The MNL security circus

A friend emailed me a couple of hours ago, telling me to enjoy the “seven step security process” leaving Manila. Wow, was he right! It has been a while since I’ve seen so many security checkpoints, all of which are about as inefficient as possible. I’m happy we arrived with plenty of time to spare, as it took well over an hour from check-in until we arrived at the lounge.

The lack of traffic in Manila on Sundays is also nice. On the outbound the cab ride was about 1.5 hours, while it was under 15 minutes today. Lovely!

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Lucky,

    You’ve got good “friends.” And this one will be in MNL next week on business. The ride from the airport to/from Makati City has taken me as little as 15 minutes, and as long as two hours. I always plan to be at the airport three hours in advance of flight time, even for business class. When flying TG, beware of their tiny lounge with very uncomfortable (I hesitate to call them) chairs, and pick a “seat” next to a table lamp if you want to plug in your laptop. Somewhat better is the SQ lounge, but it’s in the opposite wing from TG.

    My most memorable MNL airport security situation was being in the country illegally. I had gone through six of the seven-step process, and was waiting in the TG lounge when the flight was canceled. Needing to be in BKK that night at all costs, I raised enough of a stink that the agent arranged for me to be rerouted MNL-SIN-BKK. Then another agent came and got me, and we walked “backwards” through the airport, past two security checkpoints, the departure fee counter, the post check-in credential check, and to the check-in counter. All of this without having my passport re-stamped for entry. So I was in the country illegally! Somehow, TG and SQ coordinated things well enough that my checked bag barfed back out of the system, and was retagged from TG to SQ. After receiving new boarding passes, the same escort took me through the process back to the SQ lounge, just walking around all of the checkpoints, *including* walking around the WTMD and pat-down. Take that, TSA!

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