Manila International Airport (MNL)
Arrival at Manila (NAIA)
Lots of people complain about Manila Airport (MNL). Sorry, but we cannot understand them. Maybe, they have never been lost in London's Heathrow (LHR) or misguided in Paris' Charles de Gaulle (CDG) during a strike.
The first feeling is warm and humid air when you leave the plane. Walk through the windowed alleys and follow the signs to the luguage pick-up zone. Do not run. Your lugguage needs more time than you do to get to the belt.
The alleys are seldom as empty. But when 3 heavy carriers arrive within 15 minutes, the walk can quickly turn in a stop and go.
A few meters later you will have to pass the health control. Since WHO has issued Bird Flue and SARS alerts, the Philippines authorities control your body temperature on arrival. The control stations are situated at the end of the two "Y" branches of NAIA international terminal.
It seems that they are not permanent, but we had to pass these controls ever since spring 2007.
If you just caught a cold the day before leaving your cold country, we recommend to take one or two Aspirins or Paracetamols 2 hours before landing in Manila NAIA.
It is a good idea to check here if you have your passport, your disembarkation card and the ticket with the lugguage tags on hand. These 3 items will be requested during your journey trough Manila Arrival.
Transit passengers find information at the "Airline Passenger Transfer Desk". This desk is only useful for international transfers. The transfer to domestic destinations is handled outside the International Terminal. Check our Transfer section.
If you have a question or a problem of any kind, do not hesitate to ask the cheerful staff at the information desk. This desk is situated just before the immigration counters.
The first obstacle will be the lines to the immigration counters. You need to be able to show the immigration officials that you have at least six months remaining in your current passport and an onward international flight, if you do then you will be automatically allowed entry for up to 21 days without a visa. This can be extended to 59 days and more. Have a look at our Visa Information for further details.
In the baggage carousel a number of conveyor belts will bring you your luggage. Above each conveyor belt is a flight information board letting you know which conveyor belt your luggage will arrive at.
There are free trolleys available and here you find the Interline Baggage Room (phone: +63 2 877-1109 local 3633.
As said earlier, your patience will be tested in this area. Sometimes it takes an awful long time until your lugguage arrives. Count about 30 minutes and sometimes much more...
Next step will be the customs desks. You will have to present your Baggage Declaration Form. If you have something to declare - do it. If you do not and the custom officials find them, they will seize the items and you will be fined.
Before you reach the Arrival Lobby there is a last check, the Lugguage Tag Check Point. Have your ticket with the tag ready. If the tags on your ticket correspond to the tags on your lugguage you pass.
In the Arrival Lobby you should change some US Dollars (USD) in Philippine Pesos (PHP). The exchange rates are not too bad.
Outside you may get a hotel taxi or bus, an ordinary taxi or the transfer shuttle for the 3 other terminals. For the later, consult our Transfer section.
There are two possibilities of transportation to the other 3 terminals:
The shuttle bus - it had been free for a long time, but now they charge 20 or 30 pesos. You find this shuttle bus on your right hand at the end of the terminal building.
On the left hand you find the yellow Manila Airport Taxis. They are metered and clean. For rates consult our Transfer section.
If you are short in time, take the taxi!
Transfer to NAIA-2 (PAL only) costs about 85 to 125 pesos,
Derrick, a reader informed us on August 11, 2011 that the taxis even on the meter insist on extra money.
Hotel guests proceed just over the road to the booth shown in the picture. There you find a desk that processes your hotel transfer. Either there is a bus, a mini-bus or a taxi.
The hotel taxis are far more expensive then other metered taxis. But the hotel taxis are save and bring you to YOUR hotel and not the one, your driver earns a tug commission.
In order to curb the abuses heaped on helpless tourists and other arriving passengers by unscrupulous taxi drivers over the years, airport authorities have since implemented a scheme of accrediting taxicabs who can pick up fares at the NAIA Terminal 1.
Payment is made in advance by the passenger, who is handed a ticket to be presented to the cabbie in the queue. The fare is usually several times more expensive than what a regular metered cab would charge for the same distance.
The accredited yellow airport taxis are slightly more expensive than the regular white ones, but their service is supervised and always OK.
If you want to try the cheap way, then you will have to go up to the departure curbside and hail one - something we do not recommend for the first-time visitor to Manila.
More taxi information in our
or in our
Alley from the aircraft dock to the transfer lobby
Health monitoring of arriving passengers
The infrared camera detects fever
The transfer lobby is not always so empty
The first help-desk
The transfer desk
The luggage carousels
Outside the arrival lobby
Follow this sign to the shuttle bus
This sign shows you the way to the airport taxis
This is an old photo, today only the yellow airport taxis are authorized in the arrival area
* There are no photos from security sensitive areas like: customs, immigration and checkpoints.
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