Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal said that the country’s premier airports, the Ninoy Aquino International Airports, are all ready for the expected passenger volume as passengers are expected to flock to the provinces or take the chance to go on trips abroad, this ‘Undas’ season.
Before the weekend, Monreal was accompanied by his trusted officials led by media affairs division chief Jess Martinez and public affairs office chief Connie Bungag, as he made the rounds of the three NAIA terminals.
The airport chief said that ‘OPLAN Biyaheng Ayos’ is all set and that for the ‘Undas’ season, there will be help desks in all NAIA terminals, to be manned jointly by MIAA operations, public affairs, police and medical teams.
On the other hand, ‘Malasakit Help Desks’, according to Bungag, will be the focal point for all inquiries relating to airport and airline operations and rights of passengers. It will be manned by the MIAA and the Civil Aeronautics Board, with the latter assisting passengers on issues pertaining to their rights under the Air Passenger Bill of Rights (APBR).
Martinez said that in a recent meeting with the airline companies, it was agreed upon that passengers should be at the NAIA at least three hours before the flight, if travelling international and two hours if travelling domestic. However, airlines were not discouraged from imposing longer lead time for departure, especially for those taking direct flights to America and Australia, due to the added security measures now being implemented during check-in.
Monreal has told airline companies to make use of available counters earlier than the standard occupancy schedule of three hours before departure time.
When you only have three to five passengers who have not checked in, close your other counters so the next user can opt to use it. As compared to processing your passengers altogether when you open at the appointed time, we can somehow ease the queuing situation at the immigration if you are able to process passengers who are already there waiting ahead of 3 hours,’ he told the airline companies in a recent meeting.
The airport chief also suggested to the airlines to process passengers with bags at the check-in counters. He said they (passengers) should be discouraged from using the kiosks because they still have to appear at the counter anyway. That is one process less for them..
GM Monreal reminded domestic carriers using Terminal 3, to monitor closely the availability of the bus gates so they can direct passengers where to go. Use of bus gates is a method of boarding and disembarking where passengers are transported through a bus to and from an aircraft.
The GM further reminded them to tell their handling agents to limit paging announcements to three per flight and to use the PA system in the prescribed manner. “Let us be considerate of passengers. Too many announcements and announcing with a loud and garbled voice are both irritating,” he said.
As to flight operations, Monreal strongly urged the airlines to make sure that their spare aircraft is healthy for an easeful aircraft rotation. He further mentioned the need to make sure that problems relating to crew flying hours are attended to ahead of time.
Once again, Monreal also reminded the airlines to strictly adhere to the five-minute rule.
‘If not ready in five minutes, do not ask for start-up clearance,’ Monreal said, as he served this reminder to all airlines, with a strong warning that non-adherence and constant disregard for this policy will be a major consideration in slot deliberations for the next season.
On the other hand, the airline companies bared their respective plans to improve their operations this ‘Undas’ and also the coming Christmas season.
Cebu Pacific was quick to inform that they will make available to security personnel manning the entrances at immigration, passenger identification devices that will be connected to their system, owing to the fact that they have the most number of passengers using NAIA Terminal 3. This would hasten the passenger identification process as the device will just need to capture the bar code in the passenger’s boarding pass.
Overall, the airlines were one in assuring the airport chief that they are doing all they can to improve total passenger experience in cooperation with the MIAA, as they also agreed to give the MIAA a directory of persons to call during this peak season, so that passenger concerns that are highly airline-related can be immediately attended to.
In closing, Monreal assured the airlines that he stays committed to fostering MIAA’s partnership with them. Too, he encouraged them to report to him any MIAA employee who will seek for favors or will deliberately delay the delivery of service to them.
“That is certainly not acceptable. I will not condone that,” the airport chief emphasized. So employees, be warned. We all know that Monreal means serious business.
Jokjok (from Eunice Magalona of Pasig City) — JUAN: Mom, I want three wives when I grow up/MOM: Why three?/JUAN: One will cook for me, one will sing for me and one will bathe me/ MOM: Who among the three will sleep with you?/JUAN: I will still sleep with you, mommy/MOM (touched, her eyes were filled with tears): But who will sleep with your three wives?/ JUAN: Let them sleep with Dad in a separate bedroom/DAD (his eyes also filled up with tears): God bless you, son! God bless you!!!
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