NAIA: Asia's Worst Airport?

rapuncille By rapuncille, 7th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Philippines>Manila & Around

NAIA being named as Asia's Worst Airport is another blow to our tourism industry. Is it just for people to brand our airport as one of the worst in the world? Please read through the article as I share to you my personal experience and piece of thought regarding this.

In the News

Months ago, The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) particularly NAIA Terminal one was named as Asia’s worst airport and ranked 5th of the worst in the world for 2010, by the website, “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports according to the votes accumulated from their online readers. Is there any truth in this? What are its implications?

Reputation Not Soaring High

It is saddening that the Philippines’ main gateway to the world earned such a not so good reputation. It is the first and the last place the tourists will set their foot onto within the Philippine territory. This would more or less define their first and last impression of our beloved country.

My Personal Experience

Perhaps this is the case. I cannot confirm though as I have not toured Asia yet nor the whole world, neither have I seen each and every country’s airport. But this is what I have to say. Since 2008, I yearly depart and arrive at NAIA and I would say that apart from the aging and decaying facilities that we have, NAIA might be one of the top airports with the longest and most number of queue lines.

Departing NAIA

Departing NAIA is cumbersome. Even if you have already checked-in online, you still need to give sufficient amount of lead time before your departure. Lining up will certainly take so much of your time. It was this February when I last departed NAIA. Before I was allowed to enter the airport, I went to the routinary check by the security. I was asked to show my passport and ticket before my baggage was scanned. During that time, there were only 2 baggage scanning machines working upon entering the airport. Therefore, there were just two snail paced queues which is your only option to get inside NAIA. No wonder, outside the airport, it was box office.

After entering the airport, you need to line up again for the checking of your passport and visa. Again, it’s box office. There’s queue also in the payment of travel tax and terminal fee (and I guess, ours is the only airport which charges the passengers a separate terminal fee for a terminal that would ask you to line up nth times before you could go on board your flight). It’s only then that you could have you luggage checked-in. You’ll also need time to accomplish your departure card before you go to Immigration. Again, you will need to line up. There were only 2 queues available leading to several immigration officers at post. There are some friends of mine who told me that they experienced being power tripped by some arrogant immigration officers. They made it hard for them to pass through even if their papers are all legal. Thank God I haven’t encountered one as of yet. Actually, some immigration officials are a lot stricter in the Philippines than those in the country you’ll be flying in (in my case, Doha). After immigration, there are still checks and scanning that you’ll have to go through before you could proceed to the boarding area.

Arrivals at NAIA

Arrival at NAIA is most likely just the same. You’ll be welcomed by a not so smooth landing due to a not so smooth runway. Surely, you’ll be greeted by a couple of queues. You’ll have to fill up your embarkation card, then line up at the immigration area. After that, you can go ahead and hunt for your baggage at the conveyor (this is where you would normally take time). It is only after this that you can proceed to the custom checks before you will be allowed to exit the airport. Arrival is less taxing i guess as compared to departure.

If it’s not the worst airport, i bet it should hold the title for having the most number and the longest queues. Restrooms are not an exception.

Wake-up Call

I am hoping that being included the list of countries with worst airports should be taken positively by the Government. This should serve as a wake-up call for the NAIA Management. We acknowledge their continuous effort to provide better service for the public but I guess it is not enough for now. Their “think tanks” should be able to devise more effective ways on how to upgrade the level of service they are providing to be at par with those of the other countries. They should work hard in rebuilding the lost reputation of NAIA (which was called Manila International Airport before). It’s about hay time to bring back the old glorious days of MIA to further our campaign to attract more visitors and income for our country. There’s no doubt that being branded as one of the worst airport has a negative impact on the tourism industry of the country.


Airport, Asia, Government, Naia, Philippines, Terminal 1, Tourism, Travel, World, Worst

Meet the author

author avatar rapuncille

am a full-time mom to two gorgeous boys. I spend most of my spare time in between my mommy and wifey jobs doing online stuff which includes writing.

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author avatar Jlyn11
7th Jun 2011 (#)

I hope they will do better next time :)

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author avatar Buzz
7th Jun 2011 (#)

Yeah, the country hasn't ever progressed.

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author avatar Lila Bangsawan
7th Jun 2011 (#)

Sometimes public areas will become the final number of many government's priorities because there are so many political issues should be focused on. It is happened in my country, where public areas or public transportation are not number one priority. My government is too busy with their political issues. Thanks rapuncille.

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author avatar Songbird B
8th Jun 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing this, Rapuncille...As you said, it is not a title they should welcome. I hope that they take note...

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author avatar avery sandiego
7th Nov 2011 (#)

This is a reflection of the country's poor administration.

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author avatar Denise O
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you for sharing.:)

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