Every year, SleepingInAirports conducts a survey asking travellers to rate their airport experiences based on the services and facilities available within the terminal, cleanliness, customer service, comfort and their overall airport experience. Looking worldwide, there are a lot of airports that didn’t quite make the grade. Those that top our charts for worst airports in the world collected the most negative feedback from voters over the past year. These airports fall flat in terms of providing any kind of enjoyable overall airport experience. Instead, they’re dirty, uncomfortable, unfriendly and lack the most basic of services and amenities. They elicit passionate critiques from those who visit them, and countless warnings for future travellers to avoid these places at all costs. That said, if you do find yourself at one of the following 10 terminals, bring a serious amount of patience because you’ll most definitely need it!
Here are the Top 5 Worst Airports in the World based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2015 Airport Survey:
1. Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria (PHC)
This has to be the most corrupt airport in the world. ‘Bring money’ as they say in PH. It’s a standing joke. – a traveller
Ranked as the worst airport in Africa and one of the worst in the world, voters suggested Port Harcourt Airport should also win the title of most corrupt airport in the world. The terminal’s unpleasant and unhelpful staff help to earn it this trifecta of atrocious awards. With virtually no seating, broken air-conditioning and a tent for an Arrivals Hall, it was a struggle for many voters to pass the minimum required amount of time here. The good news is that some areas of the terminal have been recently renovated, meaning you can expect actual walls, floors and windows. Though it is a far cry from reasonable, improvements are being made. See also Worst Airports in Africa.
2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia (JED)
Immigration is a joke! Too few staff and when they are behind their desks they have no sense of urgency and will fiddle with their mobiles or chat to others. – a traveller
Jeddah’s International Airport elicited fervent responses from voters who were annoyed by the chaotic, crowded, unclean airport, particularly within the Hajj terminal. From smoking in non-smoking areas to the bathroom odour wafting out into the lounges, few people sang praises after spending time here. Multi-hour immigration queues with distracted and absent officers further aggravated travellers. All in all, JED is decidedly un-sleepable and arguably un-visitable. A number of voters suggested booking layovers elsewhere – at all costs. Travellers can however take heart – the new Jeddah Airport is said to be 85% complete and scheduled to open mid-2016. Hardly soon enough by the sounds of it! Most travellers familiar with the current JED just hope that the new airport comes with new staff and customs/immigration officers. See also Worst Airports in the Middle East.
3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM)
I had purposely dehydrated myself, so I wouldn’t have to use the restroom there – a traveller
Though Nepal’s only international airport gathered ample criticism over the past year, it is important to remember that the country itself has been under considerable pressure. In March 2015, a Turkish Airlines flight overshot the runway and skidded off the tarmac, closing the runway for several days. More severely, in April 2015 a devastating earthquake hit the country. The airport struggled to repair their sole runway and restore a flight schedule amidst a national emergency in an already struggling nation. Given this, voters had understandably poor experiences at the airport, particularly within the domestic terminal. Said to resemble a bus station, the terminal is most remembered for the poor state of its restrooms. The good news is that KTM is currently re-building the much-loathed domestic terminal. Officially, the terminal was set to be completed by the end of 2013 but recent events have stalled the official opening. See also Worst Airports in Asia.
4. Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan (TAS)
This airport is one of Dante’s circles of hell. The number one activity is waiting. – a traveller
Tashkent International Airport acts as the primary airport for Central Asia. In spite of a few recent upgrades to the departures area, the queues and crowds at TAS continue to be a frustrating experience. Though queues at security are to be expected, TAS boasts remarkable queues at all stages of the airport experience. Worsening the situation is that these queues are often chaotic-verging-on-aggressive, and lack any form of crowd control. Travellers should be prepared to quite literally defend their spot in the mob from pushy passengers. After security, there are chairs in climate-controlled rooms, but securing one is of course, another story.
5. Caracas Simón Bolívar International Airport, Venezuela (CCS)
I´ve been to many airports but this airport…. biggest chaos ever, no matter if you´re at the international or domestic airport. – a traveller
According to voters in this year’s survey, Caracas International Airport is chaotic, uncomfortable and dull. An absence of chairs and dirty bathrooms worsen the experience here – to say nothing of the low quality of food. Floor space is basically the only option for catching some shut eye during a layover, though the unsanitary conditions and nosey police officers will go out of their way to make this difficult. All said, the airport’s main redeeming features are the free WiFi and its two private lounges. Splurging for a day pass at the Admirals or Premier Club certainly eases the pains of a visit here.