a fan of that cream cheese with the animated cow on it. The fish was a bit spicy (which I don’t prefer. I really don’t like spicy food!) but I still finished it because the sauce complimented it well.

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After the meal, I went to the bathroom at the back since the one closest to me had a line. It was really clean and I loved the smell of the liquid soap!

The MNL to HK flight felt like a breeze as it took around an hour & 40 minutes. I feel that that it went faster because of the meal. It was a smooth flight as well!

FIRST LEG – CHECK! So quick! HAHA!

HONG KONG TO ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

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I was really sleepy when we arrived at the Hong Kong airport but since the lights were on full blast, I kept awake. Once the airline doors were opened, a group of HAECO (Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited) staff started to brisk in. They were holding trash bags, seat covers, and wiping cloths. They were like a blur fixing and cleaning every empty seat or row.

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The flight attendants from the MNL to HK flight left as well and tagged in their replacements.

After the HAECO team cleaned, new guests started to board. 

I observed that the MNL to HK flight was around 60% full. When passengers from Hong Kong came in, I think all the seats were already taken. 2 Chinese travelers were seated beside me and they also showed that they were happy with the free space in front of us.

After all the passengers boarded, the safety video was played again.

When the plane departed for ADD, I knew there was going to be a meal soon as I saw the attendants bringing drinks to the front area so I didn’t try to sleep and just browsed my pop out screen.

I noticed my seatmates charging their devices so I did as well. There is a USB charging port from the side of the screen! YAY!

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I liked the variety of entertainment available on Ethiopian Airlines. The movies and TV series were relatively current like the Marvel franchise and The Big Bang Theory. There were also movies made from destination countries. Since I was going to Brazil, I checked out what was available and there was one Brazilian movie. There were also documentaries of countries that are included in the airline’s vast network. You won’t run out of things to watch! Ethiopian Airlines offers a video library of 16 blockbuster Hollywood films, 26 Hollywood classics including 10 kid’s classics, 49 international films, and 82 TV shows. 

Since I tend to get dizzy when watching shows in a moving transport, I just watched a few shows minutes in. I didn’t finish. But I did sometimes watch through others’ screens HAHA! Some movies I watched before so I was just trying to remember lines. I think that was a fun way to keep busy during the long flight! HAHA!

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15-20 minutes into the flight, the attendants started serving meals. This time around, I chose CHICKEN! I really liked it because it was like Chicken ala King which is one of my favorite dishes. Even though I just had it an hour or so before, I enjoyed the cream cheese, bread, and crackers again!

After the meal, I went to the bathroom (the one at the back again). I was so surprised this time around because the clean bathroom I experienced during the MNL to HK flight was totally different that time. It was so smelly! A passenger peed all over the floor, toilet seat, and walls! It was disgusting! I informed the attendant nearby and she cleaned it right away which I feel wasn’t her job at all.

I went to the bathroom nearer to my seat instead. I talked to one of the Filipinos beside me and he told me that a certain nationality does that. I don’t want to say which because this was his statement, not mine. He has been traveling long haul flights for years now and he’s noticed that act time and time again from that said nationality. I never went back to that specific bathroom during the HK to ADD flight.

Comparing the 2 bathrooms, the one at the back (middle of Economy) was more spacious than the one nearer to my seat (front of Economy).

I dozed off for around 4 hours. It wasn’t hard to sleep because I was on a body clock of night time. It was a restful sleep and I really loved how cozy the blankets were. It really shielded me from the cold temperature of the plane and made it feel just right.

When I checked my screen for the remaining time, the flight still had 4 hours left before arrival so I did a skin care routine (wipe-off mask, toner, & moisturizer) and read a book.

Please note that on long haul flights, STAY HYDRATED! Drinks are unlimited so you can request for water or any type of beverage. Sometimes, the passengers would go to the attendant’s area and get their own drinks. The beverages and cups were displayed outright so anyone can get anything anytime. 

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2 hours before arrival, the attendants handed out our second meal for the HK to ADD flight. Since it was around 4AM, I chose OMELETTE for breakfast! The egg was creamy & good but the hash brown was a bit soggy. I mixed the fruits with the strawberry yogurt. So yummy! I also couldn’t get enough of the cream cheese + crackers combo! The crackers’ bite and crunch was addicting! 

