Naia 1 a winner.
Having heard endless and repeated horror stories of Naia 1 as an international airport, I am delighted to write a riposte to the remorseless criticism as a New Zealander who arrived at and departed from this facility in December.
I arrived on a Qantas flight and was met with highly efficient, courteous immigration and customs officials, making the normal formalities problem- and stress-free.
On exiting the country, I encountered equally pleasant and helpful security at the initial entry check and local Qantas check-in staff who could not have been more accommodating or engaging. The whole process was conducted with good humor and legendary Filipino bonhomie. It could not have been better handled than what I experienced, and I am a very seasoned traveler.
The immigration officials were extremely pleasant while remaining professional, leaving a lasting impression of a true humanity rarely experienced in any country at any airport. The same was true of the staff at the final security check.
I was also delighted to find that there was no problem accessing the internet, unlike in many airports including those in Sydney and Auckland where one has to jump through a series of hoops to log in. The Starbucks outlet was also a pleasant surprise.
I understand that Naia 1 gets very bad press, and it must be disheartening for the staff. My experience there was the opposite. I congratulate all concerned. When it comes to the human element, I would rate Naia first-class and hope that others with similar experiences might also give praise where praise is due.