Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila)
The airport is located four miles south of Manila.
+63 (02) 877 7888
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) is about 4.3 miles south of Manila, the cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines, and is a major gateway to the country. It serves as a hub for all Philippine airlines and is one of the 50 busiest airports in the world, serving 27 million passengers each year. Flights to Ninoy Aquino International Airport arrive from major hubs in Asia and the Pacific region, as well as a handful of cities a little further afield such as Amsterdam, Detroit and Dubai.
If you’re catching one of the many international flights to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, chances are you’ll go through the old Terminal 1, widely regarded as one of the worst terminals in Asia. It generally operates way over capacity, especially in peak season – so make sure you factor in lots of time. There are plans to shift more international flights to the sleek new Terminal 3, although so far, this has been hampered by red tape.
Overall, this airport is a little chaotic and can be confusing to navigate, but with a healthy dose of patience, you’ll get through it to your vacation in the Philippines without too much trouble.
There are four terminals – Terminal 1, Terminal 2 (also called the Centennial Terminal), Terminal 3 and Terminal 4. Most international flights go through Terminal 1 and a few through 3, while Terminal 2 is used exclusively by Philippine Airlines. Terminal 4 handles domestic flights. There is a free airport shuttle bus between terminals for passengers catching connecting flights, otherwise you’ll need to pay a fee to use the HMG transport shuttle service. You can also catch the colorful “jeepneys”, or decorated US Army jeeps, around the airport or into town.
Getting into Town
Train: The Metro-Rail Transit station at Baclaran is 3 miles from the airport, and trains run regularly between 5am and 10pm. There is an airport shuttle that operates between the Terminal 3 and the station, or you can take a taxi or jeepney.
Taxi: Yellow taxi cabs leave from the stands outside each terminal, which charge a flat rate. Coupon taxis, with desks in the terminals, charge a flat rate depending on the destination and are often cheaper.
Bus: There is an airport bus service that travels to the city center every 15 minutes or so. There’s also a city bus service that leaves from outside the arrivals areas of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Each terminal has a number of car parks associated with it, some closer to the building that others. All car parks at the airport charge a flat fee during the day and a slightly higher fee for overnight parking.
There’s at least one information desk in each terminal.
Money and communications: Banks, ATMs and currency exchange in all terminals.
Luggage: There are luggage carts and a free porter service in the arrivals and departures areas – note that NAIA has a “no tipping” policy. Anything lost in the terminal buildings will make its way to the Investigation Division (IID) in Terminal 1.
Conference and business: There are a few passenger and VIP lounges in Terminal 2 and Terminal 1 with free Internet, newspapers, snacks and TV.
Other facilities: Catholic and Muslim prayer rooms, baby changing and infant facilities, children’s play room in Terminal 1 and Terminal 4, 24-hour clinics in Terminals 1 and 3, post offices in Terminals 1 and 2.
Wi-Fi: There is free Wi-Fi in the VIP lounges in Terminal 2 and Terminal 1, but you’ll have to pay to get in.
Shopping: There are the usual gift and souvenir stands, jewelry stores and newsagents at Ninoy Aquino International, most of which are in Terminal 2. If you’re a smoker, pick up some fine cigars in the tobacco stores, also in Terminal 2. There are also duty-free shops stocking a selection of jewelry, fashion, accessories, tobacco products and electronics in Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
Food and drink: There are loads of fast-food joints, snack bars and coffee shops throughout the terminals and even a few in the car parks, so if you’re just after a quick bite, you won’t need to go far. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, head for the large food courts in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.