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Although I loved 15H, the arrival part often makes me yearn for the window seat. It was an early arrival so the sunrise would have been breathtaking to see from the plane. Since all the seats were taken, I couldn’t transfer for a bit and watch it. So my view of the sunrise was just half orange hued window panes from afar.

I know this may sound cliché but since we were landing in Africa, I did have a Lion King moment wherein I saw the lovely sunrise colors at the window and heard the intro to Circle of Life in my head. HAHA! When the sunrise tones were peeking through, my mind kind of just sang Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama (sometimes misheard as Ahhhh savenya mama ginsi tsanima). In that moment, I felt grateful that I was flying above a new continent. The HK to ADD flight was almost done and I was inching closer to my dream destination!

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I do hope to explore Ethiopia and the rest of Africa someday. It also has a lot to offer!

Once we arrived and as I walked towards the exit doors, I could feel the cold early morning weather of Ethiopia. It felt like weather in Baguio at night. Good thing I had a shawl on! The attendants gleefully said goodbye while we deplaned. At the foot of the steps, a bus was waiting for us.

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Riding through the airport grounds to the terminal, there was one moment where the bus stopped at a cross road and an airplane was coming towards us, it swerved to its left and I could see the orange skyline hit it to form a sort of golden orange shadow! It was such a nice sight to wake up to!

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Sunrisin’ with Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa

The sunrise vibes in Africa was overwhelmingly enchanting. I loved it! Did the song play in my head again? Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama! You’ll never know! HAHA!

SECOND LEG – CHECK! Since I was on a body clock of night to morning, this flight was good. I was asleep for most of it and the meals did take up time. When I was awake, I kept busy with my skin care routine and a book as well so overall, it was a nice and comfortable flight!

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA TO SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

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Once we got off the bus, we were greeted by a #BeautifulEthiopia sign with all its best tourist features and destinations.

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Walking through, I followed the Transfer Passengers sign and saw Ethiopian aircraft after aircraft parked outside. Addis Ababa is the main hub of Ethiopian Airlines. Its second is in Lome, Togo and the third in Lilongwe, Malawian. 

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2 airport staff also checked our boarding passes through the aisle.

There was a transfer passenger sign going forward to the escalators but there was another pop-up stand that led Terminal 2 departure passengers to a jet bridge going up. This is were I passed since most of the people walked through there.

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The first thing I looked for was a bathroom! And I found a container one near a few gates. It was unsanitary. Please use the actual bathrooms available as they are much cleaner. I just needed to go really badly so I used the first one I saw.

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On my boarding pass for ADD to GRU, I was assigned to Gate 11. But when I browsed the boarding screens, the São Paulo flight was situated at Gate 21. Please take note of this.

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Make sure you’re at the right gate. Confirm with airline staff or view the boarding screens. Don’t rely on the printed passes. I also noticed that São Paulo was a layover flight to Buenos Aires for some so the boarding screens don’t display São Paulo at once, it indicates ‘Buenos Aires’ first then ‘via São Paulo’.

At Gate 21, I heard 3 Filipino passengers talking about Brazil. They shared that they also knew about the $499 Ethiopian Airlines seat sale back in 2017.

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At these gates, there were no food stalls available. But I could see it from the other side of the glass which I found out later on that you can pass through if you take the escalators up. The jet bridge we walked on earlier led us immediately to the boarding gates. We did not need to go through bag screening. 

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It was around a 3 hour wait but I kept busy because Addis Ababa airport has fast internet! Just connect to Ethiopian Airports Wifi. It won’t even ask for personal information or go to a specific website to register. Just connect & browse! You can use WhatsApp or Facebook! No need for a VPN! 

While waiting, an airport staff also checked passengers’ passports and flight passes. Some were confirming if Gate 21 was the correct boarding area for São Paulo and she said yes.

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An announcement was made and passengers started to fall in line. In Ethiopia and Brazil, I noticed they have zoning lanes for passengers. The lanes were divided into 5 zones I think! I didn’t get to check. But I think there was one for Cloud Nine, Platinum Miles holders, and the economy zones.

On my boarding pass, I was assigned to Zone 2. We were standing in line for around 30 minutes before they started boarding. It was a bit of a wait so I suggest sitting down first and just wait for actual boarding.

When I got inside the aircraft (it was a Boeing 787 Dreamliner again!), I giddily went to my 15H! There was a fresh blanket on my seat and there was a travel kit inside the wall pouch in front of me.

