Manila, Philippines (PH)
Ninoy Aquino Airport lies around 7km south of Manila. The airport has four terminals:
Terminal 1 accommodates most international flights. It has no domestic flights section, so if you have a connecting domestic flight, you have to transfer to another terminal to catch it.
Terminal 2 is used exclusively by Philippine Airlines, for both international and domestic flights. The left half of the building is reserved for international flights, and the right is used for domestic flights. It’s a 2 story building, with arrivals being on the 1st floor and departures on the 2nd.
Terminal 3 accommodates both international and domestic flights from various airlines. It’s a 4 story building, with arrivals on the 1st floor and departures on the 3rd.
Terminal 4 is used exclusively for domestic flights, with mostly small propeller airplanes.
Please note that on departure, you'll be scanned BEFORE entering the terminals, and only those with a ticket to fly are allowed inside. This can lead to long queues, so allow extra time.
There is no direct train from the airport, and Manila's transport system is notoriously difficult to navigate, so a taxi is the easiest way into the city. It's also relatively inexpensive.
‘Coupon’ taxis (white with a number of blue squares) offer a flat-free into Manila, meaning you'll pay the same amount, no matter how heavy the traffic. Fees depend on the zone of travel. Make sure you avoid 'hawker taxis' offering you cheaper rates in the arrivals lounges. Allow plenty of time as, like most major cities, traffic in Manila can snarl in morning and evening rush hour (07:00-09:00 and 16:00-19:00), so allow for extra travel time at peak periods. Journey time can range from 20 minutes to one hour. You can also take a regular yellow airport taxi and save money, still more expensive than regular taxis, but more reliable.
Tip: If you're on a tight budget, don't go to the ranks outside Arrivals. Go upstairs to the rank outside Departures and take a regular white 'street' cab dropping someone off. You'll save money and avoid queues. Ask for 'meter po', to make sure the meter is running.
Cost: From PHP 330-720, depending on your destination, and around PHP 250-300 to Makita (PHP 150-200 to the city centre in a street taxi)
Location: Desks outside each terminal
Train services run from nearby train stations. However, you'll need to take a shuttle or taxi to get to and from the stations, which will add cost and time to your journey:
Cost: PHP 20 for the shuttle bus to the station, plus train ticket from PHP 15
It is recommended for travellers to take the single bus route serving Terminal 3, Route 2 since it stops at downtown touristic locations. Frequency is of 20 minutes.
Cost: PHP 100.00 for a one-way ticket
Location: Terminal 3, facing the Coupon Taxi queue
Beware that passengers are scanned before entering the terminals and only those with a ticket to fly are allowed inside. This can cause queues.
For passengers in transit through Terminals 1 and 3 there are air-conditioned day rooms available. The 3m x 3m rooms have showers and beds and rates are around PHP 840 for a 24/7 visit. In Terminal 1 the rooms are by the 4th floor Sampaguita Lounge, and in Terminal 3 by the Transfer Desk.
For quick layovers, this modern museum beside Terminal 3 displays the history of Philippine military aviation, as well as general aerospace science. There’s a collection of historic aircraft on display outside, including an F-5 fighter.
Entry PHP 20.
Open Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:00, Saturday 08:00 – 12:00.
Next to Villamor Golf Course, the Philippine Airport Museum and Terminal 3, this modern airport hotel has smart rooms with 42-inch flat-screen TVs, a pool, and a free airport shuttle. There’s also a spa, a steakhouse restaurant and a coffee shop. Rooms are from PHP 8,000.
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The four terminals at the airport are connected to one each other by a free shuttle bus which runs around the clock every 15 minutes. Please note that to transfer to another terminal, passengers require to clear immigration and customs prior to use this service.
Though travellers report that the service is not really reliable due to the Manila hectic traffic and have preferred to take a taxi instead.