Check in Time for Philippine Domestic Flights and Parking at NAIA 3

Domestic flights are usually a breeze and for dawn flights I normally arrive an hour before my departure time.  I figured the airport is not too busy at that hour anyway.  Last Friday,  I almost missed my flight to Tacloban by a hairline with that assumption.

Arriving calmly at 3:40am for my 4:50am flight, I was shocked to see the parking lot full!

Parking lot at Naia 3OMG!  Clammy hands, heart palpitating, I chanted "Lord, please find me parking," over and over.  God heard me and I found one solitary open slot.  With other cars already parked with engines running waiting for a slot to open, finding that slot was a "Thank God" moment!

Figuring a full airport as well, I took a hurried walk to the airport entrance which was at the other side of where my car was parked (entrance to the airport is across the parking entrance).  Grover!  Bukod sa parang hindi gumagana ang aircon,  punong-puno nga sya!  The airport was packed at 3:50am (I guess because flights are getting cheaper by the minute)!  The queue to the check-in counters were full with maybe 10-15 persons waiting in line.  With the average speed of 5-10 minutes per transaction,  I was bound to miss my 4:50am flight.

NAIA 3 Terminal Jam Packed

According to PAL and Cebu Pacific website,  check-in counters for domestic flights open 2 hours before scheduled time of flight and strictly closes 45 minutes before flight departure.  I had 15 minutes before the check-in counter closes but with the long queue ahead of me (plus the broken aircon), pinagpawisan ulit ako ng butil-butil!

Good thing Cebu Pacific ground crew were swift and gave a last call-out for flights with check-in counters closing in a few minutes.  Whew!  By the time I got to the gate, maybe 3/4 of the passengers has already boarded and we took off at the exactly 4:50am.  Next time,  I'll allot 1 hour and 30 minutes already.  Hindi na kaya 1 hour!

To know more about check-in times for Philippine Domestic Flights check Cebu Pacific Things to Remember and PAL's FAQ.

NAIA 3 Parking Info:

Rates: 

NAIA Termina 3 parking rate

Safety:  The parking lot is well lit and is inside the NAIA Terminal 3 compound.  To get to the airport from the parking lot,  you just have to cross the street inside NAIA 3.  Entrance of passengers to the airport is just across the entrance of the parking lot.

Capacity: 800 cars

Disclaimer:  The above blog post is based on my personal experience.  Note that parking rates, entrance gates, check-in time may change upon your date of departure.

Lucky to have made the Flight,

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