The flight was FULL! I couldn’t see an empty seat in sight!

After everyone boarded, the airline safety video played again.

A few minutes after take-off, the attendants served a drink and a snack. The cookies were good.

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Around an hour later, they started to serve meals. I chose BEEF! OMG! This was the best set ever! Everything was so good! There was a side of tomato pasta and the main meal was beef pasta! BOTH SO DELICIOUS! Plus the pink gelatin! Couldn’t get enough of it! I loved it! That was my favorite meal! I was sad because for the rest of the flights, this beef set was never available again.

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The ADD to GRU flight was very long for me. This is where I got a bit antsy. I felt like time was so slow. When I checked the screen and saw that there was 10 hours left, I dozed off. When I woke up and checked the screen again, it was 9.5 hours left! It was a bit grueling. HAHA!

I also had a seatmate who had no manners at all. That added to my impatience. He put his feet up on the wall in front of us or sometimes crossed his legs wherein his foot was almost in my face. I got fed up at some point and told him politely to put his feet down to which he apologized. A few minutes later, he did it again but on the other side so it bothered his other seatmate. That person noticed, stood up, and left. I never saw him again. I think he sat in another seat at the back. I hoped that the man would transfer to that aisle seat so the middle seat would be vacant but he didn’t. So he really tested my patience. At that time, I really missed my Chinese seatmate who was way more polite and lovely.

I couldn’t sleep properly since my body clock was on day time. So it was just a mix of tossing and turning in my seat, reading a book, browsing the entertainment screen, and playing a few games (YES! There were games included! Thanks Ethiopian Airlines! This passed 1-2 hours of my time! HAHAHA!).

I also did a skin care routine midway. The ADD to GRU flight was where I felt dehydrated at one point that I couldn’t wait for the attendants to serve meals to have a drink so I went to the attendant’s area to get some water. Other passengers were also going to and from the said area helping themselves to beverages. Remember, drinks are available at all times! So stay hydrated!

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I went to the bathroom twice, once at the back and once near to me, and they were both clean when I used them. Some of the passengers stood up and walked around from time to time. In my case, I walked and stretched my legs at the aisle area between Cloud Nine and Economy. This is where others hung out to stand up as well.

Some passengers were also having fun and friendly conversations with the flight attendants. They were very accommodating. 

Since the flight was on a route of day time, the windows were tinted blue for most of it to provide passengers with a cozy atmosphere. I loved this! It wasn’t too dark or light. It made me feel really relaxed. 

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3 hours before expected arrival, the attendants served us our last meal on the flight. I chose CHICKEN! This was just okay. But I still loved the cheese + crackers. I couldn’t get enough of it.

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When the pilot announced preparation for arrival, I was overwhelmed by the fact, 

  • That I was about to land in my dream destination!
  • That I was finally getting away from my seatmate! HAHA!
  • That the flight was almost done!
  • That I WAS IN BRAZIL! OMG! YAY!

When the plane touched down, the slow feeling 12 hour flight didn’t matter anymore. I was there! It was worth it! I was finally there! The pilots safely brought us to Brazil! I was full of bliss!

It was 5PM in Brazil so my body clock should have made me feel  a time of 3AM in Manila but I didn’t feel tired at all!

I was too excited! I folded my blankets and fixed all the stuff around me while passengers were deplaning. 

I smiled fully at one of the attendants and thanked her for the flight to which she responded with a thanks as well.

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Exiting the jet bridge to GRU airport, foreigners were instructed to line up on the left lane while Brazilians continued walking on the right lane. Airport staff (AS) checked our boarding passes & passports and asked a few questions, this was my conversation:

Me: Hi! Good afternoon. (Gives passport and boarding pass)
AS: Hello. What is your purpose of visit?
Me: Tourism.
AS: Where are you going?
Me: I’m traveling to Rio and see the amazing Iguassu Falls. I’ll also explore São Paulo. (I think I was weirdly ecstatic when I said this. HAHA!)
AS: (looked at the girl beside her)
Girl: (nodded)
AS: (hands me back my passport & pass) Welcome to Brazil.
Me: Obrigada! (I think I said this very excitedly too! HAHAHA)
AS: (smiled) Obrigado. Obrigado.

