1

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) a.k.a. Manila Airport (MNL) has 4 passenger terminals (mirror), 3 of them serving international flights:

  • NAIA Terminal 1: NAIA Terminal 1 serves almost all the international flights. It has west gates 1-7 and east gates 9-15.
  • NAIA Terminal 2: NAIA Terminal 2 houses international and domestic flights of the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines or PAL.
  • NAIA Terminal 3: NAIA Terminal 3 serves the international flights which are not handled in NAIA - Terminal 1 as well as some domestic flights.
  • NAIA Terminal 4: NAIA Terminal 4 hosts flights from local and regional carriers.

I read on http://cms.olympicair.com/timatic/webdocsI/countryinfo.html (Philippines -> Visa -> TWOV) (thanks Crazydre for pointing me to it):

Philippines (PH): TWOV (Transit Without Visa):

  • Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.
  • TWOV does not apply when transiting between terminals. A visa and an airline escort are required.
  • TWOV does not apply to refugees and stateless persons.

This "TWOV does not apply when transiting between terminals" causes me concern, as I am considering taking the flight BKK ---(PR 731)---> MNL ---(PR 104)---> SFO, and PR 731 lands at MNL on Terminal 2 whereas PR 104 departs from MNL on Terminal 1.

Can French citizens flying from Bangkok (BKK) to San Francisco airport (SFO) do an international, cross-terminal transit in Manila Airport (MNL) with the ongoing COVID-19 travel restriction? Will I need a transit visa, and if so, can I get one on arrival or prior to departure?

Assume:

  • the French citizen has no tie and no visa/paperwork with Philippines;
  • "international transit" in Manila Airport (MNL) means that the route is: outside Philippines -> MNL -> outside Philippines;
  • "cross-terminal transit" means transit between two different terminals do the same airport.

Details regarding the flight information:

Flight PR 731 (mirror):

enter image description here

Flight PR 104 (mirror):

enter image description here

Flight BKK -> PR 731 -> MNL -> PR 104 -> SFO (mirror):

enter image description here


The IATA information about Philippines says nothing about transit and transit visas aside from "Suspension of all visa exemptions and visa on arrival facilities", which leaves the door open for obtaining a transit visa prior to departure if that's possible:

Philippines (Published 06.08.2020)

  1. Passengers are not allowed to enter. This does not apply to:
  • nationals of the Philippines;
  • spouses or children of nationals of the Philippines traveling together or traveling to join the national of Philippines;
  • merchant seamen with a 9(c) visa issued by the Philippines;
  • nationals of India with a Temporary Resident Visa;
  • nationals of China (People's Rep.) with a Permanent Resident Visa who is spouse of a national of the Philippines;
  • passengers with a 13(a), 13(b), 13(c), 13(d), 13(e), 13(g), RA 7919, EO324 or Native-born visa issued by the Philippines.
  1. Suspension of all visa exemptions and visa on arrival facilities.
  • This does not apply to spouses or children of a national of the Philippines.
  • This does not apply to parents of a minor who is a national of the Philippines.
  1. Passengers are subject to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test at their own expense, they are subject to quarantine and must present a completed Case Investigation Form.
  2. Passengers traveling to Davao (DVO) must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) test result issued at most 72 hours before departure.
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  • 1
    Close voter: this question has nothing to do with WANTA. Aug 17 '20 at 3:23
  • 1
    @Traveller planning ahead Aug 17 '20 at 6:14
  • 1
    I strongly suggest calling Philippine Airlines. It's their booking an d home base, so they should know the rules and current processes for transiting. Covid is highly volatile situation, rules change quickly and websites are updated slowly and are often out of date. Case in point: we are going on an international tomorrow and the ONLY complete set of information of what happens when we got by talking to the airline on the phone. Even their own website was spotty and incomplete.
    – Hilmar
    Aug 17 '20 at 11:59
  • 2
    @FranckDernoncourt I'd interpret the TIMATIC info as inter-terminal transit not being allowed for you. To be sure, email the immigration head office - send one message to xinfo@immigration.gov.ph and immigph@gmail.com and binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph.
    – Crazydre
    Aug 19 '20 at 20:01
  • 2
    @FranckDernoncourt Airlines will usually pull the good old "call the embassy" card. If I knew the handling agent for PAL at BKK, I'd strongly advise you to email them, as they decide whether you get onboard. As I don't know the company, definitely try to get a reply from the PAL office at BKK (as well)
    – Crazydre
    Aug 19 '20 at 20:07
1

Philippine Airlines Ticket Town Office in Bangkok claims that "Philippine are still banned for all passenger transit flights to other countries":

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Ticket Town Office Philippine Airlines ticket@palbkk.com
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 at 19:07
Subject: Re: Can French citizens flying from Bangkok BKK to SFO do an international, cross-terminal transit in Manila Airport (MNL) with the COVID-19 restrictions?
To: Franck Dernoncourt

Dear Sir,

Please be inform you that. As of now Philippine are still banned for all passenger transit flights to other countries.

For more information. Please see the below link. https://www.philippineairlines.com/en/ph/home/covid-19/arrivingintheph 

Best regards,
Saowanee

On Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 1:15 AM Franck Dernoncourt wrote:

Hi,

I am considering taking the flight BKK -> PR 731 -> MNL -> PR 104 -> SFO soon. However, PR 731 lands at MNL on Terminal 2 whereas PR 104 departs from MNL on Terminal 1.

I read on http://cms.olympicair.com/timatic/webdocsI/countryinfo.html (Philippines -> Visa -> TWOV): "TWOV does not apply when transiting between terminals. A visa and an airline escort are required.", which causes me concern since to go from PR 731 to PR 104 I would have to transit from terminal 1 to terminal 2.

Can French citizens flying from Bangkok (BKK) to San Francisco airport (SFO) do an international, cross-terminal transit in Manila Airport (MNL) with the ongoing COVID-19 travel restriction? Will I need a transit visa, and if so, can I get one on arrival or prior to departure?

Thanks,
Franck

I emailed the immigration head office at xinfo@immigration.gov.ph and immigph@gmail.com and binoc_immigration@hotmail.ph, as Crazydre suggested but they never replied to my inquiry. (Update 2020-12-24: I never got a reply from them).

2
  • Why the downvote? Just shooting the messenger here. Email ticket@palbkk.com if you disagree with them. Aug 20 '20 at 3:17
  • Seems legit enough
    – Crazydre
    Aug 21 '20 at 21:21

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