My Connecting Experience at Manila International Airport

After arriving at Manila International Airport on your first flight, there were ground staff on hand to direct all transit passengers to the Transfer Desk. It was only a short walk away from my gate, and at the transfer desk, they checked our onward boarding pass to ensure that we were at the right terminal. Flights to Australia require an in-person secondary screening of bags. I was told to go to the baggage room across from the transfer desk to identify my bags. However when I went there, I was told that my bags were not ready and they generally only ready for inspection about 2 hours before departure. I was then directed to go up one level to the departures area where I was free to relax at the Mabuhay Lounge.

As I had a very long transit of nearly 7 hours, I spent most of my time in the lounge just catching up on some work and some Netflix on my laptop! I also decided to walk the entire terminal several times over just to clock some steps. A word of warning – Manila Airport is not Changi. There is nothing fancy about this airport so if you had a longer layover, I would strongly suggest you consider going out of the airport, perhaps to Resorts World adjacent to the airport.

Whilst I was relaxing at the lounge, about 2 hours prior to departure, I heard my name over the PA system and I went over to the lounge reception. They directed me to the baggage room again where I had to identify my bags, open them for screening, and then lock them again. Once that was done, I was free to go back to the lounge to await boarding.

Whilst the airport was rather peaceful and quiet for most of the afternoon, it was teeming in the evening, when most of Philippine Airlines’ long haul flights were scheduled to depart. There was a secondary screening area for all Australian flights where cabins bags were screened again and documents checked before passengers were allowed into the gate holding area.

Overall, a connecting flight at Manila International Airport can be a straightforward and smooth experience, as long as you plan ahead and allow plenty of time to make your connection.

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Andrew is a self-confessed guru when it comes to frequent flyer programmes. He claims that he is more familiar of the terms & conditions than the one who came up with the terms & conditions. His dream is to be able to feast on cookies day and night without getting fat.