The N00b’s Updated Guide To The Ninoy Aquino International Airport


The holiday season is over and we know what that means. It won’t be long before we say hello to summer! As early as now, you might already be planning your summer getaways. If those plans happen to include jetsetting to another part of the Philippines or somewhere else in the world, you’re probably not looking forward to dealing with the rush over at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Though NAIA is no longer the world’s worst airport (and it’s not even part of the top 10! Yay!), our airport still has its fair share of ups and downs that can make or break anyone’s traveling experience. And what better way to help make sure your trip has more ups than downs than with our updated guide to NAIA!

One airport, four terminals

Let’s start with the basics. NAIA has a total of four terminals and knowing which terminal your airline flies out of will surely save you the headache and the hassle of getting lost. Each terminal also has a number of airport services (such as banks/ATMs and shops where you can buy last minute pasalubong) that will make your experience a lot more convenient.

Terminal 1

International flights of the the following airlines fly in and out of Terminal 1:

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is often referred to as the PAL Terminal for a reason. This terminal exclusively serves all the flights of Philippines Airlines as well as PAL Express flights flying to and from Bacolod, Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Laoag, and Tagbilaran.

PAL Express flights also makes use of Terminal 3 so terminal assignments may sometimes change. Don’t forget to double (or even triple!) check your flight details or the PAL website to make sure you’re headed for the right terminal!

Terminal 3

The following airlines fly out from Terminal 3:

*PAL Express: All other flights aside from those listed above

Terminal 4

Otherwise called the Old Domestic Airport, Terminal 4 hosts the local carriers of the following airlines:

Getting to and around NAIA

Located along the border of the cities of Parañaque and Pasay, there are a couple of ways to get to and from NAIA. Uber and Grab are the obvious, more convenient options, but for those coming from Makati, Pasay, and Manila, there is also the Ube Express! Ube Express buses take four different routes:

Grand Prix Route Makati Route Robinsons Route Entertainment City Route
Kabayan Hotel Park Square, Ayala Center Copacabana Apt Hotel Go Hotel (NAIA Road)
Grand Prix Hotel / Victory Liner Pasay Midas Hotel Solaire
Atrium / JAM Liner Hotel 101
Networld Hotel SMX Convention Center
Hotel Jen Mall of Asia
Century Park
Diamond Hotel
New World Hotel
Luneta Hotel
Bayview Hotel
Manila Pavilion
Manila Hotel
Robinsons Manila
Pan Pacific Hotel
Manila Manor Hotel
Go Hotel Ermita

Operating Hours:

NAIA Terminal 1 8 AM – 11 PM (30 minute bus interval)
NAIA Terminal 2 5 AM – 11 PM (30 minute bus interval)
NAIA Terminal 3 Available 24 hours (30 minute bus interval)
Robinsons Manila 5 AM – 11 PM (2 hour bus interval)
Victory Liner Bus Terminal Available 24 hours (30 minute bus interval)
Park Square, Ayala Center 8 AM – 10 PM (2 hour bus interval)
SM Mall of Asia 10 AM – 10 PM (1 hour bus interval)

NAIA also has a shuttle services that goes around all four terminals of the airport and departs every 15 minutes. For those with flights connecting from Philippine Airlines to PAL Express and vice versa, there is also a shuttle service between Terminals 2 and 3 operated by the airline.

Where to eat

It’s usually a wise idea to arrive at your designated terminal early. The downside of it is, well, how are you going to kill the hours and minutes leading to your boarding time? Keeping your tummy full and happy probably comes first in your list of options, especially if you have a long flight ahead, so here are some of the restaurants and cafes you can find in NAIA.

Army Navy
Terminal 3

Photo from Jacqui T.’s looloo review for Army Navy

Bo’s Coffee
Terminals 1 and 3

Photo from Ruth S.’s looloo review for Bo’s Coffee

Cafe Mary Grace
Terminal 3

Photo from Giovan T.’s looloo review for Cafe Mary Grace

Terminals 2, 3, and 4

Photo from Ruby G.’s looloo review for CafeFrance

Terminal 3

Photo from Denise Q.’s looloo review for Cinnabon

Jamba Juice
Terminal 3

Photo from Lhorenz-Ehmer R.’s looloo review for Jamba Juice

Terminals 2 and 3

Photo from Jollibee’s Facebook Page

Kenny Rogers Roasters
Terminal 3

Kopi Roti
Terminals 1 and 3

Photo from AlwaysHungryPh P.’s looloo review for Kopi Roti

Krispy Kreme
Terminal 3

Photo from EJ B.’s looloo review for Krispy Kreme

Pure Nectar
Terminal 3

Photo from Jae-t M.’s looloo review for Pure Nectar

Raku Hokkaido Ramen House
Terminal 3

Ramen Nagi
Terminal 3

Photo from Mae A.’s looloo review for Ramen Nagi

Terminal 3

Photo from Shong B.’s looloo review for Shakey’s

Terminals 1 and 3

Terminal 3

Photo from Mary Love S.’s looloo review for Wendy’s

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About Author

Bella Javier

Bella is a lover of all things sweet, a multi-time winner of the timeless children’s party and icebreaker game, Name That Tune, and a self-proclaimed queen of wishful thinking. A wanderer whose hunger lasts 24/7 and a proud owner of an oldies playlist mixed with songs she can sing fluently but does not understand, she’ll choose neither Edward or Jacob when asked that same old question.