Spain Explained

The worst airports in the world

Last updated on September 13th, 2019 at 09:08 am.

Of course, what you consider to be the best and the worst will depend on your own personal preferences and experiences. For example, if you have had a particularly bad experience at one airport – perhaps you lost your luggage or had something stolen – then for you that airport could surpass any on this list.

For most of us travelling to Spain and back we have a certain expectation of what an airport will provide that is largely lived up to. We expect a few duty free shops, cafes and bars; some reasonably comfortable waiting areas; a few additional shops to keep us entertained; clean, accessible toilets, cash machines and wi-fi.

Spanish airports are, by and large, comfortable and well-served. After all, the tourist industry is well-established here and its customers expect a certain level of comfort. The standards we might put up with when travelling to a more exotic or out-of-the way destination would not be tolerated from a destination in Spain.

The list has been put together by ‘Guía para dormir en un aeropuerto’ and 26,000 travellers have taken part in the opinion poll. The airports were rated according to comfort, amenities, cleanliness and client services. Most of the ‘worst’ airports identified in this list are in Africa and Asia and not one Spanish airport features in either the best or the worst airports listed.

The airport Ninoy Aquino has, after three years, lost its title as the worst airport in the world. In its place there’s now airport Port Harcourt in Nigeria which has now the honour of being categorised as the worst. Those asked, criticised it for corruption, lack of seating, absence of air conditioning and an arrival terminal that is described as nothing more than a tent.

Runner up as the worst airport in the world comes the international airport of Rey Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia. It achieved this accolade due to being chaotic and unclean, particularly when it comes to the Hajj terminal. ‘There are queues for several hours at immigration which is staffed with disinterested personnel,’ comments one user. Another claims that there’s smoking in the no-smoking areas and that the smell of the toilets pervades the whole airport.

There is only one European airport on the list – Beauvais-Tille de Paris. This has been criticised for the poor condition of the building, lack of furniture, attitude of the staff, poor toilets and hygiene. However, in comparison to some of the terminals covered in this list, it’s in a league of its own.   

The ‘top’ ten

  1. Port Harcourt International Airport (Nigeria)
  2. El aeropuerto internacional Rey Abdulaziz (Jeddah, Arabia Saudita)
  3. Tribhuvan International Airport (Katmandú, Nepal).
  4. El aeropuerto internacional de Tashkent (Uzbekistán).
  5. Simon Bolivar International Airport (Caracas, Venezuela).
  6. Aeropuerto Internacional Toussaint Louverture (Puerto Príncipe, Haití).
  7. Hamid Karzai International Airport (Kabul, Afganistán).
  8. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).
  9. Benazir Bhutto International Airport (Islamabad, Pakistán).
  10. Beauvais-Tille Aeropuerto Internacional (París).

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