Manila Airport Terminal Transfer Guide: 2023 Update

Manila Airport shuttle bus

On a recent family holiday (travelling with a small child), we transferred from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2. Here is our experience and what you need to know about NAIA terminal transfer system.

There are four (4) terminals in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). These terminals are located 2km to 5km apart, with no dedicated walkways for passengers to safely and easily walk in between to catch their connecting flights. 

Manila Airport provides a transfer bus to shuttle passengers between terminals, however we found these buses quickly become over crowded making it difficult if you are getting on the bus with small children, elderly or passengers who need assistance. 

The middle section of the bus is dedicated to luggage, however everyone’s luggage is stacked up by the driver at least 2 rows wide and 2 or 3 rows high. If you are carrying fragile items in your luggage there is a risk of damage.

When you reach the next terminal, everyone piles out of the bus and crowds around the door waiting for their luggage to be unloaded by the driver. If you are carrying large amounts of luggage, it may be difficult to keep track of all your items as they come off the bus!  

On our bus trip from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2, the bus firstly stopped at Terminal 1 departures area. Once everyone exiting the bus (except for us), the bus driver very kindly shifted our luggage to the front of the bus so that we could get out at Terminal 2 first. I am so glad he did as when he picked up passengers at Terminal 1 arrivals the bus was once again over full. 

Based on our experience, consider taking this shuttle bus between terminals 1, 2, 3 & 4 if you are:

  • Carrying a small amount of luggage that does not contain fragile items
  • Do not mind being squashed into the bus
  • Are fit and able
  • Have allowed plenty of time to catch your connecting flight – we recommend at least 3 hours. 
  • Are budget conscious (transfer bus is a free service)

 

Alternatively, we suggest taking a Taxi or Grab if you are traveling with:

  • Luggage contains fragile items
  • Infants, small children, elderly and disabled passengers
  • Large amounts of luggage which may make it difficult to keep track of.
  • Concerned that you may miss your next flight
  • Suffers from claustrophobia
  • Costs around 200-400 pesos to catch a metered taxi or Grab. 
 
Be sure to check out our information guides to catching a taxi or catching a Grab at Manila Airport. 

How often does the Manila Airport Transfer Bus operate?

The NAIA Manila airport shuttle service operates 24 hours a day, transporting passengers between Manila Airport terminals 1 to 4. Furthermore, the bus ramps have accessible transit options for the disabled, however there may be no space on the bus due to crowding.

The inter-terminal transfer bus services depart every hour (previously this was every 30 minutes at peak times). I spoke to an airport representative, and they informed me that there is no set time from each terminal, this means that you will not know when exactly the bus will arrive and depart.

It is possible that when you arrive at the pickup point, you may have just missed the bus and then will need to wait another hour before being able to catch the next one.

How much does a ride cost?

Transportation is totally free. These buses, however, are only available for transfer passengers. So, you need to show your flight ticket (ongoing) to use this free service.

Where to find the shuttle bus stops:

  • MIAA Terminal 1: Head to the arrival curb side
  • MIAA Terminal 2: Exit the terminal building and head to arrival curb side bay 19
  • MIAA Terminal 3: Pick up location is at the terminal transfer – arrival level. When arriving at Terminal 3 the bus will drop you off at the departure curb side Gate 1
  • MIAA Terminal 4: Immediately head left once you enter the arrival zone. You will find the bus on the outer lane of the curb side.

When in doubt, look for signs or ask the ground airport staff.

The Philippine Airlines Service transfer bus

Philippines Airlines, or also known as PAL, has a dedicated shuttle bus service for passengers transferring between Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.

To spot this service, just look for signs in both Manila airport terminals. Alternatively, you may ask the Philippines Airlines ground staff to assist you.

This shuttle service is exclusive for PAL express and PAL passengers. If your onward flights is with a different airline, you’ll have to use the standard Manila airport bus, metered taxi or grab.