Walking through GRU and following the signs to Immigration, it felt familiar. It was similar to NAIA 1 but not so. I was there! I was finally in Brazil! That kept replaying in my head.

When I reached immigration, this is the exchange I had with the officer,

Me: Hi! (hands passport)
IO: From the Philippines?
Me: Yes!
IO: Why are you in Brazil?
Me: I’m a tourist.
IO: Oh yeah? What places are you going to?
Me: I’m going to Rio & Foz to see the amazing Iguassu falls.
IO: It is amazing. Just Rio & Foz?
Me: I will explore a bit of São Paulo too.
IO: Cool, cool. Is it your first time in Brazil?
Me: Yes, my first time. You sound American. Are you American?
IO: Oh wow, really? No, I’m Brazilian. But thanks for that. (stamps passport and gives it back to me) You’re going to have an amazing trip. Enjoy!
Me: Obrigada!
IO: (chuckles) Obrigado.

Walking away, I heard him say to one of his co-officers, she thought I was American.

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I saw a nearby currency exchange at the baggage area so I decided to convert $30 to Brazilian Real. The rates were bad at GRU airport. I just needed cash for emergencies since I was on a layover to Rio de Janeiro.

The normal rate online was $1 = BR3.8 but at the airport it was $1 = 2.7! That was so low! If you don’t need cash, just exchange at cambios (money exchange) in the city. In Rio, the exchange rate was $1 = BR 3.7! So much better! The rates at GRU are ridiculous!!!

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At the baggage carousel, I found one of the Filipinos I talked to on the plane and we had a conversation while waiting for our luggage. The luggage from Manila came in last so we had to wait around 10 minutes. The fear of luggage being sent elsewhere or getting lost creeped in but he assured me that it was usually the case on transit flights. So just wait! Don’t fret!

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I said goodbye and walked towards the exit. I walked on my metaphorical ramp ready to conquer my dreams in one destination I have longed for since I was a teen.

AND THAT CONCLUDES my flight from MANILA TO BRAZIL!

THIRD LEG – CHECK! Well, that flight was something! HAHA! The ADD to GRU flight was as smooth as the HK to ADD flight. I did observe and learn a lot from that 12 hour flight that I will surely take with me through my next long haul flights. I also had the best beef meal and I safely arrived in Brazil. Overall, it was a fine and insightful flight!

Ready for more? HAHA! Next up is my flight back to Manila!

FLYING WITH ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES TO MANILA, PHILIPPINES

It’s often a heavyhearted feeling to go home especially after a very special trip. 10 days wasn’t enough to explore Brazil! I hope to come back and explore more of it and other countries in South America too.

But I still welcome flying home. It gives me the chance to ponder on all the things that happened and be grateful for every travel experience I had. I definitely have a lot of time for that knowing that I’d be taking the same flight back to the Philippines.

Here’s an overview of my Brazil (GRU) – Addis Ababa (ADD) – Hong Kong (HK) – Manila (MNL) journey so you know what to expect:

BRAZIL – MANILA

TIME

ACTIVITY

2:10AM (GRU time) – 7:10PM (ADD time) São Paulo, Brazil to Addis Ababa flight – 12 hours
7:10PM – 11:55PM (ADD time) Layover at Addis Ababa Airport – 4 hours & 45 minutes
11:55PM (ADD time) – 3:55PM (MNL/HK time) Addis Ababa to Hong Kong Flight – 11 hours
3:55PM – 4:30PM (MNL/HK time) Quick stop in Hong Kong (inside plane) – less than an hour
4:30PM – 5:55PM (MNL time) Hong Kong to Manila Flight – less than 2 hours

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL TO ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

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I checked out of my hotel in São Paulo at around 10PM. I booked an Uber and we cruised on the highway for about an hour. When I arrived at GRU, it was bustling. I found the check-in counters for Ethiopian Airlines and fell in line.

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I already checked in that afternoon on the Ethiopian Airlines app just in case.

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Brazil – Manila Mobile Boarding Passes (Screenshots from Ethiopian Airlines APP – Edited)

After 30 minutes in line, it was my turn to check-in.

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I gave the airport staff my passport and she asked me, Manila? I nodded. She put a tag on my luggage & carry-on and handed me my passport & printed boarding passes.

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By the time I reached the duty free stores, they were already closed. Immigration was pretty quick after that. The IO just stamped my passport. No questions asked.

