I was among those initially wondering about which terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was being referred to as T4. I already suspected that this might be the term coined for the old Manila Domestic Terminal that was the airport of my childhood days (aside from the old Mandurriao Airport in Iloilo City). The last time I used this terminal was in mid-1996 on a trip to Cebu and prior to my study leave abroad. That was more than 18 years ago so when I had the chance to use Terminal 4 again, I decided to go for it. Following are photos I managed to get of T4 as I arrived from Puerto Princesa via Tiger Air, which was operated by Cebu Pacific but used the old domestic terminal in and out of Manila.
Ground staff preparing to position the stairs for deplaning passengers.
Air Asia Zest aircraft parked in front of the terminal – there are basically two liveries currently in use, the old Zest Air design and the Air Asia design. Air Asia acquired the majority for the airline from Zest Air not too long ago.Airport ground personnel stand around to guide passengers towards the arrival area. Unlike other airports, they are more active in asking passengers not to loiter in the tarmac for photo opportunities.
Another look at the Air Asia Zest planes still in their old livery
We had to walk a bit around the terminal building to get to the arrival area. We had to enter the terminal through a side entrance instead of what looked like the more formal entrance to the arrival area.
Baggage claim area – it looked like they refurbished this area, which brought back memories of the same area I’d seen after arriving from domestic trips (mostly from Iloilo).
Exit from the arrival area leading to the driveway.
Tourists waiting for their checked-in baggage
Information board for arriving flights at Terminal 4
Terminal 4 also serves international flights as can be deduced from the signs and the arrival from Kuala Lumpur shown in the info board in the previous photo. These are flights operated by Air Asia, which is the leading budget airlines in the world.
Busy driveway with drivers picking up or unloading passengers at the airport. I remember this area swarmed with porters back in the day when baggage included a lot of boxes and other stuff people carried to Manila from provincial trips. I still remember one trip by myself during my college days when a porter offered his help with my bags. I didn’t have money to tip him so I told him I could manage (I obviously could not.) but then he helped me anyway, quipping “libre naman iyan” (that’s all free) – a good lesson in humility for me, which I always recall in similar situations.
There is a covered waiting area for well-wishers across from the arrival area exit.