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Which airports are worst in the world and in Australia?

October 21, 2013 Airport, Headline News 3 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The world’s worst airport is located in Southeast Asia, according to a new survey. So where is it? A few geographic clues: it’s well north of Australia, south of Taiwan, east of Vietnam, southwest of China, north of Indonesia and northeast of Malaysia – yet it’s not located in any of those countries.

Another clue: the airport is in the largest Christian nation in the region, with a population over four times that of Australia. The answer, for those who haven’t worked it out, is the Philippines – and the airport is Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Terminal 1. It has once again been voted worst airport in the world by the travel website Sleeping In Airports, two years after it first gained the notorious distinction.

All such results depend on the criteria – and Sleeping In Airports (as the name  suggests) is a site dedicated to passengers who sleep at airports on layovers to gain the best fares. Many are backpackers and their opinions on the airports are from that perspective.

The same site judged the worst five airports in the South Pacific (the worst two of which are in Australia). More about that later.

Judgement on the site rests on the so-called four Cs, defined as:

Comfort: crowded terminals or uncomfortable/limited seating.

Conveniences: no 24-hour food options or nothing to do on a layover.

Cleanliness: dirty floors, bathrooms or food courts.

Customer Service: unfriendly staff or anti-airport sleeper policies.

Results are based entirely on user votes in the site’s polls and surveys between the period September 2012 to August 2013.

Recent comments about NAIA 1 from the site’s users included charges of discrimination and theft.

“After processing and confirming our boarding passes for the connecting flights, we were immediately directed to the adjacent detention area with collapsing ceiling , smelly sofas and poor ventilation. I termed it detention area as everyone’s passports and boarding passes were confiscated while movements were restricted and monitored with NAIA airport staff guarding the only entrance,” wrote one airport user.

Singapore’s Changi airport was once again voted Best Airport, for the 17th year in a row. It provides beds where you can catch a few hours sleep – a brilliant, though simple, innovation.

Here is Sleeping In Airports’ list of worst airports in the world for 2013: 

  1. Manila NAIA (Terminal 1)NAIA Terminal 1
  2. Bergamo (near Milan)
  3. Calcutta
  4. Islamabad
  5. Paris Beauvais
  6. Chennai
  7. Frankfurt Hahn
  8. Mumbai
  9. Rome Fiumicino
  10. Los Angeles

The two airports voted worst and second-worst in the South Pacific are in Australia: 

  1. Gold Coast
  2. Hobart
  3. Tonga
  4. Guam
  5. Nadi

The site’s choice for worst in Asia are: 

  1. Manila NAIA (Terminal 1)
  2. Calcutta
  3. Islamabad
  4. Chennai
  5. Mumbai
  6. Jakarta
  7. Kuala Lumpur LCCT
  8. Hanoi
  9. Denpassar
  10. Bangalore

Worst in North America: 

  1. Los Angeles
  2. New York City LaGuardia
  3. Newark
  4. New York City JFK
  5. Miami
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Washington Reagan
  8. Chicago O’Hare
  9. Honolulu
  10. Las Vegas

And now for something completely different: the BEST airports in the world from the same site: 

  1. Singapore Changi
  2. Seoul Incheon
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Helsinki Vantaa
  6. Munich
  7. Zurich
  8. Kuala Lumpur
  9. Vancouver
  10. Frankfurt am Main

And the BEST airports in the South Pacific: 

  1. Auckland
  2. Brisbane
  3. Melbourne Tullamarine
  4. Adelaide
  5. Wellington

For more, see:

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Ridiculous article. Thse are not the worlds worst airports unless you happen to be some ratty backpacker who wants to sleep at the airport. And bt the way, Tonga is a countrty, not a city, so assume they mean Nuku’alofa.

  2. SYD Agent/World Traveller says:

    CCU and MAA airports are not that bad. In comparison to SYD/BNE/PER you can walk from INTL to DOM at both, and the new terminal building in MAA is not bad at all! KUL LCCT should also not be on this list, the facilities are adjacent the old terminal, and the new terminal opened this year is fantastic. The information relied upon appears to be sadly out of date.

  3. I’m a regular user of Hobart airport and think it’s excellent. Admittedly I never need to sleep there. The airport closes after the last flight of the day and doesn’t re-open until prior to the first flight next morning, which would be a problem if you planned to stay overnight. Toilets are always clean. While there isn’t a food court, coffee and a range of decent snacks are available both before and after security. It’s a small airport where check in is a breeze and on arrival you can have collected your luggage and be on your way within 15 minutes; less if you only had hand baggage. Hire cars are collected about 20 metres from the main airport building and if pre-booked travellers are usually away within 10 minutes, cf the hour I waited last Saturday at Tullamarine. There’s an efficient shuttle bus to the city and reasonably priced nearby long term parking. You drop a car there and they take you to the airport, then collect you upon return. We run a B & B and manage 7 self catering houses. Our guests frequently comment on what a pleasant surprise using Hobart airport was.

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