After boarding the Cebu Pacific Airlines from Suvarnabhumi Airport, our next stop was NAIA 3 ( Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3) where we were to wait for 8 hours for our last stop which was Cagayan de Oro Airport. I’ve already heard about the surrounding controversies and negative reviews on NAIA 3 so I was not really expecting much from it.
Since we will be waiting for 8 hours at the airport, I searched through their website to see if there’s a comfortable lounge area to wait for our next flight and know the available fastfood outlets. When you’re traveling with kids, it’s really important to get all these information beforehand to be prepared. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any information on this on any site and resorted to asking my friend who has been there and she only mentioned a certain Donut Shop.
We arrived the NAIA 3 Airport at 4:20 AM and we were immediately led to the Immigration counters which were a bit hidden by the huge pillars. The building , though operational was far from being finished. I was surprised that when someone asked one of the Immigration officers on the location of the Duty Free Shop, the small corner with wooden shelves were pointed by the officer. I think there were only 2 – 3 wooden shelves there and that’s already the Duty free shop.
The Immigration officer who served us though strict looking was a bit kind to us and tried to convince me to get Philippine Passports for my kids. After our passports were chopped, we went down to get our baggage. And there I saw a part where they were repairing the ceiling. So that was the ceiling that fell off!
The highlight of our experience there was the the people we met were very friendly and helpful. Well, except for the customs officer who scolded one family for not filling up the customs form. She was really so angry and shouted at them. Hello!! She can always tell them in a nice way.
Then we went up on the 4th floor where the shops and restaurants were supposed to be located. But there were no shops opened yet, except for a very small Jollibee , Dunkin Donut and another Coffee Stall. Good that there were a lot of comfortable seats available and we saw several people sleeping and waiting for the time. It was a pleasant wait since we were able to rest.
Then when it was almost time for boarding time, we went to the departure area which was just like a big hall with seats arranged nicely. I’m not sure if this is the final design concept but I sure hope it’s not because it looks more like a bus terminal than an airport. I hope they will continue to improve and beautify it.
As a conclusion, the NAIA 3 though operational is not fully completed yet. There are still a lot of improvements needed to be done. I just hope that it won’t take several years before this airport could be improved and fully completed. I like the design of the airport and the concept that at last people sending off or fetching the passengers will be able to go inside the airport. I also commend all the friendly and helpful airport staff, cleaners and security guards that helped us around. Mabuhay Pilipino!