Bed bugs in NAIA? Airport operator apologizes to bitten passengers

Lance Spencer Yu

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Bed bugs in NAIA? Airport operator apologizes to bitten passengers

Raffy de Guzman

(1st UPDATE) The apology comes after passengers complained about being bitten by bed bugs in the rattan chairs of NAIA Terminals 2 and 3. The airport says the chairs have since been permanently removed.

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) added another lowlight to its checkered reputation as the airport’s operator apologized to passengers who were reportedly bitten by bed bugs in Terminals 2 and 3.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which regulates and operates the country’s main international gateway, confirmed that it received reports regarding bed bugs in the terminals and said that it “apologizes to the victims and assures them that a speedy resolution to this can be expected.”

Earlier on Tuesday, February 27, a post about a passenger being bitten by bed bugs in NAIA went viral in a Facebook group about traveling. The post warned about bed bugs in the rattan chairs in NAIA Terminal 2 and included photos of the supposed bites on their legs.

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BED BUGS? In this viral Facebook post, a passenger says they were bitten by bed bugs in seats in NAIA Terminal 2. Used with permission from Facebook user.

The seats have been removed permanently, according to a press release by MIAA on Wednesday, February 28. MIAA also said that the two victims who were bitten were assisted by the airport’s medical team.

PTV4 reported that other infected seats from the airport had been removed and treated as well.

MIAA General Manager Eric Ines has since ordered the terminal managers to investigate and provide a report in 24 hours outlining what happened and what “corrective actions” can be taken. Ines, who took over the ailing airport in late 2023, also ordered “comprehensive facility inspections and enhanced sanitation measures.”

A cursory check on social media would show that the problem is not recent. In December 2016, a Facebook user posted a public video of bed bugs swarming the cushion of a chair in NAIA 3. In January, a woman posted a video of bed bugs peeking from the holes of a metal chair at NAIA 3.

The incident is another bad mark on NAIA’s already poor reputation. It was also named among the worst airports in Asia for business travelers and the third most stressful airport in Asia and Oceania.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. The airport will soon undergo a much-needed rehabilitation in the hands of the San Miguel-led consortium that won the bid for NAIA. San Miguel’s group is expected to take over as the airport’s operator within the next three to six months. MIAA will then continue its role as a regulator. (READ: NAIA is 4th worst airport in Asia. Can its new operator turn things around?)

Transportation officials have said that once the takeover is complete, the first order of business will be to work on “quick gains” or low-hanging fruit improvements within the first year – improvements that presumably will include better chairs free of bed bugs. –

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.