This was the scene at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as thousands of people learned that their flights were canceled due to the eruption of Taal volcano Sunday afternoon.
Taal is about 40 miles away south of Manila.
The hundreds of cancelations came at an especially hectic travel season, when people are coming back from the holidays.
Many Fil-Ams are among those rushing to get back back to the U.S., so they could make it in time for work.
Natashia Agtarap is one of them.
This was video from her Instagram story where she voiced the collective frustration of those at the airport on Sunday.
“We went through immigration and no one told us anything. So we didn’t know where to get our luggage. We didn’t know who to talk to. They were like, you can stand in this line. If you were a transfer, you have to go outside and go across the street and talk to the ticketing booth at Philippine Airlines to rebook your flight. And then at the same time, they were telling us, we don’t know the status because of the volcano.”
NAIA is now partially open and allowing flights to depart and arrive, depending on terminal capacity and airline consent.
However — officials said they are taking all the necessary precautions for flight operations.
According to NAIA — 516 incoming and outgoing flights out of NAIA were affected by the airport’s suspension of operations.
Since the partial re-opening of NAIA, 360 flights have left and arrived.
Agtarap said despite her frustration — she understands this was primarily a force of nature beyond anyone’s control.
“I think they handled the situation to the best of their abilities. But I think at the end of the day, I feel like they should have prioritized those who got their flights canceled to get on flights to go home sooner.”
NAIA officials advised all passengers check in with their airlines or travel agents before heading to the airport.