MANILA, Philippines – You will no longer have to line up to pay for terminal fees at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
But that’s not because the P550 (about $12) charge will go away. Starting October 2014, the price will be included in your airline ticket whether you purchased it online or through ticketing offices and travel agents.
In a statement on Wednesday, June 11, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced it “has recently concluded talks with international air carrier representatives to incorporate the international passenger service charge (IPSC), commonly referred to as terminal fees, in the price of airline tickets.”
The move is meant to reduce queuing time at the airport and to address the congestion problem for departing passengers. Terminal fee counters will be removed.
“We congratulate MIAA on this new policy. It improves traveling convenience and efficiency at NAIA by removing a whole process which unnecessarily adds to the passengers’ processing time, requiring them to line up when payment can be done ahead of time,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
The move puts the Philippines on the level of countries that heed international airport standards and practices. Among ASEAN countries, only the Philippines collects terminal fees at the airport.
In the statement, the DOTC also defended the need to continue charging departing passengers, saying the P550 is essential in maintaining airport operations and security. Of the amount, P390 is used for maintenance and upkeep, P100 goes to the National Government, while P60 is for aviation security.
This fee does not include the P1,620 (about $38) Philippine Travel Tax charged by the government on travelers leaving the country.
NAIA has been a source of complaint for travelers. Ranked as the “world’s worst airport” by travel website Sleeping in Airports, Filipinos have been demanding airport improvements. Most recently, NAIA-1, the main international terminal, faced an air-condition problem, worsening the situation.
The DOTC gave assurances the agency is upgrading NAIA, particularly Terminals 1 and 3. (READ: Aquino on NAIA-3 delays: Please bear with me)
“The Terminal 1 Rehabilitation project, which entails structural retrofitting, architectural works, and improvement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection facilities, is scheduled for completion in January 2015,” it said. (READ: What’s the real score in NAIA 1 project)
“Meanwhile, completion works for Terminal 3 is set to be finished next month, to pave the way for the transfer of 5 airlines from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 by August 2014, namely: Singapore Airlines, Delta, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and KLM Airlines. This will also help decongest Terminal 1 and allow more flexibility in the ongoing rehabilitation efforts.” – Rappler.com
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