Last Thursday, May 17, 2012, an intimate event was held in NAIA Terminal 3. It was the signing ceremony of Integration of the Domestic Passenger Service Charge. Led by DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas. This new system allows domestic passengers to skip one line before boarding plane.
I have been travelling a lot and I was happy to be invited to witness this historical event. And I am very familiar in making sure to be in the airport at least 2hrs before my flight. This is because I have to have enough time in lining up in checking-in and paying for the terminal fees. I find this very time consuming considering the traffic we have nowadays. 🙂
This is the reason why I am excited for this event. Domestic airline passengers lining up to pay terminal fee at the country’s airports will soon be a thing of the past as the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Manila International Airport Authority formalized the agreement with major airline companies to integrate the fees into the total cost of airline tickets.
A memorandum of agreement was signed by DOTC/MIAA with major carriers in a signing ceremony today at NAIA Terminal 3 attended by Transportation secretary Mar Roxas and top officials of airline companies.
The government was represented by Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of MIAA while the airline companies were led by their top executives. They include Inigo Zobel, president and CEO of Air Philippines; Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Air, Inc; Ramon Ang, president and COO of PAL; Avelino Zapanta, president and CEO of Seair Inc.; Ramon Guico III, president and CEO Sky Pasada; and Alfredo M. Yao, president and CEO of Zest Air.
The new system for domestic flights takes effect from 01 August 2012.
“We appreciate the airline companies’ full cooperation ‘who worked assiduously’ in instituting the new system to provide a better and efficient airport service to air travelers,” Roxas said.
The integration of terminal fee into the airline tickets had been previously rejected by carriers due to the perceived complexity of sorting out the amount due to the number of exemptions granted by the government to different passenger groups.
This is expected to save time and add convenience to 70% domestic passengers who are not entitled to any exemptions. Only exempted passengers such as athletes, overseas workers, senior citizens and babies under 2-years old, will line up at designated claim booths for refund.
Currently, passengers had to complete four procedures – the initial screening upon entering the terminal, check-in counter to get their boarding pass, payment of terminal fee, and the final security screening – before boarding their flights. The new system enables all departing domestic passengers to skip one line before they board the plane. They no longer need to queue and pay terminal fees in all domestic airports in the country, allowing passengers to do other things before boarding the plane.
This is really good also for me since I usually stay in the terminal for a couple of hours to eat before boarding the plane. 🙂
“This is just one part of the whole program we are implementing to smooth and speed up the ground operations of our airports, and ensure the convenience of air passengers,” Roxas said.
What about those who already bought their tickets for their flights next year? The transition time to fully implement the new system is expected to last until middle of next year as there will still be a terminal fee collection booth for those who have already bought their tickets without terminal fee. Before the end of the year, terminal fees for international flights will also be incorporated in the plane ticket. Nice! 🙂
The event was also graced by different groups and sectors of MIAA, DOTC and Media.
It was really nice to have some discussions with the other groups. There were also other Bloggers who I met for the first time. I enjoyed our discussions which actually boiled down to our excitement on this implementation. I guess, we are all a traveler and we know that this will be very time saving and more convenient to the passengers like us.
Meanwhile, the DOTC earlier unveiled several short- and long-term measures to solve the problem of runway congestion at NAIA.
To address the issue and to support local airline companies’ expansion program, Roxas said the government will continue to enhance the infrastructure of the country’s major airports. From just an airline fleet population of 62 five years ago, the airline industry’s total fleet number has almost doubled to 119 today.
Part of this effort, the government has allocated P800M to night-rate 14 additional airports in Tagbilaran, Legazpi, Dumaguete, Butuan, Ozamis, Cotabato, Naga, Dipolog, Roxas, Pagadian, Tuguegarao, Busuanga, Surigao and San Jose, Mindoro. Isn’t this amazing?! I just hope the government can sustain the budget on maintaining the new and existing airports in the country. 🙂
The rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 is also in progress. “The structural work, together with the mechanical-electrical-plumbing and fire-protection (MEPF) work at NAIA T1will be completed next year,” he said.
NAIA Terminal 3 will be in full operation early next year once the 23 airport systems, including baggage handling system and closed-circuit televisions that will cover all areas of the terminal, are delivered by Takenaka Corp.
This ground-breaking step by DOTC will be a great help to all consumers and passengers. A lot of time will be saved and of course. Good luck DOTC and congratulations!
DOTC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOTC/114547705229202?rf=108141952546941
DOTC – Department of Transportation and Communications
NAIA – Ninoy Aquino International Airport
MIAA – Manila International Airport Authority