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Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA): An Informative Guide for Travelers

The country’s main airport is officially named Ninoy Aquino International Airport, though many simply refer to is as NAIA.

Formerly known as the Manila International Airport, NAIA has four terminals located between Pasay and Parañaque. These are the only terminals serving the Metro Manila area.

Here’s some general information you’ll need to know about NAIA and its four terminals:

Departure

1. Check-In

Check-in counters normally open three hours before your scheduled time of departure. Depending on your airline of choice, you may check-in online using the airline’s app. Passengers with international flights are usually asked to check-in at least two to three hours ahead of their departure time. On the other hand, those with domestic flights are encouraged to check-in at least 90 minutes before. Make sure to prepare the following travel documents before checking in:

  • Flight ticket
  • Passport
  • Valid ID/s
  • Luggage (Check- in and Hand- carry)
  • All necessary travel documents and Visas

The check-in process typically lasts at least 10 minutes. If your ticket doesn’t cover the travel tax, you have to pay for it at the travel tax counter. After checking-in, you will receive your boarding pass.

2. Baggage

Before heading to the airport, know your airline’s security guidelines on baggage. Make sure that your luggage is packed based on these guidelines to avoid delays and shelling out extra cash. Most airlines allow hand-carry baggage with different weight limits. Bringing too much baggage may require you to have some of your bags checked in for an extra fee. The following items also need to be checked-in:

  • Food or items with pungent smells
  • Meats and cheeses
  • Sports equipment
  • Battery- operated items
  • Liquids that are over 3.40 ounces

3. Security Check

Passenger security is any terminals’ first and foremost priority. Ergo, to ensure the safety of all, a team of inspectors pat down passengers and check and scan baggages. Some inspections may require individuals to remove their shoes, belts and other metal accessories – so to keep queue moving along, be sure to remove these ahead of time.

Also, have your boarding pass and other travel documents ready for inspection. Make sure that your baggage, especially carry-on luggage does not contain any of the following:

  • Corrosives
  • Flammable liquids
  • Paint
  • Radioactive materials
  • Camp stoves
  • Lighters and matches
  • Magnetized material
  • Oxidizing material
  • Bleach
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Toxic substances

4. Immigration

If you are a Filipino flying international, then you will have to pass through the immigration section of NAIA. Be ready to present both your boarding pass and passport, and to answer several questions about your trip.

If traveling for leisure, you may be asked for your itinerary, hotel accommodation receipts, and other necessary travel documents. There is a separate immigration section for OFWs.

5. Boarding

Passengers must be at their respective boarding gates 30 minutes before their scheduled flight. Again, you will be asked to present your passport and boarding pass. There is a waiting area where you may charge your gadgets, eat snacks, and more. There are a handful of food stalls and a couple of restrooms near the boarding gates.

Arrival

1. Immigration

After alighting the plane, passengers need to proceed to the immigration hall. They only need to present their boarding pass, passport and have it stamped. Travelers who take domestic trips don’t have to pass this section.

2. Baggage Claim

If you checked-in some of your luggage, then head over here to reclaim them. Your airline usually announces which carousel you should go to while on the plane, but if you don’t remember, there are signs which show you which carousel is for which flight. There are several trolleys nearby which you can use to transport heavier luggage.

3. Customs

Before exiting the baggage claim area, you must go through customs which is where you should declare all your goods: jewelry amounting to a certain amount, electronic goods, and other goods acquired abroad. If you’re not sure as to whether or not your items should be declared, you may for assistance from either the flight crew or staff at the terminal.

4. Arrivals Hall

This is where your relatives and friends are waiting for you.

NAIA Facilities and Services

1. Airport Lounges

Passengers may enter the terminal lounges by either paying a fee at the entrance, purchasing a pass, or getting a lounge membership. Here are some of the lounges at NAIA:

  • Miascor Lounge – Located at T1, this lounge has showers available. It caters to passengers with prepaid lounge passes or lounge memberships. Passes can be bought at the entrance, as well.
  • Pagstop Lounge – Also in T1, Pagstop Lounge caters to customers that are enrolled in its lounge membership programs.
  • Pacific Club Lounge – Similar to the Miascor Lounge, facility- and service-wise. The only significant difference is that it’s located at T3.
  • Skyview Lounge – This is T3’s version of T1’s Pagstop Lounge.
  • Wings Transit Lounge – Located at the level 4 of T3, this lounge also has shower rooms. To access this lounge, the passenger has to pay at the door.

2. Day Rooms

If you are in either Terminal 1 or 3, you can rest and relax at one of their day rooms for a fee (cash payment only). There are 10 air-conditioned day rooms, all of which come with their own showers. In Terminally specifically,  there are sleep capsules, twin rooms, shower rooms, and a massage area.

3. WiFi Connection

NAIA, regardless of the terminal, offers WiFi at no extra charge.

Other Services and Facilities

1. Baby Care

There are nursing rooms located throughout NAIA. Said rooms offer cribs, playpens, and other necessities such as formula and diapers. In addition, there are children’s areas where your kids can enjoy playhouses and slides.

2. Baggage Trolleys

There are designated areas where you can find porters to assist you with your luggage, in exchange for a fee (more or less $1 per bag). Baggage trolleys are available free of charge.

3. Cash Machines

All terminals have available ATMs all throughout the facilities.

4. Currency Exchange

You can easily spot a currency exchange counter throughout the Departures and Arrivals sections of all NAIA terminals.

5. Luggage Storage

Located at T3, “Luggage and More” offers lockers and luggage services to passengers. Fees depend on the size of the luggage and the number of hours the luggage has been stored.

6. Medical Services

Medical services are available 24/7 at all NAIA terminals. There are also a couple of pharmacies throughout the airport.

7. Prayer Areas

Passengers looking for an area where they can pray or meditate may visit the terminals’ chapels or prayer rooms. Just half a kilometer from T1, Our Lady of the Airways Parish Church has scheduled masses daily.

8. Smoking Areas

There are designated areas where passengers may smoke. T4 is the only terminal without an indoor smoking lounge.

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