MANILA –To ensure that passengers’ needs are well taken care of, and to check the operation’s flow at the country’s main airport, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal inspected the airport terminals on Monday afternoon.
As the influx of passengers continue to rise for the Lenten Season, Monreal wanted to check if the passengers’ needs are being addressed, the visibility of police officers for heightened security, and the deployment of MIAA personnel to assist the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in organizing passenger queues.
While the BI has committed to deploy 120-150 Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the Lenten Season, Monreal has offered help at least in organizing the queues, so that the remaining Immigration officers can sit at the counters.
Passengers have been facing long lines at the Immigration, due to a few number of Immigration officers manning the counters.
That dilemma, as well as the expected high volume of passengers, made the Philippine Airlines (PAL) urge its passengers to arrive at the airport four to five hours before their flight.
The announcement created confusion among some passengers. Over the weekend, for instance, many passengers arrived at the airport following the said lead time.
NAIA Terminal 1 was overcrowded, and some passengers had nowhere to sit. One passenger lamented, “NAIA has advised passengers to come five hours ahead of flight schedule, and yet the (check-in) counters were still closed.”
Monreal clarified last week that the five-hour lead time was the airline’s discretion, and that MIAA maintains the usual three hours before international flight and two hours before domestic flight as guidelines for the passengers.
He also explained that this is because airlines usually open the counters about three hours before the departure.
The airport GM was also concerned that passengers who would come at a much earlier time would just add up to the overcrowding at the terminals.
For its part, PAL has explained last week that its advisory was only for international flights, and that it was just a “safety net” so that its customers would not miss their flights.
Just as Monreal was conducting the inspection, PAL has released an advisory Monday afternoon, telling passengers at the Terminal 2 to follow the usual lead time.
PAL said it appreciates the BI and MIAA’s efforts in providing additional manpower during this peak season.
Meanwhile, passengers are encouraged to air their concerns at the following NAIA hotlines: 877-1111, 0917-8396242.