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#TripTips: Reminders when traveling by air during the peak season

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Oct 27, 2022 12:23 pm Updated Nov 15, 2022 12:35 pm

There's nothing more that could put a smile on your face than finding out that there's going to be a long weekend ahead.

With all the struggles of everyday life, getting a chance to have a short vacation for yourself only comes once in a blue moon, so it's only natural that you would want to make the most out of it by doing the things you love. And who doesn't love traveling?

Unfortunately, traveling during the peak season like holidays and long weekends feels like going into war. This is especially true going to and from airports, where the number of passengers increase by the minute, causing various service points to be congested, with possible delays causing you to miss your flight.

To ensure a smooth journey, here are a few friendly reminders for those planning to travel during holidays and long weekends:

Allot enough travel time going to the airport

If you're traveling by air, it is imperative that you allot enough travel time going to the airport since the traffic situation in the Philippines is no laughing matter. 

For Cebu Pacific flights, passengers must be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 and 4 at least two hours before departure for domestic flights, and three hours for international flights. If you plan on flying to Dubai, you are allowed to check in as early as seven hours before departure. 

If you're booking a flight through Philippine Airlines, they advised that you must arrive three hours prior to departure from Manila for domestic flights and four hours prior to departure from Manila for international flights.

In the case of AirAsia, it is also recommended that you arrive two hours for domestic flights and at least three hours before departure for international flights to allow enough time for all the necessary procedures to be conducted.

Check-in online when you can

If you don't want to run the risk of missing your flight because you got stuck in long lines, you can always opt to check in online using official airline apps.

For Cebu Pacific flights, you can use the mobile app or check-in with the "Manage Booking" section of their website.

Keep in mind that these options are available from seven days up to one hour before the scheduled time of your departure for domestic flights and up to four hours before the scheduled time for international fliers.

You can also do online check-ins for AirAsia through their app, website, or their check-in kiosks, and print their boarding pass. You can further opt to download and activate the MySejahtera app where you can self-assess your health amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you check in online, you can afford to arrive a little later at the airport. For PAL flights, passengers who do online check-in must be at the airport no later than 45 minutes before domestic flight departure and 1 hour before international flight departure.

Check your luggage

You don't want to lose your luggage when you travel, so it's important that you follow all the rules of the airport.

If you're flying out to domestic destinations, specifically Manila, Davao, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Bohol, Iloilo, and Zamboanga, Cebu Pacific advised to self-tag your baggage before proceeding to counters for bag drops, in line with the airline’s contactless flight procedures. 

For those going on a short vacation, it is recommended that you only bring one carry-on bag for a more convenient flight experience. 

The following items can be kept in your carry on bag, which must not exceed 7 kilograms:

  • gadgets or food items that cannot be checked-in
  • items purchased inside the airport (requires proof of receipt)
  • assistive or medical items such as walking canes, foldable walkers
  • baby food and necessities for passengers traveling with infants
  • or a small bag that can fit under the seat 

Philippine Airlines meanwhile requires that on top of your carry-on baggage, you can bring only two of the following inside the cabin:

  • laptop computer
  • small bag
  • overcoat/wrap/blanket
  • reasonable amount of reading materials
  • small camera or binoculars
  • infant case
  • infant food
  • sealed Duty-Free bag

Confirm your terminal and travel requirements

Airports can be daunting and a bit puzzling to navigate if you're a first-time flier, so it's important that you know the terminal assignment of your flight.

For Cebu Pacific, their 5J flights are situated at NAIA Terminal 3, while Cebgo (DG) flights are at NAIA Terminal 4. Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines domestic departures and arrivals remain at NAIA Terminal 2 while AirAsia operates at NAIA Terminal 3 for international flights and Terminal 4 for domestic ones.

You must also check whether you have brought all the necessary travel document requirements, as they may change from time to time without any notice. For more information on the requirements of each country, you can check here.