I write a whole lot about aviation, airlines and airports for AllWorld.com, and for good reason: getting there (or getting back home) is the hardest part when it co mes to taking an epic vacation. So, we cover info, tips, and recommendations covering all sorts of transportation options.
But there’s another aspect of getting from Point A to Point B that’s worth mentioning: cargo. In the Philippines, in particular, which is one of the hottest new travel and adventure destinations, getting your luggage, baggage, and things around can sometimes be challenging.
With 7,500 islands in the world’s largest archipelago, hopping from one picturesque tropical island to the next is definitely FUN in the Philippines. However, many of the flights are short, and sometimes comically so (like 27 minutes from Cebu to Dumaguete or Bohol!). While that’s certainly no inconvenience, it also means that the planes are small, and baggage is limited.
Most flights offer one checked bag only up to 20kg, or 15kg or even just 10kg if it’s a smaller plane. You can usually get by ok with that small baggage allotment if you’re just here on vacation, or can upgrade to larger or heavier luggage by paying a fee (just pay ahead of time online because it will cost a mint at the airport!).
But, sometimes, we need to ship things around, when our baggage allowance won’t cut it, or we’re not even traveling along with our things. Conventional mail isn’t an option since it just guarantees that your things will never show up, and sending things the slow boat can take way too long and be equally as risky.
Such is my predicament as I move from Dumaguete, my home over the last 1.5 years, to the crazy capital of Manila. I maxed out my baggage allowance at 40kg, so I had to ship a bag of things.
Luckily, I found AP Cargo right there at the Dumaguete Airport.
It was just a small shop with a warehouse door next to it, but looked clean and organized and had air conditioning, which was a huge plus since I had to wait so long. Seriously, the friendly and polite staff tried their hardest, but it was a mess.
I actually came in earlier that day to get a rough estimate, which I gleaned only after twenty minutes of confusion. But it was even worse when I came to send my actual bag, as there were no less than seven people working on my order of sending one bag. They were obviously perplexed and scaring the hell out of me as they just kept repeating the name of the destination airport over and over (I stopped counting at 20 times) and then asked me again and again if that was the right location.
It took nearly an hour for them to come to the conclusion that they don’t actually fly to that airport, but can fly it by air cargo to a nearby airport and then drive it the rest of the way for delivery.
Filling out the simple shipping docket was an equally Herculean task, as was arriving at a price.
There were no other customers in the cargo office, and it literally took seven people an hour to figure it out!
But, they were nice and pleasant and patient when I grew impatient, and we ended on good terms after I saw my bag wrapped up in plastic and they assured me it would be there in 2-3 days. No, 4-6 days.
That was yesterday, so I’m still waiting for my bag to arrive, but I did get a new boost of confidence in their honesty, if not their abilities when they called today and informed me that I’d been overcharged by about 25%.
That was very cool of them (they could have just pocketed the extra money like most people would have done), so I bought them some donuts from the bakery on my way out to the airport to pick up my money.
Of course, the money wasn’t there, and I had to wait twenty more minutes until someone drove over from the warehouse, but they were very friendly once again, and eventually, I did receive my refund.
Now, it’s just a matter of my bag arriving safely! Stay tuned!