Ninoy Aquino Airport lies around 7km south of Manila. It's a busy airport currently undergoing much-needed renovations. It has four terminals in separate buildings:
Terminals 1 operates international flights except for flights operated by PAL Express, Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, All Nippon Air (ANA), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airline, Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines.
This terminal has two levels: arrivals and departures.
- Arrivals level: baggage claim, customs & immigration, prayer rooms
- Departures level: VIP lounge, shops and restaurants
Terminal 2 operates with domestic and international flights by Philippine Airlines and PAL Express. The Northern side of the terminal serves international flights and the Southern side serves domestic flights.
This terminal has two levels.
- Ground level: arrivals
- First level: departures, check-in and boarding areas
Terminal 3 is the newest and largest terminal. It deals mainly with international passengers and handles flights from Cebu Pacific Air, All Nippon Air (ANA), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airline, Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines. This terminal has 24 gates, 140 check-in desks and three levels.
- Ground level: arrivals, medical station, information counter, baggage claim, car rental, transfer point and ATMs
- First level: departures and ticketing desks - Second level: boarding gates - Third level: shops and dining options
Terminal 4 is a dedicated domestic terminal that has 26 check-in desks and a single level that houses arrivals and baggage claim area, waiting area and check-in counters.
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.
Travelling between terminals
A free shuttle bus transfers passengers between terminals and should run every 15 minutes from the Arrivals area of every terminal. However, service is erratic and you should allow plenty of time for inter-terminal transfers (at least three hours). If in a rush, take a taxi (although they can also be held up by congestion).
If you're connecting between Philippine Airlines and PAL Express flights, you can take a free airside shuttle bus between Terminals 2 and 3. And if you're connecting between Cebu Pacific and Tigerair Philippines flights, you can take a free airside shuttle service between Terminals 3 and 4.
You can also walk between Terminals 1 and 2 in 15 minutes, via the International CargoTerminal, along the public road.
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.
Car hire desks are available in the arrivals areas of terminals 1,2 and 3, provided by Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and National.
Ground operator Miascor operates a lounge at each of Terminals 1 and 3. Both are open 24/7 and offer Wi-Fi, food, drinks and alcoholic beverages. Access is allowed when travelling business or first class on a number of airlines, with subscription lounge services such as Priority Pass. Holders of certain credit cards, such as American Express Platinum, also get free access. Economy-class passengers can also gain access for a one-off payment of circa USD 20.
Terminal 1: Third floor, next to Gate 9
Terminal 3: Fourth floor, look for sign to 'Airline Lounges'
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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