Manila - Airport review

Discussion in 'Travel Insider Tips' started by QF WP, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    My girlfriend and I had the pleasure (??) of having to fly via Manila on my way home to Brisbane from Hong Kong and have a 2 hour layover.
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    Manila airport is a relic of the 60's. Coming off a Cathay flight and in transit to QF20 (Sydney via Brisbane), i walked straight to the large transit desk before Customs. Signage was non-existent for where we had to go, so I asked the question. Turning around to look at the two lifts that were eventually advised as being my transport to the next floor up (and neither were working), we both decided to find the stairs. At least the security guards at the unnamed stairway were friendly.

    Don't worry about the shopping air-side, very tired and a lot of junk that probably wouldn't make it through Australian Customs if you declared it. Even my girlfriend (who loves a good shop) was disappointed, so we had to find the haven of the Qantas Club lounge.

    After surveying the Cathay and Qantas/BA lounges side-by-side, believe me, choose the Cathay one when you fly. The only shining star was the Qantas lounge attendant, who personally announced the departure of the flight to the full lounge (probably about 40 seats) - a nice touch. One toilet (that's not one each for males and females, just one for us all) and no hot water. Minimalistic would be my choice of words, but considering the low number of flights per week, no wonder they have spent no money.
     
  2. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    The airport (shopping, directions etc) and the lounge (minimal) really don't sound that much different to LAX (Tom Bradley International Terminal). At least the (one) toilet is in the lounge, and not outside in the corridor like LAX - or is it?
     
  3. QF WP

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    Dajop LAX review

    Absolutely, hadn't even decided to do one of that lounge - not that it matters whether you are in the Qantas Club lounge of the First Class one. Neither are really that much better than Manila, but the problems with being allocated nothing to start with...they try nd make do with what they have.

    Yes, the toilets for both are outside and the room set up pretty much the same.
     
  4. RooSushi

    RooSushi Newbie

    Mar 26, 2004
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    Hi! I'm new here and joined cause of this thread.

    Fast Forward February 2004

    Manila airport terminal 1 is still really really bad. Didn't get to sample the QC as I was traveling on NorthWorst airlines. Checkin for a US bound flight took me just under 3 hours and included 4 security checks ranging from severe questioning to 2 body searches. Signage is average but it's easier just to join the queue and hope for the best. :wink:

    Terminal 2 is much better and relatively new but they make you line up outside the terminal in the stinking heat for the 1st security check. Checkin on Philippine Airlines was easy (but also long) and immigration was no problems...Final security check was a bit over the top as they even make you remove your glasses before going through the metal detector.

    If you hate security checks, Manila is not the place to be. Every hotel and office building has guards searching your bags and a handheld metal detector.
     
  5. Rick93

    Rick93 Established Member

    Nov 10, 2002
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    Last time I was in Manila (down one of the poorer ends of town - Pasay City I think), even the McDonalds outlets had security guards holding sub - machine guns at the ready! (no metal detectors - just stern looks)

    regards,
     
  6. aamybush

    aamybush Newbie

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Ha ha quite funny !!! in macdonlads what hell they are doing there???:eek:


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  7. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
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    You might have a bit of a wait for an answer... that comment was 4 years old!! ;)

    Passed through MNL this year.....Still a dump... (but the "Miascor" Lounge was a small oasis of relative comfort!)
     
  8. aamybush

    aamybush Newbie

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Hey how is manila.. i wanted to go there but i dont when i can go there


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  9. straitman

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    aamybush,

    Be aware you are responding to a nearly 5 year old post and Gordon does not post on the site very often these days. :cool:
     
  10. bobsi18

    bobsi18 Junior Member

    Oct 21, 2006
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    I know this is an old review, I was wondering if anyone has flown through Manila recently?

    I have a flight on Sunday that is FUK-MNL-MEL (Philippine Airlines), I'll be transiting in Manila for two hours.

    There is a 750 (peso? local currency) departure tax, I'm wondering if I'll need to pay that as I am only transiting?

    If so, does anyone know if there are any ATMs in the arrivals area, etc?

    Updated information on what the airport is like? I think, as I am flying Philippine Airlines, I will be arriving and departing through Centennial Terminal.

    When I return to Fukuoka, I will have a longer stopover in Manila, and am wondering about pay-per-use lounge access, or day hotels at the airport?
     
  11. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
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    I left from the LCC terminal last year and IIRC the departure tax was about 1200PHP, yes there were a couple of ATMs just to make sure you have no excuse.

