Qantas moves to Manila Airport Terminal 3 (and a much better lounge)

By David Flynn, October 22 2018
Qantas moves to Manila Airport Terminal 3 (and a much better lounge)

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.

AusBT review:  Cathay Pacific business class lounge, Manila Airport

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas

02 Sep 2015

Total posts 37

About time. Qantas have been listening to there passengers

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 4

Hallelujah! I been waiting for this for years! Maybe Ill fly this route now and not go via HKG! No one wants to go to Terminal 1, worst place in the world.

09 May 2015

Total posts 34

Terminal 1 is old and dated and doesn't have much in terms of F&B, but since the opening of T3, the crowds of flyers is way down making the terminal a much less hectic experience.

04 May 2018

Total posts 45

Much better lounge (especially CX lounge) and simpler terminal 'though more difficult to get to in traffic, allow an extra hour by taxi from the city!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 329

I hope they have fixed the air con in the CX lounge. The times I have been there it’s like a furnace and not at all comf

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 39

I literally just left terminal 1 bound for KL with MAS and their lounge is just awful too! The whole terminal 1 is a run down dump!

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 47

Let's hope the security screening at the new gate is a little more effective than the 'man with short wooden poking stick' currently deployed in T1.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 35

This is not such good news for CX regulars in this lounge particular as it is often very full around the time the QF flight leaves. I really don't understand why Qantas doesn't invest more in its own lounges in Asia. And yes, the aircon is fixed.

04 May 2015

Total posts 247

Do we actually know that Cathay Pacific is going to accept Qantas passengers here, and not turn almost everybody away as was long the case in San Fran?

11 Sep 2013

Total posts 13

Just want to clarify...there is no PAGSS lounge in terminal 3...only in terminal 1 which is a distance away. what will be the lounge that qantas club members have to use?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2351

We've quoted from Qantas' media statement which cites "the new PAGSS Lounge" for T3.

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

QF Business Class and QF Club members will be moving to the PAGSS Lounge yet all you show is pix of the CX lounge. Not everyone has high status with Oneworld to get this access so how about a bit more info and pix of the PAGSS Lounge please?

And the advice I received says that taxis will take people between T1 and T3. Does this mean check in will still occur in T1?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2351

We don't have any more information or photos of the new T3 PAGSS Lounge at this stage.

23 Oct 2018

Total posts 3

Agree with the comment about QF not investing in lounges around Asia. Seems CX is often doing the heavy lifting.

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

If the combination of info from Aerodude and myself is correct then it sounds like we'll depart from T3 but use the lounge in T1 and get taxis to and fro, which I would not regard as an improvement.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 40

The qf lounge in Manila was the worst airport lounge I've ever seen in my life. I took one look at it, turned around and walked out. It's good that they are relocating to T3.

11 Sep 2013

Total posts 13

There are only 4 lounges in terminal 3 airside: SQ, CX, and 2 priority pass: skyview and Pacific Club Lounge...Terminal 1 needs a taxi or bus to transfer landside and I don’t think access to the PAGS lounge is possible as it is airside. Terminal 3 is an improvement with the lounges new but I guess QF will just use the CX lounge in terminal 3 but will have no access to QF club members. I hope this can be clarified.

11 Sep 2013

Total posts 13

Terminal 3 has heaps of restaurants, massage, and shopping on the second floor...it usually is quicker through immigration as well.
OJA
OJA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Feb 2015

Total posts 10

Wonderful news! What a relief for Qantas customers in the Philippines. A great improvement.

09 May 2017

Total posts 11

Currently flying Philippine airlines Manila to Melbourne and am a Qantas Platinum member because I refuse to change in Sydney for Melbourne. I do everything to avoid that change - so stressful and fraught.

11 Sep 2013

Total posts 13

Philippine Airlines have improved dramatically...they are now a 4 star airline and fly new planes with lie flat seats in business. Service is always warm but the lounge is something of a so so. They fly out of terminal 2 in Manila. If Qantas moves to terminal 3 then it improves the smooth experience with them...I’ve just booked a flight with CX as the daily flight to MNL with QF is not loaded as a daily service for next year!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 17

Hip, Hip hooray. Qantas has done something sensible for a change.