When I reached our assigned departure gate (241), there were a lot of passengers seated so I had to find a seat a few meters away. There was still a pending flight to New York for that gate. 

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Since I still had around 2 hours before departure, I ate at Pao de Queijo (one of my favorites in Brazil). There were a few Brazilian souvenir stores open but other branded stores like Victoria’s Secret were already closed. 

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30 minutes before expected departure, we were informed that our gate was changed to Gate 236 so everyone stood up and walked there. But when our aircraft arrived, we were asked to return to Gate 241 for boarding.

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Since I loved my 15H seat for my flight from Manila to Brazil, I chose this again for my flight from GRU to ADD. 15H wasn’t available for ADD – MNL anymore so I chose 19H for that. But when I entered our aircraft, I was surprised to find that the seat I wanted was 11H (what you see in the seat map images). This airplane was different as well.

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I checked my itinerary and it indicates it was a Boeing 777-200LR JET. When I sat down on 15H on this aircraft, I found it comfortable. The seats I feel had a bit more leg room than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777-200LR JET Seat Map (Screenshot from ethiopianairlines.com)

The entertainment screens were a little different on this aircraft too. The images were different but the selection of movies, TV series, and other activities were similar.

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An hour into the flight, the attendants started to serve meals. I was groggy at this point because we left 2AM and I was kind of already adjusted to Brazilian time. For the meal, I chose CHICKEN! The chicken and pasta were okay but I loved the FLAN! OMG! It was like a gourmet dessert! So delish! I felt like a pastry chef freshly made this on the plane. It was THAT good.

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After the meal, it was easy to fall asleep. I had a full day and didn’t sleep up until that point. I woke up a few times to go to the bathroom or walk around but when I sat down, I just dozed on & off.

2 hours before we were expected to land, we had our last meal for the flight. I chose PASTA! It was appetizing and I liked the fruit crumble dessert too.

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While eating, I saw the peripheral view of the windows and noticed that the sun was setting. It was a mix of aesthetically pleasing shades of red & orange just like the sunrise I experienced on my flight to Brazil! 

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It was around 7PM when we arrived in ADD.

We deplaned and took a bus to the terminal again. I was wearing an off shoulder dress so the cold was intense.

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When I checked my phone, it was 7 degrees! OMG! Good thing, I was one of the last passengers to fill the bus so it closed immediately!

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FIRST LEG – CHECK! Because of my adjustment to Brazil time of having a body clock of night time, I cruised breezily through this flight.

ADDIS ABABA TO HONG KONG

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I was greeted by the same #BeautifulEthiopia sign when we alighted the bus. This time around, we walked forward to the escalators as the jet bridge heading straight to the departure gates was closed.

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I was able to explore Addis Ababa airport because of the 4 hour transit. All the duty free stores were still open and I also had the chance to see Ethiopian souvenir shops.

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There was also a café where an Ethiopian tea ceremony was being done. I wanted to capture a photo of it but I didn’t know if it was disrespectful to take one or not.

Restaurants and a few convenience stores were still open too. Prices were in USD so you can pay with that or Ethiopian Birr but I did not notice any money exchange stalls around.

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I also passed by a few Ethiopian lounges. There was a large one where I think any passenger can enter and I saw one meant for Cloud Nine & Platinum passengers too.

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When I tried to go to my boarding gate, they weren’t accepting passengers yet for baggage screening so I sat down at the waiting area first.

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At around 8:30PM, passengers started lining up at the screening gates so I followed suit.

I was assigned to Gate 8 which I think is part of the new terminal building successfully constructed at Addis Ababa. The modern interiors felt new but it was very cold! I sat in the shaded area where I felt it was a little more heated. Make sure to bring a jacket & don’t wear off shoulder dresses like me!

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When it was time for boarding, we were asked to transfer to a nearby gate. The zoning lines were a mess but people were well mannered about it.

We rode another bus so that means going outside in the freezing weather again! And it was almost midnight! Damn, it was really cold! What sucks is I was the first one on the bus so I had to wait for it to be filled up! HAHA!

When I entered the aircraft, it felt familiar and I was disappointed I wasn’t in 15H! Because it was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner again! When I walked past my 15H seat to go to 19H, I was sad! HAHA! Because of a seat? YES! This was the second leg of the flight, I knew this would be the slower feeling flight!

