World's Worst Airport Terminals ( 4 0f 10 in the U.S!
jere.chievres 2012/01/27 15:25:54
Most airports are awful. At best they’re joyless econoboxes, at worst purgatorial warehouses of stalled lives.
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deserve special condemnation, though. In some cases, they deserve to be
literally condemned. Assembling this top 10 list of misfits I scanned
professional surveys and delay statistics and asked my frequent-traveler
friends to come up with the 10 airports where you'd least like to spend an extra hour.
I'm sticking to major airports here. There are small airports
around the world that consist of a shanty that swelters in the summer
and freezes in the winter, with a hole in the wall for baggage claim and
a single sad concession stand. (I'm actually describing my experience
at Udaipur Airport in India in 1999). But that's not fair. These 10 airports should deliver better service, and they don't. I'm listing them from least worst to the absolute worst.
Chicago Midway Airport Chicago Midway Airport (fboyd)
Midway airport ranked as the nation's worst for on-time departures in
the most recent federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics data,
earning it a spot on this list. It isn't a bad place to hang out, with a
new food court and a frequent subway connection to downtown Chicago,
but any airport is the worst airport if you're stuck there and you
aren't getting on a plane.
Consider this the least worst of our set of bad airports. Midway's curse may come more from Chicago's notoriously difficult weather than from any problem the airport itself can fix.
"Paris" Beauvais Airport, France "Paris" Beauvais Airport, France (scalleja)
A solid 50 miles north of Paris,
this depressing low-cost box of an airport in Picardy got saddled with a
bait-and-switch name by Ryanair, the ultimate bait-and-switch airline.
It rated as one of the world's worst airports
by Frommers.com friends SleepingInAirports.net because of its lack of
seating, lack of services, and general half-tent, half-warehouse
It lacks a rail link to Paris and closes overnight,
so hope that your flight doesn't get too delayed, or you may be camping
out on the lawn.
For years, Ryanair liked to play this trick of stamping the names of famous cities on distant small-town airports
with poor transit links that weren't designed for much tourist traffic:
thus Beauvais and "Barcelona Reus," which is more than an hour and a
half from Barcelona.
Newark Airport Terminal B Newark Airport Terminal B (livatlantis)
All three major New York City airports are on this list, in large part because they're run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a hideously mismanaged money sink that does a poor job of responding to air travelers' needs.
got two stars -- the worst rating -- in JD Power's 2010 airport study.
It's also the nation's worst airport for on-time arrivals in the most
recent federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.
you'll be stuck waiting at your point of origin, because Newark is an
awfully dull airport to wait for a flight in. The airport idiotically
puts security before individual piers in Terminals A and B, which means
that rather than have a whole terminal's food and shopping to entertain
you, you're stuck out on a single pier. It's pretty quiet out there.
LaGuardia Airport US Airways Terminal,LaGuardia Airport US Airways Terminal, New York City (andrea_r)
New York City
don't hate LaGuardia, but it was recently rated the worst major airport
in America by both JD Power and Associates and Zagat Survey, so who am I
LaGuardia has no rail link to anywhere -- even
between its own terminals -- and regularly suffers from congestion,
overcrowding, and delays. While its terminals are shaping up, they're
still each smaller and with fewer services than you'd expect from an
airport at one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
giving the US Airways Terminal the worst-terminal award here because at
least the central terminal has an atrium and the Delta terminal just got
some new food options. The US Airways terminal is dull and sad.
Amman Queen Alia Airport, JordanAmman Queen Alia Airport , Jordan (pshegubj)
of the two airports rated "two stars" by global consulting firm
Skytrax, Amman gets lousy ratings for services that might be useful if
you're hanging around -- bathroom cleanliness, places to rest,
children’s play facilities, and service counters.
Reviews on the
Skytrax website make it clear that you may just want to "hold it" in
this airport: they're almost universally appalled at the state of the
bathrooms. Those reviewers have probably never been to JFK Terminal 3,
but still, that isn't good.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport,Paris -- Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 3 (jp_math54)
got the "worst airport" award two years running from
SleepingInAirports.net, but this year site owner Donna McSherry decided
to give it a break, in part because now "the homeless population was
being segregated" to "the Third World-inspired Terminal 3." Big takeaway
here: If you're worrying about how to distribute your homeless
population, you're one of the worst major airports.
De Gaulle is a
huge airport where many people have to transfer, but it's an awful
airport to change planes in; many flights require a change between CDG's
various scattered terminal buildings, which are connected primarily by
slow, confusing shuttle buses. Changing planes here is tiring,
irritating, and sometimes a little terrifying.
This being Paris, there is also usually a strike on.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi (kenyaphotos)
airport, which aspires to be an international hub, was built to support
about 2.5 million passengers and now averages about double that. As a
result, the Kenyan government announced plans to expand the airport.
That was in 2005. They aren't done yet.
I've been to JKIA, and it
reinforces all of the bad stereotypes about Africa that you wish
weren't true. It's hot, ugly, dirty and confusing, full of touts and
scam artists and perpetually overcrowded. African airports don't have to
be like this, of course: the Marrakech airport is one of the most beautiful in the world, and Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo airport is at least efficient.
Kenyan government says construction on a new terminal will begin in
January. Perhaps someday, the Nairobi airport improvement project will
be finished. Until then, this Third World construction site remains a
place for travelers to avoid.
