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Manila NAIA International and Domestic Airport - Philippines

Updated on February 10, 2014

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Terminal 1 NAIA Manila
Terminal 1 NAIA Manila

Flying to Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Travelling to the Philippines as a tourist destination in Southeast Asia is becoming more popular, with its amazing natural beauties, amazing hospitality and Filipino food there is a booming tourism industry with, more and more international flights coming into the country. With the increased flow of tourists, three terminals have already been developed in Manila already:

· NAIA Terminal 1 for only international flights.

· NAIA Terminals 2 for domestic flights.

· NAIA Terminal 3 for domestic flights.

If you are travelling to the Philippines from abroad, there are several airlines that are already operating flights into and out of Manila via the NAIA Terminal 1. Such airlines include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and much more. My personal favourite if flying from the States is Hawaiian, it may not always be the cheapest, but the flight crews are great, the planes are nice, and who can pass up a short layover in Honolulu. Round-trip flights going to Manila will usually cost around $1500, but may even be less if you book your flight earlier or if you happen to catch a promo. It also greatly depends where you are flying in from for how much the flight costs. Like anywhere travelling around the Christmas holiday is more expensive, but due to the high number of overseas Filipino workers that will be coming home for the holidays a Christmas flight to the Philippines will be expensive and packed full.

Flying from the US is a long flight to Manila even from the West Coast, it will be roughly 16 hours in the air at best. That does not include any layover or down time at the airport. If you are travelling with kids, bring an iPhone or an iPad so that they can enjoy some apps for kids.

The Philippines’ very own Philippine Airlines also operates international flights from various countries to Manila. It might cost a bit less as compared to the other airlines, but they still offer exceptional services to their clients and can still compete with other international airlines. This is a nice option if you are also able to set up a connecting flight out of Manila with the same airline.

Manila Airport Google Map

Security is Tight

Security at the check in
Security at the check in | Source

Manila International Airport Arrival

Landing and Traversing the Manila Airport

Upon arriving in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, be prepared for a crazy walk going out of the airport. As compared to Terminals 2 and 3, this particular airport is very busy and has a tendency to get really crowded with all the international flights coming into the terminal. It is, however, easier to go out than to get in it. Terminal 1 entrance is whole beasts of its own, if you have an afternoon flight make sure to arrive way early in advance especially if you will be checking baggage. If you are already on your way out of the country, the lines in the NAIA Terminal 1 can get really wild. There are a lot of employees walking around to help you find your line and there will be lots of lines some even seemingly going nowhere, so do not hesitate to ask around. Also, to save you time from the long lines, try checking in online and getting your boarding pass ahead of time, if your chosen airline allows online check in. The lines for passengers who have checked in online are a lot shorter and the move a lot faster. This is what I did when I was going out-of-the-country the last time and it took me just five minutes to get my luggage checked in.

Other than the lines in the airport, your flight into and out of Manila will pretty much be a breeze. Filipinos are very friendly, so if you are in doubt, just ask. Most speak very good English and so getting the right information is not too hard to find, when you have a question. Getting around the country is also easy since there are a lot of available transportation services circulating around the airports.

Check In Lines


Leaving the Airport to Enjoy the Philippines

After you have gone through the passport customs process and collected your baggage. There is one more stop to declare any valuables that you are bringing in the country, as a tourist just travelling for a short period of time you should be fine with all your belongings without having to pay any customs fees. There will be money changers right there and you can exchange $100 or so bucks to have some cash for taxi, dinner, and a few bottles of water. If your only in Manila a night until catching a connecting flight, I highly recommend utilizing the Marriott Hotel that is located right near the airport. Get in the YELLOW cabs these ones are more professional outfits and have licenses, etc. The trip is like 15 minutes through the crazy maze of Manila streets and you are at the hotel. There is an excellent buffet dinner as well other good food and a casino connected to the building. In the morning grab a yellow cab at the hotel and in 5 minutes you are at the front of the airport to depart on your domestic flight to go explore the Philippines.


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