Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NAIA Terminal 3 Departure Hall Up Close and Impersonal (2011) - Part 1 of 5

A lot of people can be intimidated by unfamiliar places such as an airport which inspires a high degree of paranoia and anxiety; most port of entries and exits do. I hate borders, and border crossings aren't among my favorite things. Since airports provide this "border" between individuals and a specific place, we have opted to document the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 for the new travelers. In this series of posts, we shall help you get a little more familiar with NAIA Terminal 3. We have already featured this airport before - and basic information will be available there - so look for its link somewhere below, if you require that. (I suggest you do.)

Familiarizing oneself with an airport provides easy accessibility for your travel needs. It takes off a great amount of anxiety, and you may even enjoy your transit in the airport.

NAIA 3 is home of Cebu Pacific's International and Domestic flights, as well as PAL Express (formerly AirPhil Express). Other carriers are at the NAIA Terminal 2, about 15-30 minutes away from Terminal 3.

NAIA 3 rises in 2 levels. The ground level (first floor) is the Arrivals Hall. Just in front of its entrance is a parking space. There's a midlevel that contains the administrative offices, the waiting room and a chapel.

The second level is the Departure Hall. From the highway outside, your vehicle will make a u-turn at a rotund (a roundabout) - with a huge glass-based depiction of a diamond - turn to the left, then on to a runway (the right side of the lane) that rises and heads towards the Departure Area. Vehicles here cannot park, but may unload passengers for a few seconds. Carts are available for free, just outside the lounge somewhere. The "3rd floor" is actually located within the Departure and Check-in Area. This 3rd floor is home to several convenience stores (Mini-Stop, 7-11), shops, fast food centers, fine dining restaurants, a coffee shop, and some souvenir shops.

There's a Foreign Exchange Counter just opposite the entrance of the predeparture hall, but there's another one once you've had your security check inside the predeparture area, just beside the Air Mall shop. There are payphone units at the Dining Hall, Waiting Area and scattered throughout predeparture hall. These open phone booths accept coins, credit cards and PLDT call cards.


First floor has (to my knowledge) 2 ATM machines, both run by RCBC Bank (one embedded on the wall, and another stand-alone machine, located (if you're inside, facing out) to your right. It has a Lost and Found Station, a Rental Car Booth inside the hall and even a Left Luggage (just go towards the RCBC Money Exchange counter, then head to the back of the building). It is located just under the escalator. I checked it out and found a room filled with lockers. But we saw the bags of the employees strewn across the floor, so I am not sure if it is actually operational. Since there are lockers, it probably is. I am not aware of any postal service in this airport though. There are telephone booths just beside the RCBC Foreign Exchange Counter. There are 2 cafes/restaurants, if you're in need of a bite or two - Mommy's Goodies and Foodstuff and Le Bistro.


As of February 17, 2015, first level has opened several bank counters and foreign exchange center. Land Bank forex is open from 8:30AM to 3PM for banking transactions, but their forex is open 24-hours. Philippine National Bank and Metro Bank are open 24 hours. The following have ATM machines at the arrival hall: PBB, BPI and PNB. There's a yellow-colored stand-alone Forex counter that's open 24 hours near one of the exits. Philtrust Bank is open for money exchange until 6PM.

Banco de Oro (BDO), one of the biggest banks of the country, has opened a counter at the arrival hall. They open at 8AM up to 12 midnight. Also, this was the only counter where a guard manning the counter did NOT want to answer a straight forward question, i.e. what time do they close. "Saan po kayo, sir? Para saan po yan?" he asked me before finally hesitating with a "12 midnight, sir." Geez. What's wrong with these BDO people. It's a simple and common question. You'd think they were operating an illegitimate business.

PBCom and PSBank also have their own ATM machines. RCBC has its own ATM at the departure hall, front. At the back, after check-in is a Citibank and Land Bank ATM. There is another Forex Counter just before getting into the pre-departure area (domestic and international) - and its open 24 hours.

Can you shop or dine during the wee hours? Of course. There are ATM machines and forex counters everywhere. Outside the pre-departure hall, most duty free shops are open, even the restaurants. A new shop called "Don't Forget About the Kids" (a toy shop) is open 24 hours. Coffee Bean closes at 2AM. The new McDonalds, Jollibee, Dimsum and Dumplings; Kenny Roger's Roasters, and Wendy's are open 24 hours. 7-11 is open 24 hours. Seattle's Best, near 7-11, is open 24 hours. Shakey's close at 10PM. The new Havaianna's store closes at 10PM (near McDo). Cowan Asian restaurant closes at 10PM. Kenko Spa, if you fancy a massage, is open 24 hours as well. Raiku Japanese Restaurant is open 24 hours - and so is Yellow Cab if you fancy a pizza or pasta. Chubby China restaurant at the arrival hall is open 24 hours. Burger King at the arrival hall closes at 12 midnight. 

Pre-departure shops mostly close at 10PM and open at 2AM. Espressamente for your caffeine fix, closes at 8:30PM; Nescafe shop opens at 7:30AM and closes at 8PM. Victoria Secret at the domestic predeparture hall opens at 2AM and closes at 8PM. The one and only Foreign Exchange counter at the domestic predeparture opens from 2AM to 6PM only. Cafe France closes at 5PM. National Bookstore opens from 6AM and closes shop at 6:30PM. KR Express grocery opens from 2AM to 6PM. As of May 4, 2015, a CD-R King branch has opened just across Boarding Gate 20 at the domestic pre-departure area which is odd considering so many CD-R shops have folded all over Metro Manila. 

Army Navy shop near gate 33 closes at 6PM. Krispy Kreme opens from 2AM to 6PM.

