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We started preparing documents for our current trip to Vietnam some time ago as SO first trip abroad, just as well.

I allowed over 5 hours between arrival at terminal 2 and departure from same. We were able to download boarding pass on to fone at Bacolod for the domestic which was great.

Upon arrival Manila we hiked over to the International how ever were only able to access a slip of paper confirming our seat numbers not boarding  pass from the machine.  The Cebu Pacific Info desk explained boarding passes only issued when gate opens 3---4 hours before flight.

Gate opened 3.1/2 hours before flight an we were first to receive boarding pass, immediately we went to immigration. The officer would not see us together how ever explained to my partner it is now standard practice  any first time traveler is sent for screening, he gave her a form  to be filled out. 

At this time it was around 3 hours before our flight, proceeding to the screening area I was mortified......a mass of people, complete disruption, 2 officers whom were behind desks eating, drinking, laughing, people milling around all over, mostly woman.

Took us some time to understand the system, or what ever terminology one may use. There were 4 rows of seats and about 6 seats in each row. As one person advances for screening each must move along until he...she hits the last seat.

Astonishingly almost every single person had or was about to miss their flight, still they waited for their turn, maybe some were able to purchase another ticket if they passed the screening.  

During this time additional officers came and went, all with food, drinks laughing  an joking, amazing. I was convinced we would miss flight so set off to try find out what would happen as I had been stamped out. Fortunately there is a desk which can reverse my exit so we would be back to normal minus the cost of flights, prepaid accomodations.

Met an Aussie there whom almost flipped....he  was about to punch someone, had paid for his GF plus sisters to fly to Thailand, also paid accomodation, less than an hour to his flight and just arrived....No chance, my guess 90% plus missed flights, at least 80% refused clearance, unsurprising as those we spoke to were woefully prepared. Sad so many were older Filipinas obviously seeking work. In total time there witnessed just one person whom passed.

Anyway my partner was seen less than 30 minutes before our flight, no issues, next had to hike back to first officer with signed form, uplift boarding pass and sprint to gate. Boarded with about 15 minutes to spare.

Guys it's all about preparation if you bring your partner for a first time trip plus be early. Perhaps just this day was busy, somehow I doubt it.

 

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Yeah they again tried that bulldust on the wife and me last Christmas, we've been through the customs heaps of times, plenty off stamps to prove it. Nowadays I just sit down on my haunch blocking the

We started preparing documents for our current trip to Vietnam some time ago as SO first trip abroad, just as well. I allowed over 5 hours between arrival at terminal 2 and departure from same. W

Newcomers, read this and take heed ^^^^   Can't say I'm all that surprised by what you experienced.  Any time we visit NAIA there is a lot of chaos, particularly with Cebu Pacific it seems.

Newcomers, read this and take heed ^^^^

 

Can't say I'm all that surprised by what you experienced.  Any time we visit NAIA there is a lot of chaos, particularly with Cebu Pacific it seems.  Also, ANY type of new procedure is an almost guaranteed cluster*uck.  What you are describing above is something that truly mystifies me about the Philippines;  That is, 'screening' people before they can leave.  Especially women.  They can have a perfectly legit ticket, proper travel docs, and STILL have to endure the 20 questions of the exit officer.  Like WTF people, seriously?  Apparently this is an effort to protect the Filipina traveling abroad, so they say.  PH seems almost as bad as China when it come to preventing their people from traveling abroad.

I have found a good approach to this situation in the airport, is to dress in business attire.  We get treated a lot more seriously and with less suspicion, when I am in a suit.  I do as much of the talking as possible, to force the other party to look me in the eye and engage me directly with their BS questions.  No need to even be mean or threatening, just businesslike. 

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This is basically what happened to me and SWMBO 12 months ago.

We couldn't be interviewed until we had boarding passes and they don't issue boarding passes until gates open, then you line up and they diverted SWMBO to a solo interview and I had to wait... and wait... and wait.  Eventually she was cleared but we'd already missed our flight and been stamped out through customs.

So we had to find someone to cancel the stamp and then we had to try and work out what to do.

I thought at the time I'd be able to claim on travel insurance but because it was 'immigration related' the insurance company refused the claim :(

Ended up costing us over 100,000 peso in wasted flights and accommodation.

 

I don't know of a fix for this issue for this problem either, since we didn't actually exit I expect the same problem could happen next time.

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All of the above confirms that if we are travelling out of the country, we will use Hong Kong rather than Manilla as our "international" departure point - we can fly to HK from Iloilo.  We did it before with minimal issue.

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Yeah they again tried that bulldust on the wife and me last Christmas, we've been through the customs heaps of times, plenty off stamps to prove it. Nowadays I just sit down on my haunch blocking the passageway and tell them I'm too old to stand for to long. The wife chatters away and within a few minutes we were on our way. It's not the first time them custom people have had a crack at us, so now I squat down in the most inconvenient place to cause the most disruption, and when I finally get up, I give a little off balance wobble.  :thumbsup:

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2 hours ago, GeoffH said:

This is basically what happened to me and SWMBO 12 months ago.

 

Geoff can you clarify, was this her first trip abroad?  RBM is indicating this new procedure is for first-timers, I just want to make sure its not something they are trying to pull every time now. 

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I am probably missing something here... What's preventing a person and his spouse or girlfriend from just standing either in different lines or separate in line - like 10 people apart so that they aren't linked together as a couple?

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To clarify... this was the first trip out of the Philippines for SWMBO, we were on the same plane booking.

I was actually told that I was allowed to proceed onto the plane by immigration staff whilst she completed her interview, good thing I didn't because I would have ended up in Singapore whilst she was still in Manila.

Immigration said she would  have been sent for an interview even if she was by herself because it was her first overseas trip so standing in a line by herself wouldn't have helped.

To clarify I don't have a problem with interviews being done, it's just that the time taken caused us to miss our flight.

We were faced with a choice of rebooking last minute (at our cost of 39,000 peso) or staying in Manila, in retrospect we should have rebooked but at the time I (wrongly as it turned out) believed I'd be able to claim against my travel insurance.

Unless it's changed recently this is a 'first time' travel thing, there was another person who'd missed their flight as well.

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42 minutes ago, Tommy T. said:

I am probably missing something here... What's preventing a person and his spouse or girlfriend from just standing either in different lines or separate in line - like 10 people apart so that they aren't linked together as a couple?

But that would require telling a lie to the Immigration Official when they ask if you are travelling alone or otherwise, Tom.

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