If you’re flying out of the country from any international airport for the first time, this post is for you! I prepared a Philippine airport guide to help you have a hassle-free experience and a more memorable vacation. 🙂
Before you head to the airport, make sure you have everything ready: your passport, foreign currency, credit cards, travel documents, and IDs are all in one place. Check your airline’s website as well for their guidelines on what items can be checked in, as well as how much your bags should weigh.
On the day of your flight, have a heavy meal and make sure to dress appropriately! You’ll do a lot of walking, so you’ll want to wear shoes that are comfortable. Also, arrive at least three hours before your boarding schedule. Always have an allowance for any circumstances that might delay your boarding.
Philippine Airport Guide
Here’s a rundown on what you will be doing once you get to the airport. Use this as a guide so you won’t feel as nervous as I did when I first flew.
1. Look for a schedule board to confirm your boarding details. You’ll find these electronic displays anywhere in the airport. Take note of the boarding gate and time as there may have been changes.
2. Pay the travel tax, if it applies to you. Look for the TIEZA booth and prepare the amount needed. Refer to this post for more information about the Philippine travel tax.
3. Have your boarding pass printed by checking in at the airline desk. Ready your passport and your printed flight itinerary. The airline officer will print your boarding pass and check in any baggage. Be prepared to have your bags weighed at this point.
4. Present your passport and your boarding pass to the security officer, then head to the Immigration. Usually, there’s a long queue at the immigration booths at NAIA, so make sure you have enough time for that.
When it’s your turn to be interviewed, make sure not to be nervous or intimidated by the immigration officer! Answer all the officer’s questions truthfully and with confidence. If it’s your first time to leave the country, you might be asked to present your ITR, certificate of employment, or hotel reservations.
5. Once you get clearance from the immigration officer, head straight to the security gate. Take off your shoes, belt, and the contents of your pockets before you pass through the screening machines and place them in a plastic tray. This will be put on a conveyor belt, along with your carry-on luggage (or hand-carry, as we Filipinos call it). Walk through the scanner and retrieve your items.
6. Check the signs and follow the directions to your designated gate, and wait while seated until an airline officer announces that it’s time for boarding.
7. Once inside, check the numbers above each row to find your seat. Stow any large bags on the overhead bins and small bags or items under the seat in front of you.
8. Upon landing, get your stuff and wait patiently for your turn to exit the plane. If you have any checked-in baggage, look for the claiming area by following the signs at the airport. Keep your eyes peeled for your bags once the conveyor belt starts rolling.
9. You’re almost there! Head to your destination country’s immigration office to get clearance. Be prepared to answer questions about your stay (e.g., where you’ll be staying, when’s your flight out, etc.)
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