When I sat down, I observed that my seat from the Boeing 777-200LR JET was more spacious. But with my blanket, I stayed cozy in my seat. 

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When the flight took off, I read a book until meals were served. For the first meal, I chose BEEF! I hoped it would be the one I had during my past flight but it was different. The rice was good but the beef was tasteless. I just enjoyed my cream cheese + crackers combo again!

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After the meal, I went to the bathroom at the back and found it clean.

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I walked around a bit after then played a text twist game and eventually fell asleep for an hour. After that, I was wide awake for the rest of the flight.

I went to the attendant’s area twice to get a drink and I also did a skin care routine. 2 hours before the flight was expected to arrive, we had our final meal. I chose PASTA! I liked it because the taste was similar to a Chicken Alfredo or Carbonara.

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After my meal, I browsed through my Brazil photos and cried a little bit. It was the most beautiful trip and I had so much to be grateful for. It was a nice moment reliving all my travel experiences.

SECOND LEG – CHECK!

HONG KONG TO MANILA, PHILIPPINES

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Just a little more and I’ll be home! When we arrived in Hong Kong, a lot of passengers deplaned. After that, the HAECO team came blurring in again!

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What’s different this time is most of  the Filipino passengers transferred seats. I decided to stay in my assigned seat.

While the HAECO group was cleaning, 2 airport staff instructed that we should all get our boarding passes. They checked them and provided a sticker with our seat number on it. I noticed that one of the staff was a bit stressed because a lot of passengers weren’t in their original seats.

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I knew this flight would be a breeze so I just stayed awake and played games on the entertainment screen. An hour before expected arrival, my very last meal on this whole trip was served. I chose FISH & it was really tasty! I still enjoyed the cream cheese + crackers by the way! HAHA!

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We were arriving in Manila late afternoon so the view was definitely a sunset. Since there were a lot of vacant seats, I transferred to a window seat and watched it for a bit. It was the perfect ending to my flight experience with Ethiopian Airlines! 

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When I went back to my seat and the orange hues started to peek in through the windows, I recalled the moment I arrived in Addis Ababa. It was too quick. One that I’ll always be thankful for!

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After arrival, I smiled at the attendants and thanked them again. I briskly walked to Immigration and found a long line. They were testing out the new e-gates. We had to scan the bar code of our boarding passes then our passport’s first page. After that, my photo was taken. As a result, a sticker was printed which I stuck to one of the pages on my passport.

I got my luggage at the carousel, booked a Grab, and went home. The ride home was an hour and a half but I had a very interesting Grab driver. We had a really nice conversation about my Brazil trip which made me glad. I guess my journey hadn’t ended yet.

When I got home, I felt bittersweet. I was happy to be home but I sorely missed Brazil. It was definitely a trip I’ll never forget!

I am very grateful for the flight(s) that happened.

THIRD LEG – CHECK! After experiencing the 12 hour + 11 hour flight, the less than 2 hour flight from HK to MNL felt like a gentle pinch! It was good! HAHA!

#FLYETHIOPIAN

If you’re looking for the most affordable flights to Brazil, Ethiopian Airlines is your best bet. If you’re not into long flights, this might not be a convenient option for you. But if you enjoy flights and low rates, you should definitely check out flights from EA. 

Overall, what I’d really like to commend about the whole flight experience is how safe and incredibly smooth it was! There was no turbulence at all! In any of the flights! I know experts say that turbulence isn’t dangerous but the fear is still there when you’re being rattled in the sky. But for my whole flight journey with Ethiopian Airlines, it was the smoothest flight(s) I’ve ever been on! KUDOS!

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I also enjoyed the blue tinted windows during day time flights. It made the atmosphere of the flight more relaxing for me. I felt at ease and very comfortable even though I couldn’t sleep at times! 

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For the meals, it had its highs, okays, and lows. There were a few that I didn’t eat like the side veggie or bean dishes. Some meals were okay and some I really liked. Almost all the desserts I loved! And of course, don’t forget my love for the crackers + cheese!

Ethiopian’s In-Flight Catering provides passengers a menu of local Injera (a white leavened Ethiopian bread made from teff flour), vegan options, or a variety of world cuisines like Chinese, Indian, or Italian. 

