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Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

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Kuala Lumpur...
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Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

Just wanna share our "adventure" upon our arrival at NAIA Terminal 1.

After 2 flights we finally landed in Manila at 530pm. Upon our arrival, we passed through immigration pretty quick as there were only 2 flights landing around that time.

We saw driver / agent holding their customers’ name tag at the restricted area so we were busy looking out for our names.

There were probably 5 chairs available at the terminal and most of them were occupied by “staffs / touts” so we were wondering around looking out for our guides. As we were communicating a few hours ago with our guide confirming the punctual arrival of our flight, we began to wonder why they have not shown up after 30 minutes.

We then asked the security guard whether there is another gate or exit or another Terminal 1 in Manila just in case we were waiting at the wrong place. Hubby even walked in and out of the terminal just to check for any sign of our guide but was told by the security guide that he is only one Terminal 1 and one gate to enter and one gate to exit so we waited. The security guard question his reason for reentering the terminal and he told him.

We bought the local SIM card at the terminal and try to contact the guide but failed. Eventually, we sent an email to them telling that we have left the airport after waiting for more than 2 hours to seek other alternative.

We explained our predicament to the information counter personnel and asked him to recommend a place near the airport for us to stay just for the night. He made the necessary arrangement and led us out of the terminal, across the street, went under some underground ramp and we ended up at a place that looks like a waiting area for taxi. He told us specifically not to talk to anyone who attempts to approach us while waiting for the hotel pick up.

Suddenly our guide appeared from no where (escorted by a taxi driver) and ran across some barricade towards us. Apparently they were not allowed to enter the terminal or even the taxi pick up area. We were basically waiting for each other inside the terminal and outside the meet and greet area.

Then the taxi driver who supposedly got the special permission to allow our guide to meet us at his turf demanded a fare of 1000 peso to take us from the airport to our condo at Sucat (which was less than 10km away). The lowest price he offered was 500 peso but our guide still think it was too much so we walk about 5 minutes and hail a White Metered Taxi and it cost us less than 100 peso to our destination.

What baffled us was that :-

1. We saw some agent from hotel and travel agencies in the restricted area of the airport holding their customers’ name card so we naturally assumed that they should be the case. When I asked our guides, apparently those were the people with connection with the airport security who got special permission to allow them to enter the “restricted” area. What’s the point of having so called tight security but “selected” agent can easily access to restricted area ?

2. We were wasting our so much time waiting for our guides in the terminal and what the security guard, information counter personnel could have just told us that we have to proceed to the designated meet and greet area away from the terminal. Everyone speaks English and communication was never a problem but why couldn’t they just tell us this piece of important information that we can wait till kingdom come but no one will meet us in the Terminal unless they have “connection”

3. There is no signage at the airport to direct tourist as to where they should go. The Meet and Greet Area is not that easy to get to as I recalled. The information counter is literally a counter which has absolutely no brochures, no maps, no promotional material whatsoever.

This was really an exciting but stressful way to begin our adventure and I hope by posting this will prevent any tourists who doesn’t booked with agencies or hotels with special connection to get detail direction as to the exact location to meet up or to be picked up.

By the way, we took 2 internal flight via PAL and Cebu Pacific (Terminal 2 & 3) and as comparison with Terminal 1, we were shocked at the state of the country’s gateway (Terminal 1).

Negros Island...
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11. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

Denial? Read all our posts if you have time since it is more than just 17 posts like yours.

12. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

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Removed on: 17 October 2013, 18:18
Negros Island...
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for Bacolod, Negros Island
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13. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

Among other things. What can I do since I have a lot of talents? ;)

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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14. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

I love meeting people who are friendly and always smiling specially while traveling despite being surrounded by people not having fun and after 3 flights with the worst airline in the world... It would take tons of effort to smile in those circumstances.

Honestly, are you sure you don't know the reason why people in Hong Kong don't smile at you? It's simple, you don't deserve it.

Negros Island...
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for Bacolod, Negros Island
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15. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

Amen, Keg.

As the Germans say, If you shout at the forest the forest shouts back at you.

Toronto, Canada
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16. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

real talk, terminal 1 needs a overhaul.

Terminal 2 is ok.

Terminal 3 is not bad actually.

overall tho, NAIA has to be one of the oldest airports i've been to.

I've never arranged rides with hotel, just jump in a yellow cab and off to my hotel........

Kuala Lumpur...
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17. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

This forum and site has been very useful to our planning so I posted our experience hoping that it might help others future travellers in their research.

Apart from this episode, the other negative experience we had was the attempted mugging at Alabang bus terminal, a trishaw driver who demanded 2000 peso at the end of the 2 hours tours (despite the 120 peso put in writing and agreed upon), taxi drivers at Alabang who refuses to use meters, the rest of our adventure away from metro manila was simply awesome.

We would return to the Philippines but probably skip Manila and venture down south to Mindanao (which we skipped this time under the advisement of the locals due to the rebel'skidnapping activities).

By the way , we found our guides through this site. They are not the conventional "license" tour guides but we are not looking for the typical tourist itinerary either.

Though they are still new in this business but they made our trip in Luzon a memorable one and we have absolutely no regret in engaging their service.

I will post my trip report soon

Singapore, Singapore
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for Philippines
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18. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

lixT,

May I know which guide did you engage?

Thanks.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
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19. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

It seems I missed out on a very lively thread ;-)

Tommo

Australia
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for Cebu City, Cebu Island
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20. Re: Our "unforgettable adventure" at Manila Airport

Rather than listen to constructive criticism you guys continue to be in denial. Way to go demonstrating the kind of reception people will get when they come to your country!

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I will tell you why I have low tolerance for criticism of the Philippines.

It is because I don't have issues.

Tourists travel to another country for a different experience. And when they get it, they then want to complain that everything is not the same is it is back home.

The fact that you have to meet your transport at the bottom of the tunnels is well documented here already..At the start of the tunnels, they even suggest which tunnel to use based on your last name. Also, last time I passed through Terminal 1, there were signs stating where to meet private transport.

What I would like to know is why the original poster did not confirm with their transport where they would be picked up.

I see there was no praise for the driver who waited 2 hours for his passenger.