Worst airports in the world, according to pilots

Published: March 17, 2016
PHOTO: paris-paris

PHOTO: paris-paris

As fun as travelling maybe, airports can be intimidating places.

While rushing to make appointments or meeting family members across the globe, airports are the compulsory midway where you have but no choice to wait.

On a recent AskReddit thread, pilots and flight attendants debated which the worst airports in the world are. Here are the 10 worst airports in the world, according to them:

1) Los Angeles (LAX), US

The seventh busiest airport for passenger traffic in the world, Los Angeles International Airport drew spiteful memories from pilots and fliers on Reddit.

“Wow what a bad layout and where’s the food? Avoid it if I can” said one Reddit user.

“There’s construction everywhere, it’s always a mess to taxi around,” said one Reddit user.

“I hate LAX,” said yet another another, “It’s the worst airport in the States.”

PHOTO: siegelgale

2) Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), Philippines

One pilot described the Philippines airport as “confusing, time consuming, and physically crumbling.”

“It’s hard because all the other airports in Asia are palaces,” said one pilot. “But MNL remains in a time warp.”

3) Kathmandu (KTM), Nepal

Tribhuvan International Airport is named after Nepal’s current king’s father.  Reddit users complained about the lack of security and modern facilities at the airport as well as the confusing layout.

“Kathmandu is the worst airport in the world by far,” said one Reddit user.

“A glorified bus station running at 600 per cent capacity with no amenities and confusing security.”

Another said: “There was security when you went through there? I got asked if I had a knife on me. That, and the airline staff looking at my bag.”

4) Heathrow  UK

Many seem to agree that Heathrow airport’s Terminal 4 is especially bad, despite the £200 million spent on it ahead of its 1986 opening.

While no one directed any specific criticism towards Heathrow, it appeared on many users’ bad airports lists.

PHOTO: Telegraph

5) Madrid-Bajaras (MAD), Spain

Named Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Bajaras Airport, after the first prime minister of the country following Franco’s dictatorship, many did not have pleasant reviews of the airport.

“It is an awful place. The long narrow terminal means walking kilometres,” said one user.

“Prices at restaurants and machines are outrageous. In general, the signage is rare, chaotic and not logical.”

6) La Guardia Airport (LGA), New York City, US

Many users criticised  La Guardia for being too busy and having to face constant delays.

“It wasn’t designed for the amount of traffic it sees,” said one user. 

One user while talking about the constant ground delays described it as ‘awful’.

“Cramped terminal and it just looks outdated,” said another.


7) Newark Liberty International Airport

Newark Liberty International Airport was criticised for extreme delays.

“Newark (EWR) is a complete disaster. I despise flying in and out of there. Also, while the airport itself is not bad, Houston Intercontinental (IAH) has a ridiculous taxiway designation system. Reading back taxi instructions can be a chore,” one user said.

However, one pilot also criticised the airport for being expensive. “Newark is terrible because everything is overpriced and it takes roughly four months to travel between terminals.”

8) Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (FNJ), North Korea

A particular kind of dislike appears reserved for an airport which has the same gate for arrivals and departures.

Users bemoan an “internet room” with no actual connection to the rest of the world, and passengers’ holiday snaps being inspected by airport staff before they are allowed to leave.

PHOTO: Paulo-Rezende/flickr

9) Sao Paulo-Congonhas Airport (CGH), Brazil

Weather is also a problem for this airport – one which was placed in a highly populated area because of all the mountains nearby.

A slippery runway caused one plane to overrun in 2007 and crash into a warehouse, killing all the passengers and pilots on-board. And despite the drainage system brought in after the tragic accident, the entire airport was shut for six hours in March 2016 following heavy downpours.

One pilot simply said: “To be avoided.”

10. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), France

Paris, Charles de Gaulle is the second busiest airport in Europe after Heathrow. CDG regularly faces the derision of passengers.

“Don’t ever go in if you want to leave within a week,” said one Reddit user.

“It loses my luggage 50 per cent of the time. I’ve accidentally gone through security with a metric tonne of prohibited items, which they never noticed. And once my entire flight got to our gate without being issued boarding passes,” a user said.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Fahim
    Mar 17, 2016 - 12:21PM

    I think they should come to Islamabad airportRecommend

  • Mar 17, 2016 - 12:26PM

    Seriously? Nobody considered Lagos airport? This list looked more like a discussion in a group of elites complaining about the taste of different scotch brands.Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Mar 17, 2016 - 6:37PM

    Any major airport that handles lots of traffic. I have traveled to dozens of countries and cities and it is always the long immigration counter lines at landing which really pisses of most of the passengers.Recommend

    Mar 17, 2016 - 6:46PM

    Thank God, not many airlines come to Pakistan, otherwise we could not be overlooked by the Poll.Recommend

  • curious2
    Mar 17, 2016 - 6:56PM

    I am surprised Chicago’s O’Hare airport isn’t on the list – very common for pilots who aren’t familiar with the airport to get lost when taxing – and the airport controllers are rude. When your pilot makes a wrong turn they stick him/plane in the penalty box where you have to sit until they find another opening – usually a significant delay. Recommend

  • sabi
    Mar 18, 2016 - 12:28AM

    @M A ABBAS:
    The debate is about airports not lorry addas.Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Mar 18, 2016 - 12:11PM

    WOW … we are not listed …Recommend

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