It’s the Undas holidays when people typically travel to their hometowns. In the past, this has been an exodus for the big cities like Metro Manila where most people actually originated from other provinces. It is a common sight for the bus terminals, airports and seaports to be crowded this time of year and prior to November 1 as people travel home. This year is probably the most crowded in many years considering the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted travel the last 2+ years.
This is actually a late post on our travel back in July 2022. It is still relevant as I feature here Cebu’s main gateway – the Mactan Cebu International Airport. We were back in Cebu after almost 3 years and looked forward to a nice vacation. That starts with a pleasant arrival at MCIA that set the tone for a nice break from our work and an adventure for our daughter before school opened (they started in August).
Arriving passengers are greeted by a spacious baggage claim area.
It’s good that the airport did not feel compelled to have every space occupied by something. It makes the passengers feel and appreciate the space, which I thought was a plus for very busy airports like MCIA.
The terminal also has well-maintained tiolets, which is another feature that I think is non-negotiable for such facilities. The toilets are a major part of the first impression of a city/destination for travelers.
Communication companies greet travelers with promos. Globe and Smart offer simcards for visitors. I think these are more for the foreigners or balikbayans who probably need a local number and simcard so they don’t max out their phone accounts while traveling in the country.
People gather around the carousel to claim their baggage. The info board is working and there are signs reminding passengers to carefully identify and claim their baggage.
Many bags look similar and since no one checks the tags/stickers upon exit of the terminal, people should take care in picking up the wrong luggage. It can be an inconvenience to both parties.
This corridor leads to the airline transfer desks.
There’s a preview of one of the restaurants outside baggage claim area of the arrival level of the airport.
Arriving passengers are greeted with a spacious lobby that has two levels of shopping and dining areas.
There are two levels of shops and restaurants. Duty Free Philippines has a branch here for those who have the duty free privileges.
There are seats for travelers and well-wishers.
The corridors are lines with shops, restaurants and food stalls.
Some shops offer the popular lechon (roasted pig) and other local favorites. [Pardon for the blurry photo.]
The airport transport services are organized and have their own ‘formal’ counters. This is unlike the old times when these had informal stalls outside the airport. You can now more confidently book your car or van or inquire about tourist services at one of these counters.
I no longer took photos of the transport terminal at MCIA. I already posted photos on that in previous articles. It is the same and still efficient, convenient and comfortable to travelers. It is definitely better than NAIA’s and other airports in the country in terms of design.