Just in case you wanted to know, here’s the meal count on the roundtrip flight:

Manila – Hong Kong 1 meal
Hong Kong – Addis Ababa 2 meals
Addis Ababa – São Paulo 1 snack, 2 meals
São Paulo – Addis Ababa 2 meals
Addis Ababa – Hong Kong 2 meals
Hong Kong – Manila 1 meal
TOTAL 10 meals, 1 snack, unlimited drinks

I would definitely take an Ethiopian Airline flight again to explore Ethiopia & connect to Seychelles. Ethiopian Airlines’ network is vast plus they also have code share flights with other airlines so the mix of connecting destinations provide a lot of options for travelers.

The bathroom was clean except for that one time (HK – ADD flight) and I really liked the quality and smell of the soap.

The flight attendants were outgoing and accommodating. And I really loved seeing the women at the Cloud Nine area wearing the Ethiopian dresses.

Overall, it was a pleasant flight experience with Ethiopian Airlines and I’d definitely fly with them again someday!

AIRPLANE ETIQUETTE

I would also like to share a few lessons I learned from this airline experience that we can all practice on all our future flights with all airlines:

  • Wipe the toilet seats after using them. If you found it clean, leave it clean! 
  • Fold your blankets and place them neatly on your seat after the flight or give it to the attendants when they ask for it.
  • Throw all plastics when it’s time for trash pick-up or go to the attendant’s area and throw in the available bins.
  • If you spill food or your wrappers fall on the floor, pick them up and give it to the attendants when they pass by with the trash bags.
  • Wipe/clean the tray tables after each meal set has been taken away.
  • Remove the earphones from screens and place them on your seat.
  • Don’t put your feet up especially in close proximity to another passenger’s face! Sorry! I really disliked my seatmate from the ADD – GRU flight!
  • Return the magazines in its proper place. Return them how you found them.
  • Always thank the flight attendants or pilots (if you see them)! Always show gratitude! Always be grateful! 

I know these may seem a lot but these small acts can go a long way in helping HAECO or the airline staff. It’s not difficult to clean up after yourself. Let’s leave our seats how we found them. I feel strongly about this! I associate myself with Monica from FRIENDS, remember? HAHA! Thank you!

 

#GRATEFULinBRAZIL

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View of Rio City from Sugarloaf Mountain

I wrote in a past article that I sometimes feel that people aren’t grateful for flights enough. We dread it or complain. My sister told me she just wants to reach the destination. But no one has invented the teleportation device yet? (or have they? HAHA!). Flights bring us to where we want to be.

Pilots fly us safely to our dream destinations or bring us back home to our loved ones. One of the safest and most convenient modes of transportation, we should be grateful for the chance to fly in an airplane.

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Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Each passenger has his or her own story.

  • Going on a honeymoon!
  • Taking a break from work!
  • About to sign a huge business deal!
  • Going home after years from being apart from their family!
  • Fulfilling a dream!

There’s more to a flight than just sitting in a square space for hours. Be grateful on how it was built. Be grateful for the safety precautions it took to fly it. Be grateful for the stories (like this article!) created and will be created before, during, and after the flights.

All throughout my flight, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of finally visiting my dream destination. In my mind, I was all

“OMG! I’m on my way…”

“When will the next meal be?” HAHAHAHAHA!

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Something we always look forward to in flights!

“I’m finally flying to Brazil…”

For Filipinos, what comes to mind when we hear Brazil?

  • Brazilian wax? HAHAHA!
  • Daniel Matsunaga!
  • Christ the Redeemer
  • Beaches?
  • CHEAP HAVAIANAS!
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Espaco Havaianas in Rio de Janeiro

The really affordable Havaianas was something I was ecstatic about! I was so surprised to find Havaianas that cost as low as ₱300 IN STORE. Not at markets or beach stalls. Inside Malls! One store I even bought in provided an additional 5% discount.

I know that the allure of Havaianas is just the branding but the slippers are of quality. The price in Brazil is almost 50% less than the average of the basic models (Slim Fit, Original, etc) sold in the Philippines. The limited editions or fancier designs are about ₱500+ or more but yeah, the price wanted me to leave all my clothes behind and fill it up with Havaianas to sell in the Philippines for local market price? HAHAHA! Imagine the profit! Just kidding!

