Travel & Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions (with answers) About Air Travel in the Philippines

Written by Patrick
Travel Insurance

The following are a list of the most frequently asked questions, with answers, about air travel in the Philippines.  We hope that you find this information helpful and that it alleviates any concerns or stress you may be experiencing regarding air travel in the Philippines.  Please let us know if we missed anything that should be added to this article to make to better for you and other travelers.

What do I need to do at the airport step-by-step?

There are 5 main procedures to this process which I’ve described in detail below. 

I. Preparing For Your Flight

  1. Confirm your flight date and departure time and the airport it’s departing from.
  2. Use a packing checklist so that you don’t forget anything. 
  3. Pack your travel documents (passport, visa, picture ID, plane ticket).
  4. Pack your bags carefully.  Remember that you can only have 1 piece of luggage and a smaller carry-on bag with you when you board the plane. These bags cannot contain any prohibited items.  Additional bags can be checked during the check-in process but sometimes require an additional fee. Some of the items which are prohibited in carry-on bags can be packed in checked bags.
  5. Arrive at the airport early. 

II. Checking In For Your Flight

  1. Locate your airline.
  2. Proceed to the appropriate check-in counter for your airline.
  3. Check your bags.
  4. Obtain a printed copy of your boarding pass.
  5. Proceed to the security checkpoint. 

III. Going Through Security 

  1. Be certain you do NOT have any prohibited items in your carry-on bags or pockets.
  2. Dispose of any drinks or containers of liquids. 
  3. Remove your laptop and tablets and place in a bin.
  4. Remove any liquids and place in a bin. 
  5. Remove your jacket, belt, hat, shoes, and empty pockets into a bin.
  6. Wait for a security officer to instruct you to proceed through the X-RAY machine.
  7. After passing through the X-RAY machine, collect your bags and personal items.

IV.  Checking In At Your Gate 

  1. Locate the gate your flight departs from a boarding monitor. 
  2. Proceed to your gate.
  3. Purchase the necessary food and drink you require waiting for or on your flight.
  4. Wait in a seat in the area around your gate until boarding of your flight begins.
  5. Listen carefully to announcements and watch the monitor at your gate for updates to your flight.
  6. Get in line to board the plane when instructed to and wait for your turn to board the plane.
  7. You will be expected to provide your passport or photo ID and a plane ticket to proceed through the check-in gate to board the plane.

V. Boarding the Plane 

  1. After clearing the check-in gate, proceed to board the plane.
  2. When you get on the plane, find your assigned seat and place your luggage in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of the seat assigned to you. 
  3. Remove the items from your bags that you plan to use during the flight.
  4. Sit in your assigned seat. 
  5. Secure your personal items in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of your seat.
  6. Fasten your seatbelt firmly around your waist. 
  7. Make certain your table and seat are both in the upright position. 
  8. Open the window shade if you’re sitting next to a window.
  9. Enjoy your flight! 

What are the domestic airlines in the Philippines and which cities do each service?

READ MORE: Domestic Airlines in the Philippines

Air Travel in the Philippines

How soon before my flight departure do I need to be at the airport?

It depends on the airline and airport, but usually about 2 hours for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international flights in order to check in, drop off bags, clear customs and security in time to get to your gate before the gate closes. NOTE: Gates usually close at least 15 minutes BEFORE the scheduled departure time therefore you MUST be to the gate BEFORE it closes in order to board the plane. 

How do I locate my airline at the airport?

Before checking in, look at the airport check-in monitors to locate the check-in counter of your airline. 

After checking in, look for the gate number printed on your boarding pass. Check the airport boarding monitors to confirm it hasn’t changed. Your airline will be present at that gate.

Is a boarding pass the same thing as a ticket?

NO. A boarding pass lets you physically get onto the plane, but you have to purchase a ticket to be able to download your boarding pass.

Where do I get my boarding pass?

You can print one after purchasing your ticket online, or at the check-in counter when you get to the airport.

What to do at airport if you check in online?

If you’re checking-in online, traveling without a checked bag, and go have a printed boarding pass (or a digital copy on your phone), you can go straight to the gate and skip the counter.

Why check in online?

Checking in online saves you time especially if you’re only traveling with a carry-on and no checked luggage. Also, the earlier you access the service, the more seats there will be to choose from, or at least, that’s the theory.

Can I bring MY prescription medicines with me in my carry-on bag?


At what point do you go through immigration?

You don’t go through immigration when leaving a country. You go through immigration when arriving in a country that is not your native country.

What To Do While Waiting at the Airport?

Depending on the airport, there are many things to do.  Below are a few of the things I like to do while waiting at the airport. 

  • Read
  • Sleep
  • Listen to Music
  • Watch a Movie or Video
  • Eat & Drink
  • People Watch
  • Take care of business
  • Take care of personal tasks (phone calls, emails, texts, etc.)
  • Make a new friend
Airline in the Philippines

What do I do when I reach the destination airport?

Get off the plane, proceed to the baggage claim area, locate the carousel that your bags are being delivered on, claim your bags, then exit the terminal to obtain transportation to your final destination. 

READ MORE: Airports in the Philippines

Have you traveled by airplane in the Philippines?

About the Author


Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

Leave a Comment