How To: NAIA Terminal 3 International Flight - Departure and Arrival

Travelling outside the country for the first time can be really nerve-racking. You only not have to take into account the procedures that you undergo before boarding the plane, you also need to know what fees you need to pay. Here's a quick how-to for your international flight based on our recent trip (our first time!). I apologize that I was unable to document the process through pictures. I had to run around chasing my little man. I hope this how-to will help you!


Airlines now give you the option to check-in online before you go to the airport. This is actually handy if you will be travelling on a rush hour where traffic can be unpredictable. We opted to do the usual queue at the check-in counters at NAIA Terminal 3.

Our airline was Cebu Pacific Air. The check-in counters for CebuPac is located at the right most part of T3 Departure Area, near the Travel Tax counters. Before getting inside the check-in areas, a team of CebuPac assistants will ask you to check-in online using their kiosks. They will also give you an embarkation slip (I can't say it's a card because it's a piece of paper and not of cardboard. Ha ha!). Each passenger needs to fill this out and present to immigration.

Philippines Embarkation Card
Embarkation Card

  • Bring a pen. 
  • Make sure you have the address as to where you'd be staying abroad (e.g. relatives, or in our case - our hotel)

After filling-out our forms, I approached CebuPac counter and presented our documents. We checked-in our baggage and were asked to pay for the travel tax. We can get our boarding passes from that counter later.

It's more fun in the Philippines. It would seem that it has more fees, too. All Filipino nationals bound for international flights need to pay travel tax. There are exemptions though. You can learn more about travel tax by visiting the MIAA website.

Travel Tax Rate
Adults - Php 1,620
Child - Php 810

We got our boarding passes and proceeded to the passenger service counter. The terminal fee for international flights is Php550 each.

We had an early flight and the queue at the immigration was minimal, if there was any at all. Apparently, the immigration officer who took our documents was still sleepy and was not in the mood. It was a happy day for me and I was bubbly. Even greeted him good morning and thanked him. He, however, did not say a word and lousily gave back our passports. As if he was not supposed to be there and was unhappy with his job. Panira ng araw.

Photo from Manila International Airport Authority Website

Before heading to the gates, a final security check will be right behind the departure immigration hall.

  • Review the rules and procedures for hand-carry baggages. All liquids and gels should conform to the acceptable amount and should be inside a zip-lock.
  • The food choices once inside the departure area is limited. I suggest you grab a bite at the second level public area before paying the terminal fee and going through immigration.

Now wait for your flight. :) 

Passengers with special needs and with children are prioritized to board the plane. 


Yay! You're coming home!

While on air, the flight crew will hand a disembarkation card and customs declaration form  for you to fill-out and present to authorities when you enter NAIA. I suggest you fill them out once given to you so you can relax and doze off during the flight.

The immigration arrival hall of NAIA is different from Changi airport. In Singapore, there's no glass between the immigration officer and the passenger so you can see what they were doing. 

After passing through immigration and getting your baggage, you will pass through a customs counter. If you have nothing to declare, then everything would be a breeze.

NAIA Terminal 3 no longer allow regular metered taxi (white ones) to get passengers from the arrival area loading bays. Your only choices are the accredited taxis and accredited vans that are really pricey. The other choice that you can get from the loading bay are the shuttle buses. One shuttle will route all the terminals, and another shuttle that has the Baclaran-MRT Taft route. We took the Baclaran-MRT Taft shuttle and alighted at the MRT Taft. There's a taxi queue waiting at the MRT station. The ticket price of the shuttle? Only Php20. Lovely!

There's no place like home! :)

NAIA Terminal 3