London - Enduring an uncomfortable flight can often make or break a holiday. But for some travellers, an unpleasant journey can often start long before the plane takes off.
Travel website sleepinginairports.net has unveiled its annual list of the world’s worst airports. The survey asked travellers to rate their overall airport experiences between September 2013 and August this year.
And there are some surprising entries in the top 10 list.
Paris’ Beauvais-Tille International Airport was voted in sixth place, and described as “cramped, rundown, debatably clean, and not particularly friendly, this airport does little more than load and unload passengers in a cargo-like fashion”.
Once likened to a “Third-World country” by US Vice-President Joe Biden, LaGuardia International Airport was voted into 10th place. Travellers repeatedly take issue with the long security lines, drab décor, poor restaurant selection, lacklustre cleanliness and notoriously unhelpful staff.
The 2014 Guide to Sleeping at Airports named Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport the very worst after tourists were asked to rate their airport experiences based on comfort, facilities, cleanliness and customer service.
One customer likened Benazir Bhutto International Airport to “a central prison” adding: “Many of the touts and taxi drivers loot people at the airport and outside.” Tourists also criticised the absence of crowd control, “pervasive corruption”, inconsistent security checks and the lack of cleanliness and technology.
Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport came in at fourth place after three consecutive years on the top spot, mainly because of overcrowding and air-conditioning problems.
Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport came second on the list, with travellers blaming the lack of services, rude immigration officers, lengthy queues and uncomfortable metal chairs.
Nepal’s Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport was voted third in the annual survey, and was described as “a bus station in an impoverished neighbourhood”. The lack of cleanliness was a again particular concern, as was the lack of soap, air-conditioning and filthy smoking room.
After three years at the top of the worst airport lists, Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport saw a slight improvement after coming fourth on the list following refurbishment works.
However, customers still took exception to overcrowding, lengthy queues, limited seating, unfriendly immigration officers and smelly toilets, with travellers complaining that Terminal 1 had become Asia’s “largest public sauna” when the airconditioning broke down in April.
Uzbekistan’s Tashkent International Airport was fifth on the list, with poor crowd control the main grievance.
In seventh place was Frankfurt’s Hahn International Airport. Comfort levels were criticised due to the metal seats and the atmosphere was labelled “bleak, bare-boned and not especially welcoming”.
Italy’s Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport was given a withering verdict after coming in eighth place, with one traveller writing: “The only way this airport could be improved would be to destroy it and rebuild”. Other grievances stemmed from the lack of Wi-Fi, the lack of electrical outlets and the short-tempered security staff.
Berlin’s Tegel International Airport was criticised for limited seating, long queues, crowded restaurants and “little personal space”. – Daily Mail
World’s worst airports
1 Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan
2 Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia
3 Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
4 Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines
5 Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan6 Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France
7 Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Germany
8 Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport, Italy
9 Berlin Tegel International Airport, Germany
10 New York City LaGuardia International Airport, US
…and the world’s best airport
Singapore’s Changi International Airport was voted the world’s best airport for the 18th year in a row, with travellers praising the “world-class” shopping, spas, swimming pool, gym, lounges, four-storey slide, movie theatres, TV lounges, free tour of the city and 800 mobile charging points.