Long lines vex NAIA-3 passengers after brownout

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2016 09:40 AM | Updated as of Apr 03 2016 11:10 AM

MANILA - Long passenger lines continued to disgruntle travelers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) Sunday after a five-hour power outage hit the terminal Saturday night.

According to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), a substation of Meralco at NAIA tripped at 8:40 p.m Saturday, causing Terminal 3 to lose power.

The power supply went back at 9:25 p.m., only to be cut again at 9:47 p.m.

Amid the brownout, thousands of passengers were stranded while some claimed losing some of their valuables.

All doors at the terminal were also closed, preventing anyone from getting in or out.

Some of those stranded outside were forced to use comfort rooms at the parking area, located far from the terminal entrance. Many also spent the night slumped on the floor, seeking whatever little rest or comfort they can.

Passengers complained that the NAIA management did not offer them immediate explanation of the incident.

Russ Russel, who was bound for Australia, said he has been traveling for years and this is the first time that he encountered such inconvenience.

Also among the stranded travelers was famed musical director Louie Ocampo who pointed out MIAA's seemingly lacking concern for passengers.

The power outage also delayed several flights.

The substation was able to relay stable power to the terminal at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, but it took another hour and half before terminal facilities were partially functional.

MIAA spokesperson David De Castro said they had to recharge generator sets before terminal facilities could be used.

"Noong nag-trip iyung energy, na-drain iyung batteries natin sa ating stations dito sa Terminal 3. That is why we have to fully restore them again to full power when the power came back at 12:30 a.m.," he said.

De Castro apologized to vexed passengers, but stressed that personnel from airlines and MIAA did their best to accommodate travelers during the "unprecedented" power outage.

But despite the return of power, passengers were only allowed to enter NAIA-3 at 7:18 a.m. Sunday.

A dzMM report quoted airport police explaining that another blackout struck the terminal at around 5 a.m, leaving check-in counters unusable.

As of press time, only gates 1 and 4 of the terminal were open to passengers.

Passengers also continued to endure long lines at the arrival area because security checks had to done manually. -- With reports from Robert Mano, Junry Hidalgo and Fred Cipres, dzMM; Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

READ: NAIA no longer among world's 10 'worst airports', says poll