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

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 Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

36 comments

  • NBShone

    NBShone

    22 Oct, 2018 03:39 pm

    About time. Qantas have been listening to there passengers
    No member give thanks

  • markqf93

    markqf93

    22 Oct, 2018 04:49 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Jonnie

    Jonnie

    22 Oct, 2018 08:29 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Geoff Aire

    Geoffair

    22 Oct, 2018 05:46 pm

    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!
    No member give thanks

  • russell

    russell

    22 Oct, 2018 06:28 pm

    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
    No member give thanks

  • iamwill

    iamwill

    22 Oct, 2018 11:40 pm

    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!
    No member give thanks

  • chris p

    Booster

    23 Oct, 2018 01:06 am

    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.

    No member give thanks

  • Bernoulli

    Bernoulli

    23 Oct, 2018 09:59 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    23 Oct, 2018 10:23 am

    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?
    No member give thanks

  • aerodude

    aerodude

    23 Oct, 2018 01:13 pm

    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?
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    30 Oct, 2018 04:11 pm

    We've quoted from Qantas' media statement which cites "the new PAGSS Lounge" for T3.
    No member give thanks

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    23 Oct, 2018 02:12 pm

    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?

    Member who gave thanks

    Monarch

  • David Flynn

    David

    30 Oct, 2018 04:13 pm

    We don't have any more information or photos of the new T3 PAGSS Lounge at this stage.
    No member give thanks

  • John Miller

    jmiller65

    23 Oct, 2018 02:15 pm

    Agree with the comment about QF not investing in lounges around Asia. Seems CX is often doing the heavy lifting.
    No member give thanks

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    23 Oct, 2018 02:32 pm

    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.

    No member give thanks

  • antkleve

    antkleve

    23 Oct, 2018 06:55 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • aerodude

    aerodude

    23 Oct, 2018 07:33 pm

    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.
    Member who gave thanks

    Monarch

  • aerodude

    aerodude

    23 Oct, 2018 07:40 pm

    Terminal 3 has heaps of restaurants, massage, and shopping on the second floor...it usually is quicker through immigration as well.
    No member give thanks

  • OJA

    OJA

    23 Oct, 2018 11:41 pm

    Wonderful news! What a relief for Qantas customers in the Philippines. A great improvement.
    No member give thanks

  • Lisa Cann

    ljcoz

    24 Oct, 2018 08:46 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • aerodude

    aerodude

    24 Oct, 2018 09:08 pm

    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!
    No member give thanks

  • JOHN M

    mewettjohn

    30 Oct, 2018 04:05 pm

    Hip, Hip hooray. Qantas has done something sensible for a change.
    No member give thanks

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    1 Nov, 2018 10:27 am

    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?

    Member who gave thanks

    Monarch

  • Ben Farr

    Farrie

    1 Nov, 2018 11:57 am

    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!
    No member give thanks

  • chris p

    Booster

    7 Nov, 2018 09:16 pm

    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..
    Members who gave thanks

    OJA, Monarch

  • Ben Farr

    Farrie

    8 Nov, 2018 09:16 pm

    Can you access the CX lounge with just Business tickets or you have to have Oneworld staus?
    No member give thanks

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    9 Nov, 2018 08:42 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    9 Nov, 2018 09:20 am

    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.
    Members who gave thanks

    AgentGerko, Monarch

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    9 Nov, 2018 10:17 am

    Thanks for that info, ChrisCh
    No member give thanks

  • Ben Farr

    Farrie

    12 Nov, 2018 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to check them out!
    No member give thanks

  • chris1167

    chris1167

    23 Nov, 2018 08:48 pm

    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!
    No member give thanks

  • OJA

    OJA

    25 Nov, 2018 11:03 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • chris1167

    chris1167

    30 Nov, 2018 06:51 pm

    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.
    Member who gave thanks

    OJA

  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    26 Nov, 2018 07:52 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Katie Thornton

    treegranted

    9 Dec, 2018 09:50 am

    Does anyone know if I can use a Qantas lounge pass at this PAGSS lounge? I'm only a Bronze flyer.
    No member give thanks

  • OJA

    OJA

    10 Dec, 2018 06:03 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

Guest

17 Jul, 2019 03:02 am

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