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The world's worst airports

March 14,2017 22:43

What's the worst airport in the world? According to a poll of 65,000 travellers, that dubious honour goes to Berlin Schönefeld. The German hub should be avoided, says the holiday website eDreams, after it scored a meagre 3.17 marks out of 5, on average ...

What’s the worst airport in the world? According to a poll of 65,000 travellers, that dubious honour goes to Berlin Schönefeld. The German hub should be avoided, says the holiday website eDreams, after it scored a meagre 3.17 marks out of 5, on average, when rated by its customers. It pipped Luton to the unwanted accolade, while another Berlin hub - Tegel, New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports, and two Parisian airports - Charles De Gaulle and Orly - also featured in the roll of shame.
The world's worst airports, according to eDreams
Berlin Schönefeld
London Luton
New York LaGuardia
New York J. F. Kennedy
Brussels South Charleroi
Lima J. Chávez International
Rome Ciampino International
Berlin Tegel
Paris Charles De Gaulle
Paris Orly
What makes Schönefeld so unappealing? No quotes from travellers were offered to explain the low scores, but some calculated deductions can be made. Used almost exclusively by low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2.com, Germania, Wizz Air, WOW and Norwegian, Schönefeld has expanded rapidly in recent years, handling 11.6 million passengers last year - up from just 6.7 million in 2013 and 1.8 million in 2003. eDreams says airports were judged on categories such as waiting areas, shopping facilities and restaurants, so perhaps Schönefeld’s offering has failed to keep pace with the sharp rise in passengers.

What makes Schönefeld so unappealing?
This content is subject to copyright./Frank Blum

It is also due to close once Berlin Brandenburg Airport finally opens its doors (2018 or 2019) - so there’s not much incentive for investment and improvements.  
The website Sleeping in Airports sheds further light on Schönefeld’s supposed failings. Its reviewers reported that “passengers were herded like cattle and kept standing in the boarding lounge while waiting to board their flight”. It adds: “This is an old, small airport. Because it’s due to close in a few years, the amenities are few and won’t be improved - don’t expect much. Consider yourself lucky if you find a vacant seat to sit in.”

LaGuardia also scored poorly
Copyright 2007 Stuart Gleave/Photo by Stuart Gleave

But is it really the worst in the world?
The eDreams survey only rated airports where its customers can fly to, while Sleeping in Airports features reviews of lesser-known terminals in the farthest reaches of the globe.
Its annual rankings claim Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia is worst of all. And the verdict is scathing. “Virtually all aspects of the terminals need serious improvement,” it says. “Cleanliness is but a mythical concept. The place is said to be staffed by a team of immigration officers described as ‘careless’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘rude’, and amenity-wise, the terminal is devoid of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. During peak hours - to say nothing of when the Hajj pilgrimage rolls around - the queues are unfathomable, and there are never enough chairs to accommodate.”
Juba International Airport in South Sudan, Port Harcourt International in Nigeria, Tashkent International in Uzbekistan and Santorini Thira National complete its bottom five. Notably, London Luton is the only airport to feature in both lists. 
The world's worst airports, according to Sleeping in Airports
Jeddah King Abdulaziz International, Saudi Arabia 
Juba International, South Sudan 
Port Harcourt International, Nigeria
Tashkent International, Uzbekistan
Santorini Thira National, Greece 
Chania International, Greece
Crete Heraklion International, Greece
Caracas Simón Bolívar International, Venezuela 
London Luton 
Kathmandu Tribhuvan International, Nepal 
Special mention too should be made for Paris Vatry Airport. Research by Telegraph Travel recently showed that it’s the world’s least convenient airport, situated as it is a staggering 212 km / 2 hours 9 mins by car from the city it purports to serve.
The world's most inconvenient airports
Paris Vatry - 212km from Paris
Frankfurt Hahn - 126km from Frankfurt
Oslo-Torp - 118km from Oslo
Munich West - 113km from Munich
Stockholm Skavsta - 108km from Stockholm
London Oxford - 100km from London
Barcelona Girona - 98km from Barcelona
Dusseldorf Weeze - 83km from Dusseldorf
Lubeck-Hamburg - 78km from Hamburg
London Southend - 68km from London
We’ve also got scant praise to offer Banjul Airport in The Gambia (“one dire cafe, one check-in gate, and a queue that stretched into the car park”), Lubeck (“the terminal was in what looked like a large shed, with a couple of makeshift tables for security”), Marrakesh (“grim - disorganised arrival and check-in process, abysmal food and drink options”), Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi (“the 'come find your baggage in a heap outside' system is unsettling”) and Zanzibar (“chaotic and disorganised considering it's a famous honeymoon destination”).
And what of the world's best airports?
We've one word for you: Changi. The Singapore airport has taken the top gong at the last four World Airport Awards. See our gallery below for a full list of the finest. 

Watch | Three ways to make your airport experience less stressful

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