World’s Worst Airports

World’s Worst Airports

What is the biggest frustration when it comes to traveling? “Everything was wonderful, except the delays, extra airline fees, and the airport!”

AirportYou’ve heard those sentiments from travelers, and likely spoken the very words yourself. To truly enjoy your travel, it’s best to be informed, prepared, and well-equipped.

There are things you can do to increase you rate for success. Know which amenities are available at the airports you will be arriving and departing from. Pack a nutritious snack in your carryon.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. And bring something for entertainment; a deck of cards, iPod, laptop, or a good book. If you can, avoid troublesome airports. This list of World’s Worst Airports is based on the lack of service, safety, comfort, and/or cleanliness.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) – World’s Worst!

CDG – aerial view

“I’m a French traveler and from what I saw abroad, CDG airport is the worst one I have ever been in.

I am fluent in French but still it is hard for me to find accurate information from the employees.” – Kimchietrip, sleepinginairports.com

“[Paris CDG has] the charm of a WW II concrete bunker and the rudest personnel in the world…” – IrmainNewberin, sleepinginairports.com

CDG has done much to improve their reputation (having been voted World’s Worst Airport several times). A few major problems still exist. There are many permanent residents at CDG. The homeless are mostly harmless, but an occasional drunken reveler is enough to upset travelers.

It has been reported that terminal one is now closed to the public at night. Admittance is only allowed with a flight ticket and valid ID. Terminals 2b and 3 are shockingly rough. Not what you expect from a world class city. Explore the terminals before setting up camp if you must sleep here. Sleep near travelers, not homeless.

Runners Up

BVA – Terminal 3 Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA) – B

Beauvais closes between 11pm and 6am. You will be kicked out at night.

There are no services, the terminal is a tent, and seating is limited.

SVO – jaunted.com Sheremetyevo International Airport(SVO) –

Moscow’s airport is dirty chaotic and smoky.

Even after some updates and remodeling, nonsmokers report they just can’t handle the smoke.

LAX – mahalie via Flickr Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) –

California’s popular airport is busy and crowded with limited seating. Travelers label personnel as rude. Poor signage and poor bathrooms are other frustrations.

“I have seen grown men in my company sit down and cry a little, when they were told they had to fly through LAX. I am still wondering after 18 years, why nothing changes for the better ever in LAX.” – IrmainNewberin sleepinginairports.com.

“It’s a shame that many visitors from the pacific flying into LAX get their first impression of America and Americans at this dump.” – DonP

MNL – TOC SME via photobucket Manila International Airport (MNL) –

Manila is the main international gateway for travelers to the Philippines. The older terminal is in rough shape.

There is no seating and getting through customs is a difficult ordeal.

Be prepared to ignore beggars or people asking for bribes. On the upside the newer terminal (3) is clean, spacious, and has internet.

LTN – airliners.net London Luton Airport (LTN) –

London Luton is cold, drafty, and noisy.

The noise is punctuated with annoying announcements. The limited seating is uncomfortable.

JFK – bing John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) –

Not your only choice in New York, JFK garners complaints of “hectic and noisy.”

Seating is limited. The layout is confusing and amenities close at night. On the plus, there is WiFi.

We can survive anything with an internet connection!

One Place you WON’T Mind Getting Stranded

SIN – poshposh.com Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) –

The IATA call letters don’t do SIN any justice. Singapore’s Changi Airport was voted the best place for unexpected stopovers.

Of the 1,000 International Airline Passengers Association members surveyed, 32% said this was by far the best airport for delayed passengers. The multiple options for entertainment, beautiful décor, and abundance of greenery make it easy to pass the time here.

SIN 750,000 square feet of space for shopping and eating. Extensive upgrades and brands like Prada, Gucci, Bulgari, and Hermes make this the place to shop. Two different lounges with 24-hour napping areas, showers and spa facilities, hotel and pool amenities are just the start of the amenities list.

Have you ever been to an airport with a Nature Trail? There are six open-air gardens, children’s play areas, and TV viewing lounges.

Since opening in 1981 SIN has been the benchmark for service excellence. Changi Airport has won over 340 awards from 1987 to 2009, including 27 ‘Best’ awards in 2009. Changi continues to update, expand, and provide a high level of customer service.

Share your travel horror story below.

By: Terra L. Fletcher, Fletcher Freelance

Join the discussion

17 comments
  • the worst airport for me was the dammam international airport.
    been to hk best. been to sydney, ok. been to schipol, alright though small; and manila old but quite ok.
    but dammam, it was scary. you will find a pick-up truck with 50-caliber machine gun. and worst, a lot of indian porters forcing you to have your luggage carried by them with a fee. and few people speak english.
    although it is big and passengers are not that many. the airport was quite a ghost town.

  • Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, dubbed the most dangerous airport in the world. I have passed through there 10 times….. Never again!

  • Been through CDG was OK,Berlin Tegel was OK,St.Lucia OK,Palma OK,Tenerife OK,HKG BEST,LHR OK,LGW GOOD,MNL POOR,PLYMOUTH POOR.Worst airport Sanford ( Orlando),Orlando Int GOOD

  • About the moscow sheremetyevo airport is not true, it is very clean and comfortable , free wifi , shops , 24hours cafeteria and so on.. I wonder if you got the picture taken 10 years ago.. I have been there twice and staying overnight , there is no smoke at all.. Please update your info

  • CDG is the worst by far – dirty, confusing, ugly. All topped off by the French inability (or refusal) to speak any other language that is not French.
    It should be a source of embarresment for the French but they also seem to be unable to have a sense of dignity.
    To be avoided at all costs, even if it means more travel hours.

  • If you have ever deployed with the military, you will know these airports are nothing compared to some in the middle east and SW Asia. Bagram AB for example, waited for a flight for 10 hours, only to find out it was cancelled. No WiFi, have to eat MREs, it just plain sucks. Count your blessings!

  • I have to say, i found Luton to be quite an ok place to pass through when i flew from there. All airports seem a bit miserable with horrible security procedures and long waits among dull shops and expensive food, but the staff at Luton left me with a good impression. The check-in staff were very friendly, the security people didn’t do anything too negative – even the girl i bought a comb from was nice to talk to. It is amazing what a difference it makes when people are just a little more pleasant to each other. Compared with flying out of Belfast a week later, Luton was fantastic!

  • I agree that Changi is a great place to be stuck. You can rent a hotel room by the hour, have a shower, take a nap on an actual bed, and book a massage.
    I like San Fran International as well – fresh sushi and not overpriced, along with not overpriced beer.
    Airports I don’t like so much include Kabul, Dammam, Delhi and Montreal.

  • We had a layover at CDG when I was 19 and first traveling in Europe. All I remember is the entire place smelled like a giant unwashed armpit. The ENTIRE airport.

  • Manchester airport in New Hampshire is pretty good because there isnt that many people so you move through security fast and plenty of seating.

  • THE WORST AIRPORT in the entire milkyway galaxy is in Beijing International Airport. You know why? how can you consider it an international airport if their staff can’t even speak in English? Their flights is 2 days delayed. Yes they have a good facilities but they don’t know how to entertain their customers properly. For me and my girlfriend this airport is a curse. If i will have a chance to erase one place here in earth i will definitely ERASE this AIRPORT.

  • Airports I don’t like are Taiwan Taoyuan Internation, and Japan Tokyo Narita.
    In Taipei, going through customs/immigration was very unpleasant with the unbearable attitude I received.

  • Changi airport is the world’s best airport alongside HK and Incheon airports. i went to 3 ariports that were the best soooo far.