All onboard: Officially opening the Travelers’ Lounge on the ground floor of Newport Mall are Kathy Mercado, Resorts World Manila (RWM) senior director for international sales and marketing; Stephen Reilly, RWM chief operating officer; Javier Massot, Cebu Pacific (CEB) VP for airport services; Arnulfo Alivio, CEB director for Manila airport services, and CEB flight attendants.
Photo by Therese Jamora-Garceau
Now you can check in for your Cebu Pac flight — from a Resorts World lounge
CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

With almost 7 million Filipinos traveling last year, you can imagine the burden that places on our already-overcrowded airport terminals. 

“In NAIA Terminal 3, 20,000 passengers or more transit every day,” notes Javier Massot, Cebu Pacific’s (CEB) vice president for airport services.

“We hold the record for the most number of passengers flown in a single day,” adds Charo Lagamon, CEB’s director of corporate communications.  “The busiest day in the history of the company was Dec. 21, 2018, when we flew 68,284 passengers network-wide — a total of 414 domestic and international flights.”

That’s a lot of passengers checking in and killing time at the airport with limited shopping and dining options at their disposal. To help ease the burden, Resorts World Manila (RWM) and Cebu Pacific Air have partnered to open a Travelers’ Lounge on the ground floor of RWM’s Newport Mall, offering satellite check-in services for flights departing from NAIA Terminal 3.

“Partnering with Cebu Pacific to have a satellite sales office right here in the property helps the airline and Terminal 3 but also our own guests, because we have 3,500 hotel rooms here in Newport estate, and 6,000 condominiums,” says Stephen Reilly, Resort World Manila’s chief operating officer. “Imagine the traffic. On a daily basis we have 40,000 people come through our property, and many of those are going to the airport, waiting for their loved ones or waiting for their balikbayan box to arrive, and they’re all excited.  So now we have a facility to cater to all of these in Resorts World Manila.”

It’s about time, as last year RWM added hundreds of rooms with the opening of the Hilton Hotel, then the Sheraton last January with 392 rooms. At the end of the second quarter of this year they also plan to open Japan’s luxe Okura hotel, and another iconic five-star hotel is in the pipeline.

“Here’s a bit of chismis,” Reilly reveals. “The Maxims hotel will rebrand. We’re going to close the hotel and bring the first Ritz-Carlton hotel here to the resort. We have the budget — Holiday Inn Express — all the way to the Ritz-Carlton brand, so we cater to everybody, the same as Cebu Pacific caters to different classes and many different sectors.”

With the capacity to house so many more visitors, tourists are bound to increase exponentially. At the Travelers’ Lounge, Massot says guests can choose from various check-in options through a satellite check-in counter, “plus Cebu Pacific passengers can enjoy the amenities and attractions of Resorts World Manila, which is a very easy walk to Terminal 3.”

Passengers can check in during mall hours or up to eight hours before their flight, claim their boarding pass then shop or dine at RWM — maybe even catch a movie. Reilly says many transit guests spend the night in Resorts World, then later travel to one of our islands, so it’s very convenient for them to check in from the mall. Or, if they haven’t planned that far ahead, they can also buy plane tickets at the lounge. “It’s soft-opened for a month-and-a-half and a lot of hotel guests have been using it,” he observes.

Of course, there’s the danger that passengers might enjoy RWM’s facilities too much and miss their flight. To ensure that doesn’t happen, digital boards posting real-time flight statuses are located at the lounge. Then when it’s time to go to Terminal 3, they simply walk through Runway Manila, an air-conditioned, elevated walkway that directly connects Newport City to the airport. Free shuttle vans also make the rounds from Newport Mall and RWM hotels to Runway Manila’s entrance, which is a short, five-minute walk to the airport.

“As we put people at the core of our service, we strive to launch initiatives that will improve customer service at Cebu Pacific,” Massot says.

Another incentive to check in at the lounge is that RWM is giving away P300 worth of non-negotiable slots credits (you must be 21 to avail of this), and a P150 discount voucher for every minimum P500 spend at RWM signature restaurants like Impressions, Passion, Ginzadon, Café Maxims, and gaming-area restaurants such as Silk Road, Silogue, Victoria Harbour Café and Franks (again, you have to be 21).

The lounge’s only catch is that you can’t check in your bag; you’ll still have to leave it at the Bag Drop counters in the airport. But who knows? Maybe one day they’ll find a way to offer that service as well.

*    *   *

Download the RWM mobile app or visit www.rwmanila.com for updates on new events, offers and promotions at RWM and Newport Mall. Call the tourist/visitor hotline at 908-8833 for inquiries.

CEBU PACIFIC RESORTS WORLD TRAVELERS’ LOUNGE
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