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Departure via Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 – Part 1

The MCIA has two terminals with the newer Terminal 2 being lauded as one of the best designed terminals in the country. It has been recognized internationally, too. And this is mainly due to the architecture of the new terminal.

Approach ramp to the departure level of MCIA Terminal 2

Departure level driveway – the area looks spacious but you wonder how it is during the peak season.

The view upon alighting from the vehicle that took us to the airport – note the advisory stating Cebu Pacific departures are via the old Terminal 1.

The walkway leading to the terminal building is very spacious.

Passengers may use the baggage trolley for their convenience in hauling their luggage.

There are seats for travelers and their well-wishers.

One of the kiosks along the corridor leading to the terminal building

The view from the walkway shows the Waterfront Hotel with its tiled roofs and the older MCIA Terminal 1 building (at right in the photo).

A local coffee shop operates out of one of the outdoor kiosks. These kiosks serve both travelers and well-wishers.

Inside, a popular souvenir shop welcomes travelers.

Schedule of departures are shown on one of the screens inside the terminal building.

Info booths of some of the airlines using Terminal 2

The Terminal 2 building offers very impressive architectural details.

There were long lines not because the airport is crowded but because there were few check-in counters open. Even those who have checked-in online and were to drop-off their bags were not spared the queues.

Stained glass windows featuring what appears to be a giant parol (Christmas lantern).

A view of the other check-in counters at the spacious MCIA Terminal 2

I took this photo of the ceiling to show the incorporation of natural lighting elements that allow for less power consumption for lighting particularly during daytime. This is one of the eco-friendly features of the building.

Another view of the long queues for PAL after we finished checking-in.

Airline service and information counters at the terminal – these are for Air Busan and Korean Air. An Air Busan plane figured in a crash recently when it overshot the runway upon landing at the MCIA in bad weather.

Another view of the ceiling and roof

Guidance for passengers are posted at the check-in counters. These include info on items that are not allowed in the check in bags, what are prohibited and will be seized at the airport, and what are allowed only in check in bags. The scale readout is working and can be seen on the counter. Typical luggage limit for domestic passengers range from 20 to 25kg depending on the airline. 

 

Part 2 is coming soon!

Arrival at Mactan Cebu International Airport

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.

Returning to Mactan, Cebu

This weekend we are in Mactan to take a much needed break after a busy 2 weeks. I will write soon about the travel between Manila and Cebu including the conditions at the airports. For now, here’s a few photos upon deplaning from the aircraft.

A bus waited for us as we disembarked from the Airbus A321
Other passengers wait for the next bus

I look forward to the beach and a few side trips. Our plans for the weekend are quite flexible so its uncertain what places we get to visit or perhaps stay put at the resort where we are staying. I do want to see the completed bridge connecting Cordova with Cebu City (Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway or CCLEX).

More on the trip to Cebu in future posts.

Eating at the Mactan Cebu International Airport

While NAIA Terminal 3 has several floors of shops and restaurants, it can get very crowded at the terminal. MCIA has renovated its domestic terminal to include a much improved food court inside (after checking in and passing security) the terminal and restaurants and shops outside. Its food avenue for passengers show us what a modern airport should have. MCIAA definitely did very well here and the design should be a good example for other airports, even domestic, to emulate.

Food court at MCIA domestic wing

 

There’s food for people of various preferences. You can have pizza, pasta, Filipino dishes, ramen, and of course, lechon

 

I prefer to have some ramen if I have the time for a leisurely meal. Otherwise, I get my food from La Bella, which has pizza, pasta and paninis. They usually have freshly baked breads and pastries and I usually buy brownies from them. I take these home as my daughter and I love these fudgy treats.

Mactan Cebu International Airport – newly opened lobby area at Terminal 1

Arriving in Cebu, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the airport’s Terminal 1 has a new lobby that is now open to the public. Here are photos taken during our recent trip to Cebu last month.

View of the newly opened lobby from the baggage claim area

Passengers and well-wishers (mostly people waiting to fetch arriving passengers) at the MCIA’s new lobby

This is the arrival level and one can use the escalators or the stairs to get to the departure level

Escalators at the MCIA’s new lobby

The corridor to the transport terminal is unfinished but the path is spacious enough as shown in the photo.

This is the area closer to the older exit from the arrival area of Terminal 1, which is actually closer to the transport terminal.

A preview of a much more spacious area where a driveway used to be

I made sure to take more photos of the lobby upon our departure from Cebu. Here are those photos:

Workers walking along the newly completed pathways at the ground transport interphase for the departure area of the airport’s Terminal 1.

A familiar scene: passengers saying their farewells to relatives at the airport terminal

Carts neatly placed for use by travellers

Information signs and columns are sleek and modern. These show the way to the check-in counters.

A very spacious departure level lobby

View towards the escalators to the arrival area, which is one level down from the departure area

Shakey’s seem to be one of the first to establish a branch at the newly refurbished Terminal 1.

Corridor to the terminal’s domestic flight check-in counters

Newly installed information board showing scheduled departures and their status

More about Cebu’s airport soon!

Another look at the Mactan Cebu airport taxi stands

This is the last of three posts about our recent arrival at Mactan Cebu International Airport. Following are more photos; this time from exiting the terminal building to the transport stand and driveway.

