My Travel Experience & Hints
Airline: I choose Eva Air Evergreen Deluxe

I used Evan at Adventure Bound Tours in Tempe AZ who was very helpful. Agency has been in business since 1982 602-968-3338 or 800-308-2345
Website at:

Since I am 6'2" 220lbs I wanted to find seats more comfortable than couch but wasn't about to pay for First Class.  Eva Air Evergreen Deluxe was the perfect solution.  It was only a little more than coach but much less than say regular couch on Northwest Airlines.

I paid a total of $817.40 roundtrip including all taxes.  This included America West From Phoenix to San Francisco where I transferred to Eva air to Taipei (13 hr flight) and then on to Manila which was another 2 hours.  You will pay more if you book directly with Eva vs. using a travel broker like Adventure Bound Tours.

The advantages of EVA Evergreen Deluxe over their Economy class are:

1. Personal TV screen.  I loved all the maps showing where we were, altitude, speed, time before arriving, local times from where last departed, where we were and time at destination etc.  Also good movies and stereo system.

2. Wider seat and more legroom. This was the most important for me.

3. Earlier boarding and leaving the plane.

BUT LUGGAGE "Misplaced"! 
My only bad comment is that this is the first time an airline ever lost my luggage!  That's right.  No luggage when I arrived in Manila.  It took a day and a half for the luggage to be found and delivered to me at my Manila hotel.   No clean clothes, not even my razor.  I didn't want to go buy replacements unless I knew it was "lost".  It seems it was just "misplaced" and it arrived the next day!  This is NOT a good way to start a trip!  But I don't know if it was the fault of American West or Eva.

But the airline trip itself was very nice.

Mabuhay at MNL Immigration confusion
For a non Filipino speaking traveler not knowing at first what Mabuhay means, it can be confusing at the immigration section of the Manila airport. I am one that reads signs and tries to carefully follow directions.

I enter the immigration area. I see a sign in English saying "Filipinos returning enter here". Why that is in English, I don't understand. In English I see signs for Diplomats and a few others for different lines. But nothing in English telling foreigners which line to stand in.

The vast majority of lines were to counters saying "Mabuhay" over them. Was this a province, nationality or what? I tried asking a few airport workers in the area but I couldn't communicate or understand their answer.

OK, well whatever Mabuhay is, seems all nationalities are in the lines. So I'll risk standing in a line to at least find out where I should be if it is not the right line.

Like in America, it seems people like to stand in the longest lines. All the middle lines had like 20-30 people in them. But off to the far right side were two lines with only 5 people. Seemed for the same thing "Mabuhay" whatever that is, so if I'm in the wrong place anyway, at least lets be in the shortest line for the wrong place!

As many of you I'm sure know, and as I later found out, "Mabuhay" means "Greetings to you Travelers, Welcome to our Shores". Mabuhay has also been defined as the Tagalog verb meaning "to live". It is used as a greeting, like "aloha" or a combination of "hello" and "welcome".

But how was I to know!  In a country where everyone is taught English, I expected some directions in English for poor confused old Dave...especially when directions to even the Filipinos were in English (instead of Filipino).

When I go to Bangkok I think I'll just follow the crowd to the most common line instead of trying to figure it out!

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