By Anna Valmero
PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA—About seven in ten passengers of domestic airline flights will save time from lining up once an order integrating terminal fees in the cost of plane tickets takes effect.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) inked an agreement with major airline companies on integrated terminal fees for domestic flights that will be implemented by August 1.
“We appreciate the airline companies’ full cooperation in instituting the new system to provide a better and efficient airport service to air travelers,” DOTC chief Mar Roxas said.
The integration of terminal fee into the airline tickets was rejected by carriers earlier due to the perceived complexity of sorting out the amount in relation to several exemptions given to different passenger groups.
Under the new system, only exempted passengers such as athletes, overseas workers, senior citizens and babies under two-years old—which compose 30 percent of total passengers for domestic flights—will line up at designated claim booths to avail refund.
Currently, passengers had to complete four procedures before boarding their flights: initial screening upon entering the terminal, check-in counter to get their boarding pass, payment of terminal fee, and the final security screening.
By skipping the payment of terminal fees, domestic passengers can do other things before boarding the plane.
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 year ends, terminal fees for international flights will be included in the plane ticket cost.
Meanwhile, the DOTC earlier unveiled several measures to solve the problem of runway congestion at NAIA. From 62 five years ago, the total airplane fleet here doubled to 119 today.
As 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.
The rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 is also in progress. Meanwhile, 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.
loQal.ph (http://loqal.ph/) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.