Sunday, August 06, 2006

Nino Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1

My visit with my three girls is over and now I have about 2 hours to kill in terminal 1 of the NAIA. Naturally, I ran into the usual taxi annoyances on the way. I decided to stop in Glorietta mall to see if I could find a book or two, turns out that Greenbelt (another mall nearby) has a bookstore but I did not really find anything to my liking, as I am feeling a bit picky today.

When I finished my shopping foray I decided to come early to the airport and had quite a bit of trouble finding a taxi as the malls were shutting down and the passengers were thick. The first taxi driver motioned me into the cab before I could negotiate a price, not a bad tactic, but then I asked for his price -- 350 pesos! For a trip that would not cost more than 75 pesos by meter I thought his price was a bit steep. So he said that he would charge me 150 plus the meter.

Luckily at this point we were at a red light and I had one foot on the pavement. He asked me which terminal. So, I said whichever terminal Korean Air flies out of. His response: "Hmm, could be terminal 1 or 2 . . ." That is when I stepped out and found another cab.

This guy had figured he had found himself a rich fool for a fare. Everybody in Manila knows that Terminal 2 is for Philippine Airlines and Terminal 1 is for all other airlines. If you meet a taxi driver that does not know this he is either trying to run the meter up or he is a complete idiot.

Terminal 2 is reserved for Philippine Airlines domestic and international flights while all other flights depart from terminal 1. I actually chose Philippine Airlines once because I knew I could find a place to smoke there. But just like the domestic airport they let too many people into too small of a room and it is damned uncomfortable even for a seasoned smoker like myself -- eyes stinging lungs wheezing.

This time, I could only fly via Korean Air, which by the way just happened to be a very comfy 747-400 with personalized monitors and movie/music menus.

so I'm in the dreaded terminal 1. It isn't so bad after all! I decided to hunt out a terminal so I could feed my internet addiction and I chanced upon a lounge where I can smoke too, although I cannot feed both addictions at once. They provide complimentary snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) and additionals for additional costs. Entry to the lounge, I'm in the Micronesia lounge I think, was 400 pesos or $8.00.

Yes, I am definitely willing to part with 8 bucks for the comfort of snacks, internet and a place to smoke even though I could easily feed a family of 6 pudgy Filipinos instead.

To find the lounge you can wonder around until you find a sign or until you bump into a pleasantly dressed smiling woman who invites you up to the lounge. There is no single lounge but in fact I believe that any airline that wants too, can rent some space from the terminal 1 authorities to run this kind of a shop.

Terminal 2 has smoking for all but it sure is a nasty, stinky, cramped up space and there is no internet unless you have a laptop and a membership with whoever they happen to sell their WIFI license to this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment

banner in centre