Moscow Sheremtyevo Airport, Moscow Sheremtyevo Airport Terminal B/C, Russia (killerbass)
Terminal B/C, Russia
of the two airports rated "two stars" by global consulting firm Skytrax
(nobody got one star), SVO B/C got particularly bad marks for anything
where you have to interact with airport staff: their attitude, their
language skills, and the speed with which they process passengers.
suggest that you brush up on your Russian if you intend to transfer
flights, because signboards and staff tend not to work in English.
SVO Terminal B/C is partially a new terminal, but it still got one or
two-star rankings from Skytrax on "leisure facilities," "baggage hall,"
and "meet and greet." It's also several miles away from the rest of the
airport and from its rail station, making inter-terminal connections
Fortunately, there's a better alternative nearby: Domodedovo Airport, which generally gets better rankings and reviews.
Manila Airport Terminal 1, Philippines Manila Airport Terminal 1, Philippines (jeffrey)
May, the ceiling at Manila airport's Terminal 1 caved in, injuring two
people. That's part of why Sleeping in Airports rated it the world's
worst terminal last year.
"The terminal has been a frequent
target of criticism with travelers and the business community
complaining it is congested, run-down and filthy, with toilets that do
not work," Agence France Presse commented. According to Sleeping In
Airports, bribery and theft are also rampant in the terminal.
The negative press attention seems to have had some effect; this November the Philippine government said it would renovate the terminal starting in January. It looks like changes can't come too soon.
JFK Airport Terminal 3, New York City JFK Airport Terminal 3, New York City (couchetard)
In 1960, Pan American Airlines built the Worldport: a grand, flying-saucer-shaped gateway to the Jet Age.
years later, this decrepit, crumbling chunk of concrete is still used
by Delta as an international hub. Terminal 3 is the worst single airport terminal in America,
and probably in the Western world. Even Delta acknowledges this:
they're tearing it down and replacing it with a giant glass structure
connected to the nearby Terminal 4. It's unsalvageable.
is known for endless immigration lines in a dank basement, for an utter
lack of food and shopping options, three crowded and confusing entry
points, hallways that could have been designed by M.C Escher and for
vomiting international travelers out onto an underground sidewalk with
no cabs available. There's also a sense that the cleaning crew gave up
in despair a while ago.
• Shanghai, China •
3 hours ago
• Houston, Texas •
2 hours 52 minutes ago
Hong Kong is one of the best airports I have gone through.
• Miami, Florida •
2 hours 30 minutes ago
Where is London "Has Anyone Seen my Luggage?" Heathrow on this list?
• New York, New York •
2 hours 43 minutes ago
Glad to see the
NY/NJ Port Authority airports are on the list; hope that'll wake 'em up.
But... it's a bi-state agency, so one doesn't need to imagine how
badly managed it is, or not managed. Someone should help them
understand "manage", or that fire all the high-salaried heads. Indeed, a
• Indianapolis, Indiana •
3 hours ago
love the new Indianapolis International Airport. Friendly staff and a really nice USO room.
• Bay Lake, Florida •
1 hour 18 minutes ago
I fly out of
Midway frequently...yeah a flight might be occaisionally delayed but its
very clean and comfortable. You can't fault something for conditions
they cannot control. Where is ATL on this list? That place is
1 hour 27 minutes ago
There's a common
theme: Most of these dated airports are in first-world countries,
because they were built and developed a long time ago. If you go to
developing countries like China, their airports are gleaming glass and
shining metals and diamond encrusted (joking on this one). And this
2 hours 46 minutes ago
Land at Miami airport and your no longer in America
3 hours ago
I would place
Dulles, washington DC as the worst of all. Hard to get from terminal to
terminal and cost more to get from airport to downtown than it cost to
1 hour 17 minutes ago
Rediculous! O'hare is worse than Midway in both on time flights and the security lines. I'm flying Midway if I can help it.
• Reston, Virginia •
1 hour 31 minutes ago
I can't believe
JFK, Newark, Amman, and CDG made the list but Islamabad didn't. I'd
gladly go through any of the first four to avoid I'bad.
• Nashville, Tennessee •
2 hours 34 minutes ago
And Hong Kong is the ABSOLUTE BEST!
1 hour 34 minutes ago
LaGuardia Airport is the worst facilities, but Philadelphia is the worst experience, mainly do to the people.
• Romeoville, Illinois •
1 hour 14 minutes ago
I LOVE Midway
airport. I am a "companion pass" level of flyer with Southwest. SWA
out of MDW is solid. I don't understand.. Maybe it's other airlines
with the delays?
• Chicago, Illinois •
1 hour 33 minutes ago
Charles de Gaule also has people walking their dogs and letting them pee on the walls inside
• Columbus, Ohio •
2 hours 23 minutes ago
Newark doesn't surprise me.
• Winthrop, Massachusetts •
2 hours 48 minutes ago
I sure hope that
when Gingrich builds the colony on the moon by the year 2020 as he
promises it will have a nice spaceport to holdover at while passengers
are waiting for their flight home. There shouldn't be too many weather
• New York, New York •
1 hour 58 minutes ago
Is there a good
airport anywhere? I've traveled to many places and I have not found an
airport that I like. Newark, NJ is especially bad, it"s disgusting.
• Islip, New York •
2 hours 29 minutes ago
I think I contracted syphilis from sitting on a toilet bowl at Newark Airport.
• Bellevue, Washington •
3 hours ago
Try flying into Mogadishu! Now THAT is the world worst airport. I know. I've been there twice and it is God awful.
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