Qantas is moving to Manila Airport's Terminal 3 from the end of October 2018 and will also boost its Sydney-Manila flights to a daily service – and on both counts this is good news for the business traveller.
But first and definitely foremost, the shift from Manila's original and quite dated Terminal 1 to the newer and more more modern Terminal 3 will provide a decidedly better experience for departures, especially in the area of lounges.
Qantas says that its business class passengers, Platinum and Gold-grade frequent flyers and Qantas Club card-holders will have access "to the new PAGSS Lounge".
However, savvy travellers who are aware of Oneworld lounge access rules will make a beeline for Cathay Pacific's Manila lounge on level four, near gate 114 (except for Qantas Club members, who will have to make do with the PAGSS lounge).
This is one of Cathay Pacific's newer lounges, done in the same Ilse Crawford style as its siblings in Taipei, Tokyo/Haneda, London and of course the The Pier flagship lounges at Hong Kong.
Cathay's Manila lounge is a compact affair but it boasts a Noodle Bar for freshly-made dishes plus a self-serve buffet spread...
... along with a tended bar serving everything from cocktails to barista-pulled coffee...
However, you can expect things to get a little crowded ahead the 8pm departure time for the Sydney-bound QF20 flight, as this nudges up against Cathay's daily CX902 service to Hong Kong.