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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

Another look at the Iloilo airport – departure

I took the first flight out of Iloilo back to Manila during a recent trip to the city. I also took an opportunity to take some pictures of the terminal including the part when we lined up to enter the terminal. Security was strict (as is necessary for such facilities) so there was a single line to control the inflow of passengers. There’s nothing really new for departures except a few new cafes inside the pre-departure area. The shops prior to the final security check were still closed at the time so I could not do some final pasalubong shopping. I can only imagine that passengers directly bound for international destinations would need to pass through the immigration booths at the terminal.

IMG07323-20131025-0426Queue of passengers entering the terminal – there was a single file for the initial inspection by airport security. Well-wishers are not allowed inside the airport unless there is prior clearance from the airport authorities.

IMG07324-20131025-0450North wing pre-departure area – the shops were already open early in the morning

IMG07325-20131025-0451A glance back to the center of the terminal where passengers emerge from the final security check.

IMG07326-20131025-0451Passengers catching an NBA post-game interview while waiting for the boarding call.

IMG07327-20131025-0452We were initially assigned to board at Gate 3 of the airport terminal.

IMG07328-20131025-0452Cafe near Gate 3 that is also designated as a smoking area.

IMG07330-20131025-0518Later, we were transferred to Gate 5 at the other end of the terminal.

IMG07331-20131025-0518Waiting passengers seated facing Gate 5. There are also cafes and fast food line along this terminal wing.

IMG07332-20131025-0518Designated enclosed smoking area near Gate 5.

IMG07333-20131025-0552Fellow passengers walking on the bridge towards our aircraft.

IMG07334-20131025-0552The first flight out of Iloilo to Manila is via Cebu Pacific. The second flight is via Philippine Airlines whose plane is shown unloading baggage as it arrived as we were boarding our aircraft.

IMG07335-20131025-0552View inside the tube as we proceeded to board our aircraft.

NAIA T3 shops and eats

I had wanted to post about airports again but the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and the continuing efforts for relief in places affected by the typhoon made me hesitate a bit from doing “business as usual” writing. The past few days though I have seen a demand for information on NAIA Terminal 3 and so I decided to complete an unfinished draft on T3 to add on the information out there on shopping and eating/drinking at T3 once the passengers have passed through the final security check and proceeded towards their respective gates for pre-boarding.

We were at Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 last month for a flight to Iloilo. I took some new photos to come up with an update to the pictures I’ve posted in the past on T3.

IMG07228-20131023-0541There are many souvenir shops at NAIA T3 including those selling flip flop sandals, shirts, swimwear, electronics, luggage and various accessories.

IMG07229-20131023-0541There seems to be a lot more options for eating or perhaps sipping a hot cup of coffee or tea while waiting for your boarding call.

IMG07230-20131023-0542There’s a shop selling eye wear (sunglasses anyone?), electric razors and watches.

IMG07231-20131023-0542A popular souvenir shop for shirts is Islands Souvenirs. They have shops or stalls all around the country with each basically selling only designs attributed to the city or island where the shop is set-up. That means Cebu shops/stalls basically sell Cebu-themed shirts, Iloilo shops/stalls sell Iloilo-themed merchandise, and so on. The shirts they sell are of very good quality and don’t shrink after you wash them. I have quite a number of shirts (I used to collect them from my travels.) so I can attest to the quality of their products.

IMG07232-20131023-0603Pondohan” translates into neighborhood “store” or “shop.” It is also more commonly called “sari-sari” store with the term “sari-sari” meaning “variety” and referring to the merchandise being sold at the store.

IMG07233-20131023-0603This stall offers quick meals as well as pasalubong in the form of their take on popular kakanin or rice cakes or puddings. Friends say they also have good coffee.

IMG07234-20131023-0604Colleagues of mine having a quick meal before our morning flight to Iloilo. Beside them are directional and information signs of PAL and Ceb Pac.

IMG07235-20131023-0618We found that there were already other shops and cafes/eateries along the way to the boarding gates at one end of the terminal. I guess with more passengers now using T3, there is also more demand for shops and options for eating at the airport’s pre-boarding areas (i.e., near the gates of this linear terminal building).

Souvenir shops at NAIA Terminal 1

NAIA’s Terminal 1 recently reclaimed the unenviable title of worst airport in the world. While I have seen worse airports in the country, NAIA happens to be the country’s main gateway to the world. Thus, there are a lot of expectations regarding the airport including the facilities and most importantly, the quality of services provided to passengers at the terminals. Just this week, NAIA’s radar had to go through maintenance works and it was shut down for a few days. The shutdown meant air traffic had to be managed manually. The result was quite disastrous to airlines schedules and a lot of flights were delayed or cancelled, thereby costing a lot of people a lot of money.

One feature of international airport terminals are the shops. Most major terminals would have the typical duty free shops selling chocolates, alcohol, and luxury brand items. Many terminals would have shops selling specific merchandise or local products that are popular or associated for that country like electronics, jewelry, fabrics and various crafts. Local crafts are stuff that foreign travelers would probably look for in airports especially for last minute souvenir shopping. If the price is reasonable, then I would assume that such products will sell quite decently at airports.

In the case of NAIA, there are more handicrafts stores at Terminal 1, which serves most international airlines flying to Manila. The larger handicrafts stores are located at the end of the corridor in between the entrances to the two main wings of the terminal and are featured in this post.

IMG07039-20131006-0545Arts and handicrafts stores sell mainly local or Philippine-made goods. I say mainly because I’ve seen souvenirs like miniature or toy jeepneys and tricycles that are actually made in China.

IMG07040-20131006-0545Souvenir shops are mostly open early in the morning except a few like this curiously named “Multi-gift” boutique.

IMG07041-20131006-0545I like this shop “Children of Maisog arts and crafts.” I think their products are authentic and of high quality. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the prices are not pang-airport or pang-turista (for tourists). They are comparable to those in the malls or even some trade fairs.