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

Any updates on this? QF are now operating to T3 but can't see anything online to indicate a new PAGSS lounge has opened and the QF website still says the Manila Lounge in T1 is used. I'm flying SYD/MNL in J in a few weeks and would like to know what my options are. Will a QF J ticket get me into the T3 CX lounge if the PAGSS lounge hasn't opened?

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

Also interested as I just booked business with Qantas for Manila. I flew Malaysia business in December out of terminal 1 and I ended up spending my time at Starbucks as this was much nicer than the lounge they use in terminal 1. I also seen the Qantas lounge which also did not look overly better.

I'm flying April next year so hope the new lounge is up and running!

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 47

The PAGSS lounge is up and running in T3 and pax receive a voucher for entry upon checkin.

I walked pass the CX lounge and took one look at the PAGSS lounge and headed back to the relative comfort of the CX lounge. Great noodle bar and drinks etc. A vast improvement by any measure on the T1 facilities.

TBC on the final gate serving though. The initial terminal entry and main screening no improvement on T1..

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

Can you access the CX lounge with just Business tickets or you have to have Oneworld staus?

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

I asked the same question of QF and they wouldn't answer. Said I had to contact CX. So much for the seamless partnership Oneworld brags about.
Hi Farrie, in line with Oneworld rules which can be found on oneworld.com, Oneworld business class passengers can access Oneworld business class lounges (no status necessary), and the Cathay Pacific lounge is a Oneworld business class lounge.

Qantas Gold (Oneworld Sapphire) and Qantas Platinum and above (Oneworld Emerald) also have access to the Cathay Pacific lounge.

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

Thanks for that info, ChrisCh

01 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to check them out!

19 Mar 2016

Total posts 7

This is a huge upgrade in terminals for QF, but the lounge situation is an unmitigated disaster. Even before this move, the CX lounge was often very crowded. It is now wildly over capacity. I’m currently in the lounge, at 5:30 pm. CX918 has been delayed from 5:45 to 7:05 - a very common situation, particularly in the tropical weather season. Guests from QF20, due to depart at 7:00, are now arriving, but there is not a single seat available anywhere in the lounge. The ladies at the front desk are trying their best to find seats, and asking people to double up in booths, but they are overwhelmed. Guests are getting cranky because the noodle bar staff are backed up, even though they’re working as fast as they can. CX and QF need to rethink the lounge situation pronto!
OJA
OJA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Feb 2015

Total posts 10

Expect the lounge to get busier. Qatar Airways shifts from terminal 1 to terminal 3 from December 1st. They have a departure around 6.15pm so late afternoon will become even busier with business class and Oneworld sapphire and emerald holders eligible to enter the lounge.

19 Mar 2016

Total posts 7

The Qantas shift from T1 to T3 has already happened. That was one of the factors in the problem last week:

- CX918 was delayed from 17:45 to 19:05;
- QF20 has an ETD of 19:00 (but I think was also delayed, based on the lack of boarding announcement by 18:20, when I left the lounge); and

- CX902 has an ETD of 19:55.

I arrived at the lounge at about 17:00. At that time, there were very few seats available. Shortly after I arrived, people were asking to share booths with other pax, and the staff were rushing around trying to find empty seats anywhere. By 18:20, I had had enough of the overcrowding, and left the lounge. Neither CX918 nor QF20 had been called by then, and passengers were starting to arrive for CX902. As soon as I started packing up, someone came to hover behind me, and immediately grabbed the stool (yes stool, not chair) I had been sitting on.

This may seem like an unusual situation caused by flight delays, but that is quite usual in MNL. CX918 has been delayed every day for the past week, 3 times until 19:00 or later. Even without a delay, the lounge will be massively crowded by 17:00, and with a delay, it will be disastrous. Unfortunately there are no decent restaurant options to while away the time in MNL T3.

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

You all seem to be going to the CX lounge. Why not the PAGSS Lounge that QF is suggesting? Why is nobody giving that one a try? It's obviously very new and therefore might be pretty good.

09 Dec 2018

Total posts 1

Does anyone know if I can use a Qantas lounge pass at this PAGSS lounge? I'm only a Bronze flyer.
OJA
OJA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Feb 2015

Total posts 10

As it's not a Qantas operated lounge, you cannot. Even if you could, it would be better to use it in a much better lounge.

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