I have always considered Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to be one of the best airports in the country ever since. Gladly, after just a year GMR- Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) took over the operations, the visible enhancements in terms of facilities and service in Cebu’s airport made it conspicuously first-rate; even making it to the list of best airports in Asia this year by a survey done by international online airport guide, Sleeping in Airports.
In October 2014, the new Mactan Cebu International Airport brand was launched. The presentation of a new logo, the announcement of the plans to better the current airport building and the declaration of the Terminal 2 project literally gave me goosebumps all over. Plus, the new tagline “Start here” is brilliant.
With the journey literally starting at the airport for visitors, GMR-Megawide has been conscientious in making everyone’s airport experience pleasurable, setting a warm mood as guests head on to their journey in (re)discovering the beautiful Cebu.
A frequent traveler, I am able to keep a close track of the progress at MCIA. Mactan Cebu International Airport has been on a rapid-rate in improving its facilities and services. Inevitably, MCIA will soon be a world-class airport.
Here are 8 noteworthy upgrades that may propel Mactan Cebu International Airport to be labeled as the Philippines best airport soon 😉
1. CONVENIENT WHITE METERED-TAXI BAY LOCATION. In May 2015, one of the most beneficial improvements at the airport was felt when the taxi boarding bay was relocated at the Arrivals level; now situated next to the Domestic Arrivals Area. It used to be at the departure area, and arriving at MCIA and getting a metered-white cab would mean you have to carry all your luggages up a steep stairway, or opt to hire a more expensive way to get to your destination by booking a service cab or yellow airport taxi.
2. BETTER LOUNGE SEATS. Remember those metal chairs that made squeaky sounds? They are now gone and replaced with new ergonomic black and orange chairs.
3. CHARGING STATIONS. Finally, charging stations at MCIA. Though a bit cramped, this is a good start.
4. CLEAN, SPACIOUS TOILETS. Two (2) out of ten (10) airport toilets are now fully renovated and now open for use. The new restroom design features a PWD washroom and a more spacious Men and Women’s Toilets. The remaining two (2) of the washrooms will soon be renovated, following the contemporary chic blueprint of the two (2) fully updated airport restrooms. Plus, restroom attendants will be on constant lookout to make sure the toilets are clean, bathroom tissues and soap dispensers are refilled.
5. INFORMATION COUNTERS. A number of Information Counters are situated all over the airport to make your airport experience smooth and effortless. And yes, you’ll be served with warm Cebuano smiles as well. 😉
6. ADDITIONAL ATMS AND MONEY CHANGERS. These would be very helpful to foreign guests!
7. MORE SHOPPING AND FOOD OUTLETS. Seattle’s Best Coffee and Beauty for You are now open at the Domestic Departure Area. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is brewing at the International Departure Area. Jollibee will be launching its airport branch at the Arrival Area soon. These new options give passengers more food and shopping choices at a more competitive price.
8. A SMARTER AIRPORT SOFTWARE SYSTEM. One of the major improvements at MCIA is its smarter software system – installing an ARINC system all across 53 check-in counters, enabling all 14 commercial airlines operating in the airport to have access to any of the check-in counters. These “Expandable Check-In Counters” will help optimize the airport space through the strategic positioning of the airline check-in counters, depending on their peak hours. The same system feeds the data to the Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS) situated all across the airport.
Also, the same system powers the consolidated “Self-Service Kiosks” where passengers without check-in baggage can check-in for their flights, no matter which airline they are booked with. GMR-Megawide also plans to install these “Self-Service Kiosks” at ferry terminals, hotels and other establishments so passengers can check in prior their arrival to the airport.
As added security, Automated Boarding Pax (Passenger) Gates are now installed before the final security check. Passengers need to scan their boarding passes to get through final security check and their respective boarding gates. The system is wise enough not to let passengers through the automated gate when there’s not enough time for them to board their flights. So be sure, you have gone through the Automated Boarding Gate and done with the final security check at least 30 minutes before your boarding time to make sure you don’t miss your flight!
TIP: You can actually pass the first security check to your check-in counter in as fast as 3 minutes.
1. Arriving at the airport, check the Flight Information Display System (FIDS) to know your Check-in Counter number.
2. Be sure you have your Passport/ Valid Identification and Flight Itinerary/ Online booking ready to show the Airport Security Personnel before the first security check.
3. Place all your mobile phones, coins, watches and other metal items in your bag before heading to the X-ray Security Scanner.
4. Proceed to your check-in counter!
PLUS! A round-the-clock Medical Facility and an ambulance! ^_^
Anything you want to add on the list? And would you agree that MCIA is the best airport in the Philippines? Tell us your Mactan Cebu International Airport experience. ^_^