Pagstop Lounge at Manila’s NAIA International Terminal 1

Terminal 1, the old International terminal at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, has earned a reputation for being one of the worst airports. Fortunately, that is changing with a renovation of the terminal underway. The departure and arrivals areas are almost finished and much nicer, brighter and friendlier! Unfortunately, the two lounges in the terminal have not been renovated so far. Let’s see, how the Pagstop Lounge fares.

It is available via the Priority Pass membership or to Business and First Class passengers of a number of airlines contracting them. The lounge is located in the left wing near gate 2 at the departure level. Access was no issue and we entered the completely empty lounge. It is positioned with a view over the approach and natural light flooding in. On the left side is a small buffet with food and drinks and open seating against the window. The lounge furniture does show its age and the fact that it is on its last leg before the coming renovation – it is well worn and not very inviting. The food offering is not helping much – for our early morning flight there was a small selection of cold sandwiches, but no pastries as well as soft drinks and filter coffee. There were a few alcoholic drinks on the buffet, but we did not try this early in the day! There was an option to have expresso drinks made on order, but we didn’t have a lot of time and passed. The daily papers had not been delivered, so a few magazines and yesterdays papers were the entertainment choices. There is wifi available and working pretty well – the speed was good, not surprising as we were the only ones in the lounge! Prior to the renovation of the terminal, the food options were very limited and the lounge was a reasonable option to spend your time. Now, the terminal offers a Starbucks and Bo’s Coffee, among other choices, so spending time at this dated lounge is not very attractive.

If you have time to kill at the airport and this is where your airline sent you, you can take advantage of a free drink, snack or wifi, but don’t get too excited. I would not recommend to pay a daily fee – you are better off at the terminal’s coffee shops! This lounge is due for a renovation and it can’t come soon enough! If you are a Priority Pass member, you can also go to the Miascor Lounge in the other wing of the terminal – I will review that in the next few days!

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