Philippines Airlines have put together a great NAIA transfer guide for their passengers which can be found here. https://www.philippineairlines.com/-/media/files/beforeyoufly/attheairport/connectingflights/transfer-guide_29nov22-edit-v2.pdf Please check with the airline for the latest guide as this may be updated without notice.

 I hope this guide on transferring between terminals at Manila airport helps you decide whether or not to avail the NIAA shuttle bus. Have you taken this bus before? How was your experience, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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Hi! I’m Roselle, an editor at Hello Manila Airport.

I love exploring the Philippines and sharing travel tips.

Check out our guides to NAIA Manila Airport for all your airport-related needs.

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Safe travels and enjoy the Philippines!

Roselle

 

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12 Responses

  1. Excuse me, which is the routing to follow for transferring from NAIA T3 International Arrival (Qatar Airways) to NAIA T3 (same terminal) Domestic Departure (Cebu Pacific)?
    Thank you.

    1. Hello Alessandro,
      Once you collect your baggage at international arrivals, stay inside and go to your left and follow the signs to Terminal 3 domestic departures. No need to exit T3. Happy travels.

  2. This was really helpful. I’ve got elderly parents and will have heavy bulky luggage so I will probably avoid taking the shuttle and get a taxi/Grab.

    1. Hi Ronnie,
      Thank you for commenting! A taxi/grab will be much easier with your elderly parents and heavy luggage. Please be sure to allow plenty of time between terminals. Happy travels!

  3. My wife and I will be arriving at T3 at 10am and have a domestic flight from T2 at 1530 – a gap of 5.5 hours.

    We will have luggage.

    Do you think this gap is sufficient to pick up bags, clear customs and immigration and get to T2 in time to check in for our flight?
    I expect we would opt for a taxi between terminals.
    Would you recommend Taxi or Grab for quicker transfer?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Michael,

      Generally yes, this should be enough time to make the transfer, assuming no unexpected delays or hold ups. Immigration lines can be long if they do not have enough staff working. Typically I would allow a minimum of 4 hours to from landing at one terminal to arriving at the next terminal in Manila. This will then give you 1.5 hours to check in and get to your gate at T2.

      Of interest Philippine Airlines has a minimum connection time of 3 hours between T1 & T3 (T1 & T2 are similar distance away from T3), however, I like to be a bit more conservative!

      Either taxi or grab can provide a quick transfer, it just depends on the time of day and demand for either service.

      Happy Travels!

  4. Hello and Good Day to you.. i need some information. i am staying in Manila for a few weeks, then going to Clark via Cebu by PAL airlines from Terminal 2 Domestic. How do i go about the connecting schedule. I will be going back to NAIA via the walkway Bridge as hotel is nearby ( Newport Blvd )

    1. Hi Vic,
      From what you have described are you are staying at a hotel near Terminal 3 (near the Newport Blvd & walkway bridge) and looking to transfer to terminal 2, is this correct? There are a few ways to transfer:

      1. Check if your hotel can offer a airport shuttle service to terminal 2, or,
      2. Walk over to terminal 3 from your hotel near Newport Blvd and catch the terminal transfer bus, which leaves every hour but unfortunately there is no specific schedule provided. or,
      3. Catch a taxi or grab from your hotel/terminal 3 over to terminal 2.
      Hope this answers your question. Have a great day.

      1. Hi Leah, yes you are correct about the hotel. is the transfer bus outside T3 or will i have to go back inside too a different level. Thank you.

  5. Hi I will have connecting flights within T1 with baggage checked through, do you think 1 hour gap will be sufficient for transferring flight in T1?

    1. Hi Jade,
      I have not yet connected through T1 Manila myself with two separate international flights. I’ve done a little research and found that the Philippine Airlines website states a minimum 1 hour connection time for PR to PR flights, or a minimum 1.5 hours for PR to PR (US) or other airlines. As you have baggage checked through it would be best to check with your airline :). Safe travels

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