Wednesday, February 25, 2009
(Written last Friday, Feb 20)
I’m off to Cagayan de Oro today for a quick vacay alone. It’s the first time in 4 years that I’d be traveling alone, both overseas and domestic. I was supposed to travel with the little one, but hubs and I are hesitant to bring him without the hubs. So the little one stays home, plus he has school too.
My Mom bought the tickets for me, when there was seat sale in Cebu Pacific. The travel was supposed to be done in time for the harvest season. The harvest is moved to another week, due to unforeseen weather conditions. Rather than of the tickets going to waste, I decide to travel still. And so here I am at the new Terminal 3.
Terminal 3 has been in use mainly by Cebu Pacific since mid 2008. When my whole family went home last November, we took Cebu Pacific coming back to Manila. It certainly was constructed according to International airport standards. Although, while we were waiting by the conveyor belt for our luggage, there was power failure. Good thing I was holding the little boy’s hand then. He still doesn’t like dark rooms.
Today is actually my first to trip out of the Terminal 3. Thank God Cebu Pac has moved here. I stopped flying Cebu Pac when the old domestic airport became too crowded. That was in 2002, I believe. I rather suffer delayed flights, old airplanes and bad service from Air Phils or overly expensive flights with PAL than go to the superbly crowded domestic airport.
Terminal 3 pre-departure is quite nice. I had to be here about 4 hours before my flight to pick-up my re-booked ticket. It’s not crowded at all, the line by the ticket center was long but service was quick. Plus they had 2 ticket counters to service everyone. After I got my ticket, I went to find food, I hadn’t had a bite of breakfast at home. There was a food area, there was Jollibee, a Mini stop, a Mister donut and a Kopi Roti. Not exactly an expansive choice, at least you have a choice, right? Jollibee is always a good choice anyway. And Kopi Roti has great cheap coffee. The washrooms are also clean and spacious. The aircon also works! Haha
After the check-in counters and the terminal fee counters, there are more restos and shops. There was even a shop selling slippers, crocs and chargers for laptops, cell phones and Ipods. It doesn’t feel too 3rd world anymore, what an improvement, I must say.
The service of the airport personel, such as the security guys, though is still very 3rd world. It is typical that airport security personnel don’t speak much, but the service that they provide falls on the Needs Improvement box. They are just not polite, bordering on being rude. I think that is what’s lacking in our airports, the politeness of the airport personnel. If I were a foreigner, out to for a vacation in a tropical country like the Philippines, who boasts of its hospitality, I’d be totally turned off. The airport is the first thing that a visitor sees of a country, it doesn’t have to be the best, I doubt if anyone expects that. At the least though, the people welcoming you in the airport should be friendlier. And I’m not just talking about the taxi drivers – that requires another post altogether.
One thing I didn’t like though is that there’s no wifi in T3. And I had to scour 2 floors to find an outlet before my battery ran out. And the paging system is so mumbled, you know the kind where the announcer doesn’t really care if you understand whatever she says? Reminds me of the old Ororama paging system back in Cagayan de Oro. This was the early 90s and it was cool to hang out there then LOL We’d wait for announcements over the paging system and laugh like hyenas when the pager says “Paging all FACKERS, paging all FACKERS, please proceed to the FACKING area”. Seriously. LOL