    Don't know about transit pax because you had to pay prior to clearing immigration and customs so you may be ok.
     
  12. bobsi18

    bobsi18 Junior Member

    Oct 21, 2006
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    In the interest of updating this thread, I thought I would post my recent experiences flying through Manila airport (and a little about flying on Phillipine Air).

    I recently flew FUK-MEL via MNL on Philippine Air, with a 3 hour stopover in Manila, the flight was booked through Zuji. When I got to Fukuoka to checkin, I discovered that checkin didn't start until 2 hours before the flight (I thought all international flights were 3 hours). The signs stated that checkin closed 45mins before the flight. The staff at Fukuoka airport were able to send my bag straight through to Melbourne, but for some reason were unable to issue me with a boarding pass for the MNL-MEL segment. I didn't completely understand why, at some stage they told me that it was because the data on the ticket (eticket) and my passport didn't match up (all they had was my name, which was spelt correctly etc as far as I could see). Later they told me that it appeared that the Philippine Air checkin service wasn't working. Regardless, I had a boarding pass for the first sector, and was told to go to the transfer desk in Manila to sort it out. Kudos to the staff in Fukuoka (I think they were JAL), they kept trying and ran onto the plane just before we left Fukuoka to tell me they still couldn't get the boarding pass.

    Flight to Manila was fine, arrival in Manila was an eye-opener, I like to think that I'm an experienced traveler (having traveled through many many Asian airports) but Manila airport was something else. As I arrived on Philippine Air and was leaving on Philippine Air, I went through Centennial terminal. Although I continually asked, I was instructed to transfer by going through immigration etc, in retrospect, I think that at the first sign I was going through immigration I should have looked around a bit more.

    Rocking up to immigration (after handing in our "I do not have pig flu" forms), our entire flight was greeted with empty immigration booths... Eventually staff turned up and we were processed. Bags to be picked up (not for me, as my bags were checked through to Melbourne), and then through customs. And then we were outside! To get back around to departures, I needed to head up the large flight of stairs, and then through security #1 to get into the terminal (need to show your ticket and passport to get through, I imagine if you didn't have a paper copy of your eticket, there would be problems). Checkin was straight-forward (despite the original problems in Fukuoka), and staff were very accommodating. To pass through the next stage, you need to pay the airport tax (750 pesos or $15.50 USD). Staff told me that there was an ATM outside, but to head outside I needed to surrender my boarding pass -they give you a plastic token in exchange. ATM is outside, on the lefthand side. Not as secure as I would have liked, but I think it was safe enough. Unfortunatly it wouldn't give me any money (told me $500 AUD was over the limit, I know that my limit is higher than that, so I presume that limit is instigated by the ATM?) I didn't try again, as I was worried it might cancel the card. Headed back inside (through security again), collected my boarding pass, and heade over to the tax counter to pay in USD.

    After emigration, you head through security #2 (where you need to take off your shoes, but interestingly I wasn't asked about liquids, nor was I asked to take my laptop out of it's case). Everyone was briefly patted down.

    The departure gates area was interesting, a few seats, some food options (including a sandwhich bar that made fresh baguettes etc), a sprinkling of duty free shops, and some "laptop stations" (large desks with chairs and powerpoints, and signs saying "exclusively for laptop users only". I sat down to surf the net for a while, only to be told by fellow passengers that there were no unlocked networks that worked - I did manage to find one for a couple of minutes, but that was about it. Plenty of powerpoints to charge your electricals though, US style with the two flat parralel pins, I think I read somewhere that the voltage in the Philippines is 240V, but worth checking up on that.

    Duty free alcohol seemed cheap, certainly for what I bought (700mL Jagermeister, $15.50 USD, it was $40 AUD for a 1L bottle in Melbourne). Alcohol was delivered to me at the gate when I boarded, fine to buy and take to Melbourne (direct flight) but I don't think it's ok for flights with transfers.

    To get into the departure "lounge" (really just a roped off section in the main terminal, but the only place you could easily get a seat), I had to pass through security #3, again, shoes off, no mention of liquids, no need to take laptop out. Patted down again, this time more thoroughly (everyone was being checked, I wasn't being singled out). After grabbing my carryon luggge, I had to provide my ticket and receipt for airport tax to the counter for them to check. Boarding was standard: after having my ticket checked, I picked up my duty free and boarded the plane. Flight was standard - attendants were great (let me move to a bank of seats that were empty before the flight left, so that I could get some shut eye on the flight).
     
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