October 12, 2011

First time flyer

Stiff neck. It is one of the consequences of flying for the first time, in addition to countless aerial photos (and videos) of the land, sea, and of course, the clouds.

I think all first time flyers, especially those who are not seated by the window, suffer from stiff neck after the flight due to excessive cranking of their necks to get a better of view of the world below. Can you blame us for being fascinated with these views?

My first airplane ride took me to Busuanga Island, Palawan,
the gateway to the enchanting islands of the Calamianes.

Tips and NAIA Terminal 3 guide
(The following accounts are based on my experience as a first time flyer traveling via Cebu Pacific last September 2011.)

Passengers with flights via Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express  board at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. On the other hand, ZestAir and SEAIR passengers board at the Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal, also called old domestic airport. NAIA Terminal 2 or the Centennial Terminal hosts domestic and international flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL) while NAIA Terminal 1, the old international airport, hosts all other international flights.

After going through security check, you are free to roam around the terminal and wait for your designated check in counter to open. Check in counters open 2 hours before the estimated time of departure (ETD) and closes 45 minutes before departure, hence, it is best to be at the terminal at least 2 hours before the flight.

Tip: If you didn't reserve your seat when you purchased your tickets, check in on time so that you can try requesting if the seat you want is available. Lucky for us, we were six in our group and we got seated together by twos.

Check in counters get very busy sometimes. You'll never know when bad luck
will strike and throw in causes of delay. It's better to arrive early and
patiently wait at the terminal than miss your flight!

Flight status can be checked in one of the electronic departure boards.
Moreover, the board right before the entrance of the check in counter
area is (manually) updated by the a
irline staff showing the flights
whose counters are open for check in.

Tip: If you have plenty of time to kill, go to the “mall” at the mezzanine. It has food stalls and restaurants such as Jollibee, Ministop, Kopiroti, etc., shops and other facilities.  Walk towards the travel tax counter (you won’t miss this with its big blue sign) and you’ll see the escalator going up.

After presenting your e-ticket and ID at the counter, you will be given your boarding pass with seat number. If you have check in baggages, it will be weighed during this time. Any excess will be paid at the cashier alongside the counters.

The airline staff will point you to another counter wherein your carry-on baggage and yourself will be weighed separately.

Tip: Note down your body weight before departing Manila. You'll be suprised how a couple of days vacation makes you gain weight. Your weight will be measured again during check in from your destination airport.

Proceed to the domestic departures passenger entrance. You will see another counter where you have to pay the Php 200 terminal fee. After this, you'll go through another security check where you'll be asked to remove your footwear. =)

Domestic departures passenger entrance.
In case you get hungry or bored, there are more food stalls,
restaurants and shops at the boarding gates and lounges.

Follow the directions to your assigned boarding gate. Be at the boarding gate at least 20 minutes before departure.

Tip: The boarding gate and seat numbers can be found in your boarding pass. =)

A must for first time flyers - taking a before boarding and/or after
landing photo with the aircraft on the background. Hehehe.
Enjoy you first airplane ride!

Frequent flyer, eh? Do you still remember your first airplane ride?
How was it?


  1. All you have to do is to pay attention to certain things before grabbing air travel tickets on flight to any destination.

    Tips for first time Travellers

  2. thanks for these tips!:)

  3. can i use my postal id for identification purposes? i only got 1 id.



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