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The troubles of Ninoy Aquino Airport are well known and publicized in the world of travel. If one has not had the opportunity to read or experience them, suffice it to say that the airport can be chaotic, crowded and confusing. This applies to inter terminal transfers, arrival and departure, but there are some things to keep in mind when moving to and from the city.
The Airport complex itself is not far from the Metro area of Manila. The distance is just 14km and around 25 minutes in light traffic.
The quickest and most efficient way to negotiate the Manila traffic is certainly in a Taxi when getting into town. Yellow Taxi’s are officially sanctioned to take passengers from the arrivals terminal.
Some travelers may go up to departures to get a cheaper white city taxi, however these were just recently allowed in April 2015 to pick up passengers, but you versed in local knowledge to negotiate and understand what is a fair price to use them. These taxi’s are often inferior.
There are also coupon Taxi’s (which are also white) taken by getting a receipt from the dispatcher for the amount to be charged, then one waits in line. Still be sure to keep your portion of the receipt and be attentive to the meter for any sort of scam or price inflation. The cost from the airport to most downtown hotels should be around 250 PHP in a Yellow Taxi or up to 600 PHP in a coupon taxi.
It can be time consuming, but travelers who absolutely do not want to use a taxi can use the airport shuttle bus to move around to terminal 3 to catch a bus that goes to the city and the city’s nearest Metro and Light Rail station. Terminal 3 is the main bus route to take. Terminal 4 has no connections and terminals 1 and 2 are served by 8 buses with very specific routes that would not apply for most tourists. At T3 go to the end of the platform towards a sign that says Route 2 The bus may be going to a city stop you need to get to, but most passengers get off and board the LRT/MRT Lines. This process can be quite time consuming and crowded, especially if you are coming from a terminal other than 3 to catch the route 2 bus. This bus leaves the terminal every 20 minutes.
Three jeepney routes serve the airport these makeshift buses are very cheap and should only be taken if one has light luggage and a comfort zone for a bumpy and down to earth ride. Routes are The Nichols-Vito Cruz-EDSA-Tramo, Baclaran-MIA and Domestic Airport-Baclaran-South Pier.