Flight Report : CX 918 Manila - Hong Kong

After 2 long weeks in Manila, it was time to head home. Manila's airport is a short 15 minute drive from Makati if the traffic is good. But traffic can get unpredictable especially on a Friday afternoon and even especially if it rains, so I always leave ample time to get there.

Heavy security greets departing passengers at Terminal 3. Everyone needs to go through a check before entering the terminal. Once inside, the facility looks decently spacious, but the air-conditioning was quite weak.

Cathay has many counters at one end of the terminal and there were no issues with the lines this afternoon.

With the formalities completed quickly, I turned my attention to the other airlines that operate out of here, including Cebu Pacific's paper signs.

You can't get any more clear with so many Closed signs on your desk already.

Yet, they have also embraced technology with automated check-in kiosks.

Terminal 3 is a major hub for Cebu Pacific, with both domestic and international flights leaving from here. There was also a sprinkle of Philippine Airlines flights as well.

I have never seen an automated kiosk "sleep" anywhere before!

Upstairs, there was a food court-style area with lots of cheaper options.

I was more interested in an aerial overview of the terminal.

Upstairs, I saw the sign that gave the reason why it was so hot in here. With the permanent nature of the sign, it seems this repair work will take a while.

Air-side, there were many shops but not that many interesting things to buy. I had stocked up at the hypermarket in the city so I didn't need to get any more dried mango here.

The gate lounges are on the small side and seat are fairly packed together. Forget about standard amenities such as electric plugs or USB charging outlets.

This machine turns your leftover currency into a Paypal deposit, which is quite innovative although in this part of the world, Paypal seems to have been left behind by the Chinese mobile payment apps. Warming relations with China may spell an early end for this machine soon.

Meanwhile, I was walking around spotting for planes being washed in the afternoon shower. Similar to other tropical countries in the region like Thailand and Malaysia, a morning of sunshine can easily turn into a drenching downpour by mid-afternoon.

With a small gate lounge, staff cordoned off a special section just for the elites, a good gesture so they can easily board first.

As we pushed back into a darkening sky, I sttled into my window seat and peeked out to see what else is on the tarmac.

The hangar area was packed with planes and some surprises.

Qantas flies to Manila with an A380?

What caught my attention were some non-indigeneous airlines here. What's a BA A380 doing in Manila? Cheap maintenance?

Makati's skyline rises a short distance away.

We took off into the west as I scanned for familiar landmarks. The historic part of the city was on the other side of the plane behind the military jets.

Dinner time, and another sandwich. I really liked the cookie though.

For a short flight of around 2 hours, I don't expect a feast in the sky, but just an on-time departure and a safe arrival. While the airport experience in Manila is quite unpleasant, at least the airline tried to make the best of it with a spacious check-in area and exclusive seats at the gate for its elites.

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