Airports are dreaded by many and for good reason. Some are so bad that you count down the minutes until your flight leaves. Being a passenger can be a stressful experience due to circumstances that are out of your control. They vary from dangerous and scary runways to huge crowds and the worst TSA checkpoints. The following list is based on The Guide to Sleeping in Airports and their annual scrutiny report of the worst places to be stuck in – especially you are suffering from jet lag – and separate reviews by pilots and flight attendants.
The airport is too far from the city of Jeddah, a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines says. The quickest way is a taxi but it takes at least an hour. “Passengers are usually transported with buses and that takes about two and a half hours,” he adds. The airport gets bad reviews also because it takes a long time to get through immigration, it’s dirty, and the staff is rude.
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”The airport is small, dirty, and chaotic. No real facilities. Immigration and baggage claim are slow and hot. Departure is worse. Chaos in the check-in area as well as for immigration,” said a reviewer on AirlineQuality.com. Not only is it very hot by the boarding gates, but the huge crowds and lack of cleanliness is also a concern. Many of the seats and toilets at the airport are broken.
This was last year’s winner of the “Worst Airport in the World,” according to the report. It still ranks in the top three. The reasons are that the staff is unhelpful, there is a lack of seating, broken air conditioning, and a tent makes up the arrival hall. People also give the airport bad reviews for queuing times and even shopping.
Tashkent is the fourth-worst airport in the world this year, and the worst in Asia because it’s incredibly overcrowded. Don’t be surprised if people push or literally walk over. Passengers have to pass through too many checkpoints to get to their plane. The chairs in the waiting area are old and extremely uncomfortable. Reviews on Airline Quality say the staff is very slow.
“The airport is only very small, and while their website states that they can handle up to 6 flights at a time, this is stretching reality to breaking levels — sometimes it feels as though they can just about cope with one flight at a time, a situation made worse if there are any delays and backlogs,” a reviewer on Trip Advisor says. The airport made No. 5 because of huge lines, people waiting in the heat, small rooms, no air conditioning, and no guidance from the authorities.
People love Crete but hate the airport. Chania made the top 10 because it’s chaotic. Passengers have reported having to stand in line for an hour to get their boarding passes, queueing outside in the heat because the terminal is too small; and about half an hour to just leave their luggage at check-in. Long lines are common; the food is bad and extremely overprice; and there are not enough chairs so many times people have to stand or sit on the floor while waiting to board their plane.
Yet another airport in Greece the island to make it among the 10 worst airports in the world. Reasons for its bad standing include crowds, huge lines, no air conditioning, ridiculous food prices, poor customer service, and very dirty bathrooms. Some passengers have “vowed” in reviews to never return. People often don’t know from which carousel to pick up their baggage and get no help from the agents.
The Caracas airport in Venezuela has two terminals: International and Domestic. They are connected by a short walkway. Passengers say that leaving is much more difficult than entering the country. There are multiple security agencies operating at the airport but they often duplicate security checks. Bathrooms lack basic supplies; there is no air conditioning and barely any chairs.
Passengers describe it as “hopelessly inadequate.” The lines for everything — from boarding to buying food — are very long and the staff is not helpful at all. Construction has made matters at the already small airport even worse. Some travelers say that the “experience between getting off the airplane and now walking out of the airport was actually longer than your flight.”
“Kathmandu is the worst airport in the world by far,” according to a pilot who commented on Reddit.com. “A glorified bus station running at 600% capacity with no amenities and confusing security. Has some nice couches now though.” Passengers also give the airport bad reviews because it’s dirty and the staff is bad-mannered.
Los Angeles International Airport made our list as one of the worst TSA checkpoints in the U.S. Comments on Reddit.com call it “the worst.” “Designed in the '20s and '30s, completed in the '40s, LAX is drastically undersized for the number of travelers who pass through its infernal gates every day. The ‘horseshoe’ can't handle the traffic, but that's after you've fought your way to the West side just to get there.”
Remember two years ago when Vice President Joe Biden compared LaGuardia Airport to a “third world” airport? LGA is too busy, and there are constant delays. It wasn't designed for the amount of traffic it sees. LaGuardia is also one of the most dangerous airports in the world — pilots have to be careful to not interfere with flights from the other two airports servicing the New York City area.
According to a pilot based in Shanghai, “Shanghai Pudong isn't bad except the airport is set up with two runways on the east side and two on the west side. We can call in and find our assigned parking gate 100 miles out but they always land us closest to where we come in and sometimes will then have to taxi all the way across the airport to our gate.”
“Taipei, Taiwan is disappointing. They have been rebuilding a lot of it the last few years but the runways and taxiways are/were in terrible shape. That should be fixed soon. Also whoever named the taxiways there was not a pilot or controller. It all makes sense when you sit down and look at it carefully but it is not practical or efficient,” according to a pilot based in Shanghai.
No one really likes the Heathrow Airport in London because the staff is too strict when it comes to the precise weight of your luggage, a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines says. Passengers say that everyone working there is rude and unhelpful, travelers call it “dysfunctional," and the security is very slow.
Stories of its danger have made the news several times. The runway in Tegucigalpa is much shorter than average and is located in the middle of populated valleys. The nightmare of landing there begins with the twisted ravine. The airport is located in a mountainous region, requiring pilots to make some unconventional maneuvers to land safely. There have been six major crashes there since 1989.
Visiting this remote and exotic region begins with a unique but scary terrifying experience. The 6,500-foot-long runway is surrounded by steep 18,000-foot peaks and mountain foliage. Only eight pilots in the world are qualified to land there, according to the Daily Mail. Planes have to weave through houses that are scattered across the mountainside, coming within feet of clipping the roofs.