Arriving passengers exiting the Terminal 1 building and heading to the driveway for transport

Directional signs for various road transport options at MCIA. These include metered taxi, white taxi (airport taxi) and bus

The driveway also includes bays for private vehicles. These are mixed with rideshare vehicles such as those with Grab.

Metered taxi stand – there used to be a Grab booth here but I couldn’t find them in the area so either they might have set up somewhere in the airport or perhaps it is assumed that people can manage with their apps on their smartphones.

Mactan Cebu airport arrival – Part 2

This is a continuation of the feature on arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA). In the previous post, I shared photos of our arrival at the new Terminal 2 and our walk from T2 to the domestic Terminal 1.

Passengers continue to the corridor on the Terminal 1 side

Take-off run for a commercial flight

Cramped corridor for arriving passengers heading to the baggage claim area

Bridgeway or tube at T1

We emerged from the corridor to the T1 building and a sign showing us the way to the baggage claim area

Descending the stairs or escalator to the arrival level and the baggage claim area

Visitors are greeted with posters showing Cebu’s attractions as well as ads for residential and resort developments. Also shown in the photo are information boards on arriving flights. 

Baggage claim area for domestic flights – notice the passengers with their carts or trolleys crowding along the conveyor system.

Another look at the baggage claim area and a less crowded conveyor

More photo of the arrival including the taxi stand soon…

Aerial photos of Cebu and Mactan

I enjoy taking aerial photos when the opportunities present themselves. Leaving Cebu for Manila a couple of weeks ago, I was able to take some nice photos as or plane took off and cruised over Mactan Island. Here are some of the better photos:

A view of Mandaue and Cebu cities across from Mactan Island as our plane took off from the airport

Here’s a first look (a bird’s eye view) of the ongoing construction of the third bridge connecting Cebu and Mactan Islands. This is part of the Cebi-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project.

Here’s another view of the island with the airplane engine in the photo.
Here is a close-up photo of the island where tall columns will be built to support the CCLEX bridge. The viaduct in the photo is the one connecting downtown Cebu City with the South Reclamation Project area that includes the SM Seaside development.

The SM Seaside as seen from the air

Here’s a view of the South Reclamation Project area with SM Seaside as our plane turned north towards Manila.

Another view of Cebu City and the SRP

Here’s my favourite shot of Cebu and Mactan Islands with the SRP on the foreground, the CCLEX bridge under construction and Mactan International Airport

Back in Cebu

I am back in Cebu for a few meetings for a conference we are organising together with the University of San Jose-Recoletos. Upon landing, I snapped this photo of the Mactan Cebu International Airport’s second terminal, which is designated for international flights. The control tower is also in the photo as well as part of the old terminal that is used for domestic flights.

View from our Cebu Pacific Airbus A320

I will post about the airport and some street scenes in Cebu in the next days. But before those, I think I still have one on Zamboanga airport that I have been procrastinating about. I will also post something about the conference we are organising later in July. Abangan!

Mactan Cebu Airport taxi terminal

I wanted to post about the new taxi stands at the Mactan Cebu International Airport as early as September of last year but I didn’t have good photos to show in the article. Last December, however, I was able to get a load of pictures during 2 trips to Cebu. The terminal at the arrival level of the airport is basically divided into 2 stands – the White Taxi Stand and the Yellow Taxi Stand. Here are the photos of the taxi terminal at Cebu’s airport.

2015-12-08 10.25.25Covered facilities allow for all-weather queuing of passengers.

2015-12-08 10.25.52White taxis are regular taxis while the yellow ones are ‘airport taxis’ charging higher fares.

2015-12-08 10.25.56 The lines for the white taxis are definitely longer and this is basically due to the lower fares charged by regular taxis.

2015-12-08 10.26.01Obviously, there are more regular (white) taxis than yellow taxis so the queue proceed well and the waiting times are not so long.

2015-12-08 10.26.35 There are 5 spaces for taxis but everyone seems to be queuing for the first one. The dispatchers could do better to make the lines go faster.

2015-12-08 10.26.51That’s the queue behind us, all going for the regular taxis.

2015-12-08 10.29.03If the queue for the white taxis is proceeding at an acceptable pace, few people take the yellow taxis. Vehicle-wise, yellow taxis are newer and better maintained models. My observation (based on limited experience) is that yellow taxi drivers are also less reckless than drivers of white taxis.

2015-12-08 10.29.15There are two booths for app-enabled taxis like Grab Taxi and Easy Taxi. Passengers for these may proceed to the area near the booths and board their taxis at the bays near them.

Here are a few photos from the second trip last December when we experienced long queues for taxis. I think we arrived during the morning peak at the airport when a couple of international flights using wide-bodied planes arrived.

2015-12-09 13.05.20A very long queue for the white taxis greeted us when we got out of the airport terminal.

2015-12-09 13.06.00There was a constant arrival of taxis but the demand was just too high; resulting in the long queue.

2015-12-09 13.15.27There is a priority lane for senior citizens, expectant mothers and families with children. Dispatchers make sure that these people get their taxis ahead of others.