It was New Year's Day and quite unlikely, I was already going on a trip, though for a more personal reason. That's another blog story really, but it was that which brought me to experience first-hand how it was to sleep over at NAIA Terminal 3 -- how to experience being like our regional coordinators, our agricultural extension workers from the Visayas and Mindanao. Yes, the AEW also flies! And can sleep in airports.
True, I've never slept in an airport before. One reason was that there might be thieves in case I doze off. Such was my thought always whenever I saw our friends from the regions go straight to the airport after the evening's closing activity in Luzon. I thought too how it must be eerie in an empty building as they waited for their flights at first light...
What I came upon was a pleasant surprise. NAIA Terminal 3 was awake! It was filled with people and shops. I even saw a spa where you can have a shower and freshen up before your flight! There was even a wide variety of restaurants and cafés spread in the 4th level. Amidst all these were pockets of spaces seemingly for those who needed a bit of shuteye. WiFi was available too, but you have to find and "claim" a spot with an electrical outlet just in case you needed to charge your gadget.
I've always avoided early morning flights. But not this time. My father and I were taking the only flight to Catarman at 5am and check-in was at 3am. The wee hours of the morning bring together travellers flying to most of the minor domestic airports.
So the next time you're going in one of these places, go ahead. Take an early morning flight and have a sleepover at NAIA Terminal 3. You wouldn't be alone. It is an amusing experience though, but definitely something you wouldn't want to do everyday.
To find out the different pre-departure shops, restaurants and their locations check out the concessionaire's list at the main site of the Manila International Airport Authority.