LAST CALL COUNTER (When you're running late)

These days (May 2015) most passengers have to allot at least 2 to 3 hours prior to flying (domestic or international) because the volume of passengers sing Terminal 3 has exponentially grown. This results to congestion at the check-in counters (bag drops included). I almost didn't make my Davao flight despite a web check-in and a 1.5 hour leeway to check-in because mere bag drop takes ages. BUT - 30 minutes before your gate closes, Cebu Pac personnel will be calling out passengers to proceed to the "Last Call Counter" for immediate check-in. They will assist you out of your queue and prioritize your check-in so you can run to the gates. Just be attentive when they call out your flight and destination - and call their attention.


If you want a cheap taxi, forget the luxury taxi counter located just after you've retrieved your check-in bags. Head outside the Departure Hall, then at the right corner, you will find two taxi counters: a Fixed-rate Pre-Paid Taxi Booth and a metered airport taxi counter (which always has kilometer queues). Just queue and wait for your turn. You will be given a "coupon" - keep this one. This contains the taxi's plate number, your name, date, time and destination. The pre-paid taxi going to Makati City will probably ask for P400; for Boni, Mandaluyong, it's P550 (or P660 in Megamall area) or thereabouts. It is a fixed rate so you can rest easy and relax. Regular taxis (which can also be had at the Arrival Hall road) will fetch almost a third of these rates, at P200, but hailing them is a n iffy experience especially past 6 PM and over.


If someone's fetching you, he will park just across the front of the Arrival Hall. Just agree on which Bay Number you are (huge numbered posts or columns located outside the Arrival Hall, marked Bay 1, and so on). Or you can proceed to the Parking Area if you were informed where they parked. This parking lot isn't huge so it's not an impossibility to walk around (although if you've a lot of baggage with you, I wouldn't advise it.)


And just so you avoid delays, if you're taking a meal or snack at the Food Court, we feel we need this special mention. Avoid Mary Grace Cafe. The place is messy, the servers are inattentive and take forever to serve you and they forget orders. 

GOOD NEWS: International Carriers Moving to T3 
(July 2014 Update)

Starting July 2014 , NAIA Terminal 3 will be accepting major international carriers: Delta, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore and CathayANA has also been using this terminal a while back. This makes the terminal fully operational, which used to only operate a mere 50% of its facility and services. They've in fact opened the once-empty right wing. These new airline companies will also be posting shuttle bus services for its passengers with connecting flights to other terminals (1,2,4) - for free! Travel between these terminals usually take 30 to 45 minutes. These will give tourists arriving with these carriers a better impression and a more relaxed arrival in Manila. Three other carriers are slated to move from Terminals 1 ans 2 to Terminal 3 in the coming months. This was made possible after the settling of the long-running court cases related to the construction of NAIA Terminal 3.    

NAIA Terminal 3 is a nice welcoming place. I love coming home to its gleaming interiors and cozy unintimidating atmosphere.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

PAL Express counter

Cebu Pacific Counter.

Up next: Shopping Hall and Dining Complex

V for victory?

Protectabag Counter for your packing needs.

OWWA and POEA Counters

Pay your travel tax here.

This left wing used to be empty, now its filling up.

RCBC and PNB ATM Machines at the Departure/Check-in Hallway. At the other side of the check-in hallway, there are 3 atms: PNB, Citibank and another one (either BPI or Chinabank).

Airphil Express Counter for the P1,500 rebooking fees. Many in the queue are those who didn't make their flights.

This is the Waiting Hall. several chairs are found in this area, when you have to wait for your check-in counters to open. At the front (corner) is a booth where Filipinos pay the travel tax (P1620) per person.

More on NAIA 3 - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/02/more-naia-terminal-3-and-rude-skies-of.html

Airport Chapel, Left Luggage and Viewing Gallery http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2012/11/naia-terminal-3-part-6-blessed-john.html

Covered Parkinghttp://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2014/09/naia-terminal-3-covered-parking.html

Important Telephone numbers and email addresses at the T3: for specific queries

Airport Trunkline+63.2.877-7888
Terminal Manager+63.2.666-1513tm.3@miaa.gov.ph
Asst. Terminal Manager+63.2.425-2262atm.3@miaa.gov.ph
Terminal Operations+63.2.666-1512to.3@miaa.gov.ph
Lost & Found+63.2.877-7888 loc.8139iid@miaa.gov.ph
Bureau of Animal Industry+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/8239quarantine_bai@yahoo.com
Bureau of Customs+63.2.877-7888 loc.8127/8197info@customs.gov.ph
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/8239bfarmfdc@bfar.gov.ph
Bureau of Immigration+63.2.877-7888 loc.8128/8187xinfo@immigration.gov.ph
Bureau of Plant Industry+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/8239buplant@yahoo.com
Bureau of Quarantine+63.2.877-7888 loc.8125/8193info@quarantine.doh.gov.ph
DENR Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit+63.2.877-7888 loc.8238/8239denrncr_wtmu@yahoo.com
Philippine Overseas Employment Adminnistration+63.2.877-7888 loc.8051info@poea.gov.ph
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority+63.2.877-7888 loc.8159
Customer Relations Center+63.2.823-0669crc@miaa.gov.ph
Passenger & Customer Relations+63.2.877-7888 loc. 8044pao@miaa.gov.ph
Terminal Administration+63.2.877-7888 loc. 8074t3admin@miaa.gov.ph
Terminal Security & Safety+63.2.877-7888 loc. 8129tss@miaa.gov.ph
Terminal Engineering+63.2.877-7888te3@miaa.gov.ph

1 comment:

WeaKid Soul said...

Thanks for your blogs. Mas informative kesa site ng airport which doesn't have a list of shops or services offered.