Practical tips

  • If you are flying to Manila from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportManila International Airport MNL, also known as Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It is the main airport serving the metropolitan area of Manila, located approximately 7 km south of the city center. It comprises four terminals: Terminal 1 serves international flights, Terminal 2 is reserved for the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, Terminal 3 serves select international flights and domestic flights operated by budget airlines, and Terminal 4 has a handful of domestic and cargo flights. Free airport shuttle buses pick up and drop off passengers in all terminals. The NAIA airport offers a range of facilities for arriving travelers, including currency exchange services, ATMs, restaurants, cafes, luggage storage, and free Wi-Fi (GlobeFreeWiFi@NAIA network, available in 30-minute sessions). There are numerous options for transport to the city center by public transportation (the Airport Loop Bus or the NAIA Express Shuttle) or via taxi.

    Manila is notorious for its heavy traffic, especially during rush hours. Therefore a good option for travelers who want to avoid traffic congestion is flying into the Clark International Airport CRK located approximately 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila. The airport serves mostly budget airlines, and it generally imposes lower airport taxes, so flying to Clark is often cheaper than flying to Manila. CRK has quick and comfortable transport to Manila via P2P (Point-to-Point) Bus Service, operated by Genesis Transport (the bus stop is located right in front of the Arrival area). Ride-sharing service Grab is also available from Clark International Airport - the cost of a ride to Manila city is around PHP 1,000 - 1,500 (approximately USD 20 - 30).

    These are also the best (and cheapest) airports to fly into Manila. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce, and airfare decreases as a result.
Best airports to fly into Manila: Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (IST) and Clark International Airport (CRK)
Manila has one international airport located in the city (Ninoy Aquino International Airport MNL) and one international airport nearby – Clark International Airport CRK located just 80 km away from Manila.
  • Once in Manila, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Philippine Airlines,Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, Cebgo, PAL Express, Pan Pacific Airlines, and Sunlight Air. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation) and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Manila can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, and Scoot. If you have a layover in Manila and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money.

Flights to Manila
from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Manila. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Manila, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. Currently, only Philippine Airlines offers year-round direct flights from the US/Canada to Manila. It flies out from the biggest cities in North America: Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver. All scheduled flights arrive in Manila at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Expect to spend between 11 and 17 hours on a plane.
  • Manila is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Manila with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Manila from the US and Canada are: Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

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Flights to Manila from Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Manila — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. There's a limited choice when it comes to direct flights from Europe to Manila. Currently, only KLM offers a non-stop connection from Schiphol Airport AMS in Amsterdam to Ninoy Aquino Airport MNL in Manila. The flight time is 15 hours and 35 minutes, and the ticket prices average around 700-900 euros (one way).
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Manila include Air France, Emirates, Etihad Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, and Thai Airways.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Manila from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.

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Things to know before flying to Manila
Airlines flying to ManilaAirAsia, Air China, Air Hong Kong, AirSWIFT, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, CebGo, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Central Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Gulf Air, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Pan Pacific Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air, Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudia, Scoot, SF Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Vietnam Airlines
Airlines of PhilippinesPhilippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, Cebgo, PAL Express, Pan Pacific Airlines, Sunlight Air, SkyJet Airlines, AirSWIFT, Sky Pasada, Royal Air Philippines

Main airports in ManilaNinoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) — Manila
Clark International Airport (CRK) — Mabalacat
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €800 – €1200 (from Europe)
✈ $700 – $1100 (from USA)

Low-cost flights from Manila

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

The cheapest time to fly to Manila

The Philippines’ weather makes it a year-round travel destination. However, the best time to find the cheapest airfares to Manila is during the low season – June through October. It is when the country experiences the wet season, so the weather can be less favorable, with a higher chance of typhoons. The country sees fewer tourists from June to October and lower demand results in cheaper airfares and accommodation prices.

Duty-free rules

The Philippines is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Alcoholic drinks such as wine, spirits or beer cannot exceed one liter per person, and you can carry 2 cartons of cigarettes (or 2 tins of pipe tobacco). In addition to personal items, you may also carry items in reasonable quantity up to a value of $1,000.

Anything above those limits must be declared – at the Manila Airport, head to Red Lane to declare your goods.

