The list for the world’s worst airports this year has been released, and there’s some heartening news for Pakistan.
Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International has moved from the No.1 slot it occupied last year to No.9 in the 2015 list. 26,297 travellers took part in the annual survey by travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports. Contrary to what its name suggests, the voting is not all about sleeping in terminals. Travellers voted in four categories: comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer care.
Travellers judged Nigeria’s Port Harcourt International as the worst place to land. The terminal hall is inside a tent and the broken air-conditioning, unhelpful staff and lack of chairs or any conveniences presents a nightmare on arrival.
Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International is a surprising nominee for the second-worst. With petro-dollars financing mega-projects, one would expect a luxurious welcome and send off, but travellers complain of gross mismanagement by high-handed staff, lack of hygiene and interminable queues, especially in the Hajj terminals.
Tribhuvan International in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Uzbekistan’s Tashkent International were voted in third and fourth places, with Simon Bolivar International at Caracas, Venezuela following at fifth. Travellers complained about the absence of chairs, blatant flouting of no-smoking restrictions, unhelpful or absent staff and general uncleanliness at all terminals, strongly advising against travel to them.
In case you’re wondering about the best airports to land at, you may be surprised to learn that the top three slots are all taken by Asian airports. Singapore’s Changi International is the all-time champion, holding first position as the best for twenty years running. The runners-up are Incheon International in Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo’s Haneda International. These three airports were highly recommended for the highest standards of efficiency, luxurious layovers and easy and fast connections to the city.