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Duty free shop expansion at NAIA Terminal 3

Here’s some lighter stuff after the heavy rains that inundated much of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces. I was at NAIA Terminal 3 recently to fetch a friend arriving from Bacolod. I braved the rains and the potential flooding along my way to and from the airport as it was an early flight she was arriving on. I arrived early to discover the flight arrival was delayed so I decided to go around the terminal to see if there was something new. There was, and that’s the expansion of what was a small (compared to other international airports) duty free shop at NAIA’s largest of 4 terminals.

A peek at the expansion of the duty free shop at Terminal 3 shows people still working on the stocks and display for liquor/wines and cigarettes/tobacco.

Here’s a view from the Lacoste shop looking towards the corridor leading to/from the multi-level parking facility

The shop space now looks quite spacious though I’m not sure if it will attract as many people as other airports’ duty free shops as well as the larger Duty Free Philippines standalone store near Terminal 1. It is very convenient though for the usual p

On immigration lines at NAIA Terminal 1 – again

Much has been said and written about the congestion at the immigration area at the Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. My most recent experience was a mix of good and bad as the lines were quite long prior to my departure for Bangkok.

A very crowded immigration area when I joined the line. Note how far I was to the immigration booths and the meandering arrangement to maximise the space for queued travellers. I reckon that it took me almost an hour to get to a booth. Perhaps the airport can place some signs indicating how much time is estimated for one in line to get to the front? I wrote about this back in 2014 and proposed something similar to what I saw at airports like Narita and Incheon.

 

Meanwhile, the lines were shorter and faster upon my arrival a week later as shown in the following photo:

Believe me these lines are shorter and faster moving. There were many immigration personnel the night of my arrival including an old friend from high school. Only, there were only 2 plane loads of passengers so it will definitely be worse during the peak hours when larger aircraft with more passengers arrive at the terminal.

 

It is a good thing that the airport is installing machines for express lanes soon. That will surely expedite processing for, at least, Filipinos returning from abroad. I think the departures would be quite tricky since there are many requirements particularly for workers leaving for their overseas assignments as well as government employees who require travel authority (TA) for them to travel abroad for whatever purpose. I think its Terminal 1 that is more notorious for the long queues as I didn’t have similar experience when using Terminals 2 or 3. Airport and immigration officials should exert more effort to ensure such congestion is minimised especially as the country targets more passenger traffic through its international airports.

Another look at Suvarnabhumi Airport – arrival, part 2

Here are more photos taken when I arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in early July.

Duty free shop at the baggage claim area

Exit through customs

Travelers and their companions meet-up right after passengers exit the arrival area

It can get quite crowded at some areas of the concourse especially near the airport/tourist information and the currency exchange booths where people usually congregate.

Another photo taken on my way to the escalators to get to the taxi stand at the lower level of the airport

Escalator to the lower level of the airport where one can get a taxi to the city centre.

A view of the ground level where there are seats for people waiting for arriving passengers or passengers biding their time before taking a taxi.

The area is much less crowded than the upper levels

Here is another photo showing the spacious area with few people.

Entry to the taxi stands – note the distinction among regular taxi (middle), large taxi (right)

Typical regular taxis at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The large taxis are generally AUVs.

Travelers are issued this ticket showing the lane where the taxi is parked, the name of the driver, car type and license plate number. You can also get a receipt from your driver upon arrival at destination and payment.

Another look at Suvarnabhumi Airport – arrival, part 1

Here are photos of Suvarnabhumi Airport upon my arrival in Bangkok earlier this month. Here’s the first set of photos taken upon my arrival at the international terminal.

Moving walkway/ Walkalator

Artwork along the way to immigrations

Directional signs are quite important for an airport of this size

More directions and a map

Another artwork

 Digital/electronic information board

Information board on aircraft arrivals and departures

Entry to the immigrations area where photographs and video are not allowed. I dare not be caught violating this rule in a foreign country.

Baggage claim area

Information on which carousel to go to pick-up your luggage are on this board. There are so many arrivals at the airport and so many carousels so its important to look it up for reference and direction.

More artwork, this time at the baggage claim area

Luggage going around on the carousel

Here are more artworks – I think this is a good idea to showcase the country’s artists at its main gateway. Perhaps Philippine airports should also make a similar effort? I recall Mactan Cebu International Airport featuring a local artist Boy Kiamko’s work at the terminal.

Back in Bangkok

I am back in one of my favourite countries to visit – Thailand. I was a frequent visitor between 2002 and 2008. After that, I have been to the Kingdom only twice – in 2012 and in 2013.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main gateway to the Kingdom of Thailand. I was among the early users of this airport when it replaced the old Don Muang Airport that was closer to the Bangkok city center.

I was witness to the development of their transportation infrastructure including the construction of two links to Suvarnabhumi Airport – the express railway and the expressway. Shown above is a welcome sign as you leave the airport. In my case, I decided to use a taxi to get to my hotel as I had some luggage with me.

I will be posting about Bangkok in the next few days. I just need some time and the opportunity to take some nice photos to show here.

On the old overnight parking rates at NAIA

I found a couple of old parking tickets from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Both are for overnight parking, which shows how cheaper overnight rates were before. The amounts to be paid then were also simpler to calculate since an overnight is automatically computed as either 40 or 300 pesos. Note that the 40-peso overnight fee was for the open parking lots of NAIA T2 and T3. The 300-peso fee was for the multi-level building of T3. I’ll just put these photos here for reference and those throwback moments.

Siargao Airport

My brother recently sent me the following photos from a recent trip to Siargao. I share the photos here:

The terminal as it appears to arriving passengers

Passengers walk towards the terminal. Yes, that’s the control tower in the background.

Entrance to the arrival area

Entrance to the terminal’s departure area

Security check for departing passengers’ baggage

Check-in counters

Entrance to the pre-departure lounge

Cramped pre-departure lounge