Use local airlines for domestic travel in the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago so you may spend long hours (or days) moving between provinces by land and sea. Also, the Philippine inter-island ferry and passenger boat network is infamous for its poor safety record. Therefore, it’s wise to consider domestic air travel to avoid overcrowded boats and long journeys.

Cebu Pacific and AirAsia often run sales and promotions and have frequent flights from Manila. Stalk these airlines on social media or use Promo Radar to find and secure some fantastic deals.

Philippine Airlines: bid for a cabin upgrade

When booking Economy Class tickets to or from Manila, Philippine Airlines allows you to upgrade to a higher class seat – Premium Economy or Business – through a bidding procedure on their website. If you’re not willing to pay the full fare for a premium/business ticket, it may be a good way to upgrade at a discount. You can only make an offer within a pre-determined price range, and the bidding ends 36 hours before flight departure.

Once you’re successful, you can enjoy the airline perks like more comfortable seats, better meal options, priority check-in and boarding, airport lounge use, etc. It’s worth trying!

Next tips

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Turkish Airlines, Etihad AirwaysSingapore Airlines, and others).

When it comes to Twitter, there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@flyPAL” for Philippine Airlines). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Use Grab to get around Manila

Uber is no longer available in Manila – it ceased business in March 2018 and has been replaced by its Asia alternative – Grab. It’s a good way for a cross-city journey: the cars are safe, secure and usually air-conditioned. Similarly to Uber, it has fixed distance-based fees, so drivers can’t overcharge you for journeys. If you don’t have Grab Taxi yet, download it for your Philippines vacation and set up your account, payment options, etc, before arriving.

In case you’re having a hard time booking a ride with Grab, there are other ride-sharing apps that you can use in Manila; among the most popular are ePickMeUp, GoLag, Hirna, Hype, and MiCab.

Set the currency to the currency of the airline’s country

Prices quoted on airline websites often vary depending on where you book from. So here’s the simple trick: if you’re booking a flight with Philippine Airlines (for example), try setting the country to Philippines and the currency to Philippine peso (PHP).

If the airline website detects your actual location by checking the IP address (and automatically applies the adequate currency), you can overcome this by using a VPN to alter your location to appear as if you are in Manila.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Philippine airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money for the Philippine peso at home.

Next tips

Domestic flights from Manila

Most domestic routes in Philippines are operated by local carriers. When traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Quezon City, Davao City, Angeles, Antipolo, Cebu City, Caloocan, and General Santos from Manila Airport , you’ll likely fly with one of these domestic airlines: Philippine Airlines,Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, Cebgo, PAL Express, Pan Pacific Airlines, and Sunlight Air.

This is often the best transportation method, providing speed, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Local airlines often offer multiple daily flights to key destinations, providing flexibility in scheduling and competitive pricing. They also serve smaller regional airports, enabling access to a wider range of Philippine destinations.

Flights to Manila
from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with popular Asian destinations, including Manila. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australasia to Asia are operated by large international carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Manila. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.

    More expensive non-stop flights to Manila from Australia are around 8 hours long, and you have a choice of four departing airports: Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, and Perth PER. There are no direct flights to Manila from New Zealand.
  • Airfare costs can vary widely depending on the route and the airline’s pricing strategy. To find the cheapest flight to Manila, compare ticket prices from various international airports in Australia – Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, and in New Zealand – Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, and Dunedin DUD.
  • For optimal savings, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a key Asian hub, then connect to Manila via a regional low-cost carrier. Among budget airlines that fly to Manila are AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, and Scoot.

    For the first leg, use the budget carriers that fly out of Australian airports, leveraging sales and promotions they run frequently: AirAsia (connects with Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore), Cebu Pacific (Manila), Jetstar (Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo), Scoot (Singapore), VietJet Air (Ho Chi Minh City), Bamboo Airways (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing), and Batik Air (Jakarta, Singapore).

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Flights to Manila
from major hubs in Asia

  • Many popular tourist destinations in Asia have convenient direct flights to/from Manila: Bangkok BKK, Bali DPS, Beijing PEK, Hanoi HAN, Ho Chi Minh SGN, Hong Kong HKG, Jakarta CGK, Kuala Lumpur KUL, Seoul ICN, Singapore SIN, Taipei TPE, and Tokyo HND.
  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Manila look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Manila will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Philippines and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and VietJet Air. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.

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Flights to Manila dataset