I’m not a frequent traveler, and most of my travels were work-related. The first time I traveled was 2011 when I went to Australia.
My first out of the country trip, woohoo!
One of the most common predicaments of a non-traveler is where exactly the airport is (I’m often confused where NAIA 1, 2, and 3 are located).
So, since I rarely travel, I had to ask friends, did some research on what to do, where to go, and what to expect from the airport since I’ve heard heaps of bad experiences like terrible service, dirty toilets, disorganized system, just to name a few. So, when it was my time to experience the NAIA Terminal 1, I told myself: “Shucks, totoo pala talaga. Ang gulo!! However, this year, I traveled twice. I’ve also picked up relatives at the NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3, and surprisingly, they have improved tremendously!
Allow me to share with you a few signs why traveling nowadays is more bearable!
Let’s start reading them, shall we?
1. Convenient Alternative Transportation Services
Gone are the days when you need to walk far just to get a cab. Luckily, alternative means of transportation are now visible at the airport. Now, not only do they have Grab booths, they also have open taxi services and the premium airport buses!
These UBE Express Mercedes Benz buses ferry passengers from NAIA to Makati and Roxas Boulevard. They are equipped with ergonomically sound seats, Wi-Fi, and onboard display of arrival and departure information. Soshal, diba?
Also, hooray for Grab booths there! Super helpful din! No need for you to hassle someone to pick you up. You can book a Grab, use the UBE Express, or get an airport taxi.
2. Better Terminal Service
Back then our loved ones couldn’t go beyond the drop-off point. They would send us off even before we reached the ramp, or to avoid the hassle, we part ways at a restaurant. But now and I’m sure most of you would agree, that our airports have better terminal service na!
This is the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) “well-wishers area” in Terminal 1, where you can comfortably say good-bye to your loved ones!
I’ve only tried NAIA 1 and 3 this year, and admittedly, the service sensationally leveled up.
For instance, they now have organized courtesy lanes for elders, PWDs, pregnant, and passengers traveling with children.
Thankfully, they now have cleaner toilets or restrooms, as well! As a mom, it’s a huge advantage if the restroom is clean. I don’t need to worry about my children getting sick of the germs, etc.
When the Secretary of Department of Transportation Art Tugade said, Filipinos need “better service, ”he meant it. Hence, they revamped it and added more comfortable seats for passengers or even non-passengers. Moreover, passengers waiting for their flights can enjoy the terminal’s fast and free Wi-Fi service! (Super fast, I was able to work there!)
3. Safer Terminal Experience
With all the hullabaloos about the bullet-planting scam, you cannot blame passengers to be extra careful and vigilant. But, since the scam has already ended by our feisty President Duterte, it’s now safe and hassle-free.
You don’t need to wrap your luggage with masking tape! Personally, I didn’t have to do that when we traveled to Davao and Tacloban earlier this year.
Ultimately, NAIA has improved big time! They finally solved the airport congestion by strictly enforcing the 5-minute rule and the on-time performance (OTP) of airlines. You gotta travel to see what I’m saying!
These tangible improvements make me want to become a full-on traveler. Well, I’m claiming it! Hopefully, more business trips and leisure getaways for me next year!
So, how about you? What are the improvements you’ve seen so far? We’d love to hear your thoughts!