Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manila Old Domestic Airport: here to stay

I never liked the old Domestic Airport - everything about it from the structure, the facilities, the food stalls, the people, etc. So when NAIA Terminal 3 finally opened and Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express moved to the new facility, I thought I'd see the end of the old lady. I was wrong.

My Bibe and I flew Seair to Boracay recently and the designated terminal was the old airport. I was surprised they renovated! Obviously I haven't been there long enough to see this only now. The flooring was replaced, the restrooms were given a facelift (with high speed hand dryer to boot), a prayer room was put up, screens (but very small!) showing flight statuses were installed, and more.

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Yet it still felt like the old airport. For one, our lighters still got confiscated at the pre-departure inspection. I really don't understand this since this never happened to us at Terminals 2 and 3. And it doesn't help when they say that disposable lighters are not allowed, only the fancier ones. WTF?!

I failed to take a photo but they've mounted a display of stuff that aren't allowed on board your flight, all of which were liquids of all kind. But they never bothered to mount something that would educate passengers of what things inside your hand-carried baggage are really prohibited. Of course you can still carry liquids but each container must not exceed 100mL and the total volume must not go beyond a liter, and all of which must be sealed together in a (clear?) plastic container like a zip-lock bag. But no such explanation could be found anywhere. They probably thought their little "exhibit" was so cool when it's not.


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Despite the facelift, another thing that remained unchanged were the shops and food stalls. Same old overpriced crap. And Mister Donut's gone. Their coffee was the only brew I tolerated inside that airport so it really sucks. I seriously believe there's a kartel here. This carinderia here is a prime example:

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They're still there! Untouched! Unmoved! They're still serving the most expensive turo-turo food there is. Corned beef with fried rice (no egg, no drinks) for Php 167, anyone? Or how about hotdog and fried rice (again, no egg, no drinks) for Php 162? For Pete's sake, they're way more expensive than Jollibee and McDonald's! And they're still very much in business! Unfortunately, when you're hungry you got no choice but to "support" their kartel.

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And of course, the terminal fee is still the same across all domestic terminals even when the facilities and standards are not. Sadly, it looks like this substandard ramshackle of an airport is here to stay. Pfft!

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