This Airport Guide covers the landside departures zone – i.e., the area before outbound immigration – in the international wing at Terminal 2 (T2) of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL).
Post last updated from first-hand experience : 28 January 2023 (based on 18 January 2023 departure)
Post last updated/reviewed using other information : 28 January 2023
NOTE: This Airport Guide should only be used for general planning and reference purposes. Details may change at any moment and without prior notice.
In this post, we’ll explore the landside area of the international wing at Terminal 2 (T2) of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (common abbreviation: “NAIA” / IATA code: MNL) – the main airport serving Greater Manila in the Philippines. For our purposes, “landside” means everything before border control and outbound security.
Unlike MNL’s other terminals – each of which serves multiple airlines – T2 is used exclusively by flag carrier Philippine Airlines (IATA code: PR). The building is divided into two sections: a northern wing for international flights, and a southern wing for domestic flights. This guide covers the international wing only.
Note that a limited number of PR international flights use Terminal 1 instead. Consult your booking/ticket details or contact the airline directly to confirm which terminal your flight will depart from/arrive at. (This is of vital importance as MNL’s terminals are not physically connected and it takes time to travel between them.)
To learn more about Terminal 2’s international airside area (i.e., the secure, passengers-only zone from the immigration desks to outbound security and beyond), please read my separate report documenting what you can expect to see in that part of the building.
If you’re interested in Terminal 2’s international arrivals area, click on this link to read my guide covering what passengers from overseas will encounter when entering the country.
For a broader overview of Terminal 2, please click here to navigate back up to my portal post about the entire facility.
To learn more about the airport as a whole, please click here to view my comprehensive guide to MNL.
The south wing of T2 hosts domestic flights, whereas the north wing serves international flights. If you’re taking a taxi or other hired transport, ask the driver to drop you off in front of international departures. (In any event, you can easily walk from one wing to the other along the outdoor pavement in front of the terminal.)
Only passengers are allowed near the check-in counters, so guards posted at the entrance will ask to see your airline ticket before allowing you through.
If you’re facing the back wall where the counters are located – with the street-side entrance of the building behind you – you’ll observe the following layout as you move your gaze from right to left:
- Outbound immigration A (for Philippine passport holders)
- Check-in counters 42-51
- Service desk
- Check-in counters 52-61
- Government service counters
- Check-in counters 62-71
- PR ticket service counter
- Check-in counters 72-81
- Outbound immigration B (for foreign passport holders)
The airline desks are arranged along the back wall, in four sets of 10 counters each. From right to left:
- Check-in counters 42-51: Economy Class.
- Check-in counters 52-61: Counters 56-60 are normally reserved for Business Class (and for Mabuhay Miles programme members ranked “Elite” or higher). The remaining counters are used for Business Class, Premium Economy Class, or Economy Class as circumstances warrant.
- Check-in counters 62-71: Economy Class.
- Check-in counters 72-81: Economy Class.
Counter designations may change on a day-to-day basis depending on passenger volume and other factors. Check the flat-screen panel above each desk – or ask airport staff directly – to confirm which counter can be used with your fare class or frequent flyer tier.
Note that queues and desks are not usually flight-specific, but shared between multiple flights and destinations. Refer to the signboards set up near each set of counters to determine if they’re the ones serving your route.
Despite the easing of pandemic-era border controls throughout the world, many countries still impose additional entry requirements (such as vaccination certificates). Whether or not these will be inspected at check-in depends on your final destination and transit point, as well as the specific requirements of the airline itself. As always, the responsibility for ensuring the completeness of all documentation falls upon the individual passenger.
With limited exceptions, residents of the Philippines must pay a so-called “travel tax” of PHP 1,620 every time they fly out of the country in economy or business class. A higher rate of PHP 2,700 applies to first-class tickets. Certain travellers qualify for reduced rates or outright exemptions; refer to the TIEZA website for details.
Some airlines and travel agencies either include the travel tax outright or offer passengers the option of prepaying at the point of booking. (A direct online payment option is also available.) Check with your airline or agent to confirm if the price you’ve paid includes this charge.
If you’re subject to the duty and it hasn’t been settled in advance, you’ll need to visit the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) counter at the airport and pay what’s owed before the airline can issue your boarding pass.
***Please note that non-residents (including foreign tourists on short-term visits) are NOT subject to the travel tax.***
Keep in mind that the travel tax is NOT the same as the passenger service charge (PSC) levied on airport users. The PSC for MNL is routinely included in the price of ordinary tickets and doesn’t have to be paid separately at the terminal.
At T2, the TIEZA counter is located in the middle of the check-in hall (grouped together with other government service desks).
Originally designed as a domestic terminal – and only later adapted to serve international flights – T2 lacks the space and infrastructure to support the facilities normally found in a major transport hub. The single-level check-in hall is sparsely appointed in terms of passenger amenities, with a couple of snack shops and a bank counter but not much else.
Foreign exchange services are available outside the hall. Turn right as you exit through the front doors on the departures level and walk towards the end of the building, where you’ll find two small bureaux de change.
The wearing of face masks remains mandatory on all forms of public transport (whether by land, sea, or air) throughout the Philippines. Executive Order No. 7 (dated 28 October 2022) sets out the current requirements in respect of public health protocols throughout the Philippines. Do note that whilst mask wearing is no longer obligatory in most settings – except in public transportation, medical facilities, and other sensitive locations as specified in the Executive Order – many locals still don masks both indoors and outdoors. Private establishments might also impose stricter requirements within their own premises and ask all patrons to put on a mask before entering.
Physical distancing (or “social distancing”) remains recommended, but is not rigorously enforced in practice.
Ready to pass through immigration and security? CLICK HERE to read my separate Airport Guide documenting MNL T2’s international airside zone.
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