Manila International Airport Guide and Review
About the Manila International Airport
The Manila International Airport is really named the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The airport name is specifically for the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., because of his assassination at the airport in 1983. However, most people call it the Manila International Airport.
In fact, the Manila International Airport is one of the most busiest airports in the world. Mainly, this is because Manila is one of the most populated cities in the world. Also, many Filipinos work overseas and travel back and forth. Finally, the Philippines is a great tourist and expat destination.
In addition, the Manila International Airport is usually the first place that many foreigners meet their significant other Filipina. Typically, this is when deciding to meet in real after on-line dating.
Until 2000, the Manila International Airport only had one deteriorated and crowded international terminal. In fact, before then, the Manila International Airport was consistently known as the worst airport in the world.
Now, things are a lot better at the Manila International Airport. For example, there are now four terminals including the new Terminal 3. Also, Terminal 1 has received a face lift along with many international carriers being switched to the new Terminal 3.
In addition, the newer Clark International Airport in Pampanga just North of Manila has somewhat lightened the load into the Manila International Airport.
Terminals at Manila International Airport
As we indicated above, there are four terminals at the Manila International Airport. None of these terminals physically connect to each other. In fact, they seem like four separate airports. There is an airport shuttle bus that connects the terminals. However, many people say that the shuttle bus is unreliable and often late.
Terminal 1 at the Manila International Airport is the oldest of the three larger terminals. Built in 1981 and upgrades done in 2015, Terminal 1 continues to handle a significant amount of international traffic.
Terminal 1 specifically only serves foreign international carriers. As of now, carriers that use Terminal 1 include Air China, Air Niugini, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Eva Air, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, Jet Star Asia, Korean Airlines, Kuwait Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, Saudia Airlines, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines.
Arrivals Issue for Loved Ones and Families at Terminal 1
For those arriving at Terminal 1 and looking for your loved one or family, there is a strange procedure and policy. In fact, there is no love one or family waiting area in the arrivals lobby outside of customs. So many foreigner talk about going through customs, into the lobby, and thinking their love one did not show up. While there is a lobby area outside of customs, no one from the outside can go inside. However, there are money exchange counters in this area.
At any rate, find your loved one or family by going outside, crossing the road and down the ramp. Before you go outside. grab a free cart for your luggage. Next find your loved one at the bottom of the ramp which is the Terminal 1 Arrivals parking area.
At this point, you will most likely be approached by many people asking to carry your bags or get you a white taxi. Our suggestion is to just politely say no. If your love one or family have a car or van to get you, it is nearby. However, If you need a taxi, it is best to go back up the ramp and get in the yellow taxi line. If fact, the yellow taxis are less expensive and safer. Your love one can go up after meeting you.
Philippine Airlines and PAL Express, the Philippine national flag carrier operate Terminal 2 only with domestic and international flights. Terminal 2 was construction was complete and operational in 1999.
The building has a Rotunda with two sides sticking out like a “V”. The Northern side operate with international flights, the Southern side serves domestic flights.
Each wing has 2 levels. The ground level is for arrivals. The second level is for departures, check-in and boarding areas.
The arrivals areas does allow love ones and family in the lobby just outside of customs.
Terminal 3 is the newest terminal at the Manila International Airport. The building was complete and operational in 2008. Terminal 3 was fully occupied in 2014.
Airlines that operate at Terminal 3 specifically include Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Emirates Airlines, AirAsia Phils, Cebu Pacific and PAL Express.
This terminal is mostly for international carriers, but Cebu Pacific and PAL Express use the terminal for both international and national frights.
The ground floor is for arrivals. The 3rd floor is for departures. In addition, the 4th floor has shops, food and beverages.
The parking garage in front of the terminal has more than 1,200 parking spaces and the multi-story parking building has more than 2,500 parking spaces.
The arrivals lobby area does allow family and love ones to wait just outside of customs.
One new feature for Terminal 3 is an overhead walkway from the terminal to the Newport area of Manila. The Newport area contain multi-use buildings of shops, restaurants and hotels. Therefore, now you can walk from a hotel directly to Terminal 3.
Terminal 4 is also known as the Domestic Terminal or the Old Domestic Terminal. It is the oldest one at Manila airport (1948). It has 26 check-in desks. Terminal 4 hosts flights of local carriers of Tigerair Philippines, Air Asia Zest, and Skyjet Airlines
The Terminal building only has one level with some services as taxis, restaurants, medical care, or shops located right beside the domestic terminal.
Safety and Corruption
Hotels Near Manila International Airport
There are many options for hotels near the Manila International Airport. The hotel map below specifically helps you to find a hotel near the Manila International Airport. For this use, zoom in, pan around and check out hotels using the map below.
Mostly, the hotels on the Terminal 1 side of the Manila International Airport consist of budget type hotels.
On the other hand, hotels on the Terminal 3 side consist of luxury hotels. These are specifically the hotels that we mentioned in the Newport area. These are actually within walking distance of Terminal 3 using the new sky walkway. For example some of the most notable are Manila Marriott, Belmont Hotel, and Remington Hotel.
In addition, there are a couple of hotels within taxi distance of the Manila International Airport that we stayed at and enjoyed. We did a review of each of them. Click on the links below to see our blog reviews of: