7 Basic Steps in Flying Domestic in Philippines Airport

I have published an article on this Philippines travel blog on 5 Steps and Tips for First Time Domestic Flyers in Mactan-Cebu International Airport and just few months ago I was reminded by one of my subscribers on YouTube that there are first time flyers out there who were like me back then who are scared, nervous, freaking out on flying for the first time.

So in my YouTube channel I started a segment called FIRST TIME FLYER GUIDE where I’ll try my best to fly to each airport in the entire Philippines to help each airport’s first time flyers get a view and have a taste of flying for the first time on the airport nearest to them. I wanted to help those first time flyer to be more confident and comfortable on going through an airport, and flying in a plane for the first time.


So for this month’s article in this Philippines travel blog, let me share to you the basic steps you go through when flying for the first time in any Philippines airport. But take note, this is flying domestic, the difference with the international flight will be the Immigration Officer interview, and probably paying the Travel Tax (as of 2019 it is P1,600/person) if you haven’t paid yet, and airport or terminal fee (if not yet paid).

Here’s a video on the Philippines airport basic steps when flying domestic, and a written notes for you below so if you’re not a fan of my face, don’t like the way I talk, then mute me with the written notes below.


There are some airports that will not allow non-flyers (those who are not flying out or don’t have a ticket) to enter the building such as the NAIA airport Terminal 4. While here in Mactan Cebu Airport, we can enter the building and send off someone in the glass wall.

Before you can fully enter the building, you need to show your ticket. Airlines these days call it “Itinerary”. So if you booked online, look for it, you may have it printed or have a screenshot on your phone. The security guard at the building will ask you to show this, to show that you’re indeed flying out, and not just there at the airport to roam around and try to get a free flight somewhere.

Security Check

You’ll the go through a security check. They’ll ask you to put all your belongings in a blue tray box and put your luggage’s and bags on the machine to be scanned for anything illegal. Just follow what they say, don’t complain, it’s for everyone’s safety.

Check In

Next is find your counter to check in. Best to find your flight number on the TV, or try to find your airline first, then find which counter to check in for the destination you’re going to.

The check-in counter will ask for your VALID ID, if you have a check in bag you’ll leave it there and they’ll put a tag on your bag with your name. The check-in counter person will then give you a BOARDING PASS.

Note: Checking in is a requirement. It’s like having your attendance checked. Although you’ve paid for your ticket, they need to confirm that you’re among the passengers flying out since some passengers might not make it. They have to give the list of passengers in the plane to the airport, and this is why you need to have your attendance checked or check in.

Also, if it’s your first time it is best to do this manual check in. To be familiar with everything, once you’re confident and don’t have any check-in bags, you can proceed with Online or Web Check In or App check in, or self-check in counter.

Pay Terminal Fee (depending on airport)

Some airports have already allowed the airlines to include the terminal or airport fee in your ticket. Some airports require that you have to be there at the airport to pay, that’s why this may or may not be at the airport you’re flying from.

I’ve experienced this at Puerto Princesa Airport and Cagayan de Oro City airport.

Security Check

After leaving your check-in luggage at the check-in counter (if you have), there’s another security check you must go through. This is the most strict security check. This is where they will check if you’re carrying liquids, or sometimes will make you remove your shoes – this will depend on the security threat received by the country or the airport. So just follow what they say, if they’ll say hands up, put your hands up. It’s for everyone’s security.

Boarding Gate

Now next thing is you need to find your gate. Your gate is stated at your boarding pass. If it is not, it may be because there’s no assigned gate yet when you did a web-check in or that the airport has few gates, and you’ll just have to listen to the announcement who’s boarding.

I’ve experienced having no boarding gate on my boarding pass at NAIA Terminal 4, since (if I remember) they have only 2-4 gates and each gate (just doors) are beside to each other. So don’t panic if you don’t have one.

All you have to do then is to wait for your time to fly out.

Once your flight is being called, you need now to board, prepare your boarding pass. And before entering the gate, you have to show your boarding pass. Depending on airports and airlines, they might tear up a part of your boarding pass and return the smaller piece to you. Most likely you get a smaller piece back, and don’t lose it.

TIP: If it’s your first time flying out, or flying from that airport, don’t be the first on the line to enter the boarding gate, you can just then follow where others go to, or ask their staff where to go. You are now going to the plane, and board the plane.

On Board

You can ask the stewardess to help you find your seat. Basically, if your seat is for example, 7E, then your seat is what is shown below the image.

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You can see the letters and the numbers above the chairs. If you’re not sure, it’s totally fine to ask the flight stewardess. Don’t be scared to ask when traveling.

And that’s it. That’s how you’ll be able to fly for the first time in any airport in the entire Philippines.

If you have any questions from your Philippines travel blogger (that’s me by the way), please don’t hesitate to comment down below or follow me on social media to ask me right away.

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