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Women’s Slim Fits Display at Espaco Havaianas

I do understand why the retail price is higher in the Philippines. I mean, look at the flight distance and rates, right? You pay for the slippers’ transport fees from Brazil to our country.

But more than the Havaianas, Brazil was definitely a country I’ll never forget. Aside from its common perceptions, Brazil enchanted me with its cityscapes along beaches, tremendous falls around nature, and electrifying avenues. It’s refreshing to be in a country where it feels like home but not really. The uniqueness of it hits you unexpectedly greeting you with a plethora of culture, history, and likeness. There’s just something invigorating about a destination that invites you to enjoy it on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level.

Without the Ethiopian Airlines flight, I wouldn’t have been able to experience some of the most spectacular destinations I’ve been to in my entire life.

Because of the flight, I was able to marvel at the amazing city view of Rio de Janeiro from the Sugarloaf mountain.

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Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro

Even on a cloudy day, I experienced so many emotions while staring at the Christ the Redeemer statue. I was finally in its midst. In that moment, I couldn’t believe I was there being gaga over a statue. 

Because of the flight, I had the chance to witness one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in this world. Along with so many tourists, we were sprayed by its cold mist like it was blessing us during our visit.

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Iguassu Falls (Brazil Side)

Because of the flight, I walked through throngs of people at AV Paulista where I was able to witness what locals do on a normal weekend. Paulistas do Sundays right! 

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AV Paulista on a Sunday in São Paulo

Because of the flight, I ate the most delectable local dishes.

From the famous Feijoada to an indulgent Churrascaria to a contrasting wet market/food court/delicatessen stall at São Paulo’s Mercadao to an educational chocolate tasting tour at Chocolate Q in Ipanema to mere simple but scrumptious street food by the beach in Copacabana, it was definitely a gastronomic experience that my stomach will never forget!

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Chocolate bars from Chocolate Q Ipanema

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Churrascaria at Fogo de Chão in São Paulo

Most importantly, because of the Ethiopian Airlines flight, I was able to meet the most amazing people. Dangerous shouldn’t be the term to perceive Brazil or Brazilians…Outgoing, accommodating, fun, hospitable, and many more should be it! I met the most amazing hosts and locals. I even had the chance to share stories with interesting Uber drivers, albeit English was a challenge for them but we sorta managed. HAHA!

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Selaron Steps in Rio de Janeiro

There’s more to my #GRATEFULinBRAZIL story than these highlights so watch out for my Brazil travel guide & narrative soon! Brazil was my fairy tale come true and it was all possible because of a 12 hours + 12 hours flight from Ethiopian Airlines.

What are you waiting for?

Do you want to experience these amazing Brazilian destinations & live in your dreams as well?

Book your Manila to Brazil flights with Ethiopian Airlines today!

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#FlyEthiopian (Photo from Ethiopian Airlines)

For more information, visit www.ethiopianairlines.com

For inquiries, you may email the Ethiopian Airlines Manila team at: 

  • mnlsales@ethiopianairlines.com
  • etsales@paneuroph.com
  • rsvntktmkt@paneuroph.com

For updates on promo seat sales or travel packages, follow Ethiopian Airlines’ social media accounts:

  • Facebook: @ethiopianairlines.PH
  • Twitter: @flyethiopian
  • Instagram: @ethiopianairlines.manila

If you want to see more photos of my Brazil trip & flights from Ethiopian Airlines, search these tags on social media:

  • #FlyEthiopianAirlinesToBrazil
  • #FlyEthiopian
  • #EthiopYEAH
  • #GRATEFULinBRAZIL
  • #GRATEFULinRIO
  • #GRATEFULinFOZ
  • #GRATEFULinSAOPAULO
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View of Copacabana Beach from Windsor California Hotel

This is a sponsored write-up. My experiences with products & services may or may not be the same as yours. All opinions are inspired by my experiences & nothing else.

7 thoughts on “Fly from Manila to Brazil with Ethiopian Airlines!

  1. Honey May says:

    Hello Miss Irene..Thank You for the tips in travelling to Brazil. I have one question…Did you acquire a transit visa when passing by Hongkong/Bangkok/Ethiopia going to Brazil?

    Like

  2. Errol Becker says:

    I have been to Brazil, and its fantastic .how you captured the feeling of the country. I enjoyed reading your post, Awesome job Irene. If I return I definitely would look into Monica’s Airbnb. Happy travels

    Like

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