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10 of the world's most hated airports [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-12-14 13:56:11 |Display all floors
10. São Paulo-Guarulhos International, São Paulo, Brazil

Why is this place on our list after scoring third best airport in South America at the 2011 World Airport Awards?

Because, shockingly enough, it turns out that corporate medal ceremonies aren’t always in sync with what people are thinking when they're standing in two-hour immigration lines, suffering routinely unannounced gate changes and paying through the teeth for a stale Brazilian cheese roll and beer inside an understaffed and over-aged aviation facility.

In a country where flight delays (departing or arriving) are just part of the deal, some recent numbers would give pause to the most unflappable traveler at Brazil’s largest airport.

Just 41 percent of all flights leave on time. Only 59 percent of flights arrive on schedule, according to Forbes.  

São Paulo-Guarulhos has announced plans to add runways and terminals -- what airport hasn’t? -- but with nearly 30 million passengers traipsing through every year (the figure has reportedly doubled in under a decade) the urgency is palpable and, sadly enough, unsolved by upping prices at musty duty-free shops.

But does this really constitute bronze medal status? When the best unofficial advice for surviving Brazil’s pin-up airport is to try and learn a little Portuguese and not lose your temper, something’s gotta give.

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Post time 2011-12-14 13:56:59 |Display all floors
9. Perth Airport, Perth, Australia
If there’s one thing Australians love, it’s hating their airports.

But while the big guns in Sydney, Melbourne and also-rans in Darwin, Cairns and Hobart get routinely lambasted for various inefficiencies and rip-off tactics, passengers in Western Australia have a special place in their spleens for Perth.

“The only advantage over some other airports is the lack of nearby combat,” notes one of several miffed passengers on airportquality.com.

With a reviled pair of domestic terminals (home of two-hour taxi-line queues, atrocious check-in lines, overpopulated gates and meager lounges) and a slightly more palatable international terminal five kilometers away, Perth’s brittle facilities can be overwhelmed just by a trio of aircraft arriving within 20 minutes of each other.

Now that an ambitious “billion-dollar” redevelopment project has been significantly scaled back, who would ever want to leave Changi for this place?

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Post time 2011-12-14 13:57:33 |Display all floors
8. Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu, Nepal
For a small airport in a pretty country, Tribhuvan has it all: the interminable weather delays of Boston Logan, the shoddy restroom maintenance of a Glasgow sports bar, the departure board sparsity of McMurdo Airfield and the chronic chaos of a kids' soccer match.

Some airport improvements have been underway for the Visit Nepal 2011 tourism campaign, including things most passengers don’t much care about (e.g., the new helicopter base).

The most serious beefs with Nepal’s only international airport revolve around its primitive yet officious check-in procedure, starring a roulette wheel of underpaid security agents.

“Departure is an endless game of body searches and silly questions,” notes one passenger.

“Those who didn’t have their e-tickets printed out had to argue their way in,” says another, who was checked seven times and scolded for not having a baggage tag on a carry-on before eventually boarding.

Never mind. The city’s markets and surrounding mountains are lovely.

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Post time 2011-12-14 13:58:14 |Display all floors
7. John F. Kennedy International, New York, United States
You’d think it would be one of the greatest humiliations any major airport would never allow itself to live down -- getting routinely abandoned by fed-up folks opting to fly out of Newark (Newark!) instead, where at least the ground staff cop less attitude and fewer people outside are pretending to be cab drivers.  

But, nah, JFK really couldn’t really care less.

Every year, more than 21 million passengers stumble through worn, mid-century terminals that peaked when The Beatles arrived in the United States and rooftop parking was all the rage; JFK proudly remains the world’s busiest international air gateway.

So if you’re not into a dim, surly, unbearably congested airport reeking with attitude and unapologetically long immigration lines -- good riddance.

“JFK had a piece of my luggage sitting in a little detention room for bags -- for over a year,” notes one passenger. “No one noticed it was there, until finally an observant Air France employee wondered what the dusty little green bag in the corner was.”

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Post time 2011-12-14 13:59:12 |Display all floors
6. Jomo Kenyatta International, Nairobi, Kenya
“As African airports go, it’s not that bad -- but as an international hub, it may be one of the worst out there.”

This is the common refrain among travelers through JKIA, who either don’t have the heart or the expectations to give this dated aviation facility the kind of pounding reserved for the JFKs and Charles de Gaulles of the world.

Saddled with a 1958 blueprint designed for 2.5 million passengers, JKIA receives close to twice that many. Hence the airport’s 2005, Three Phase, US$100 million expansion project which has seen long delays (something about the rain) and has been spinning its tires somewhere in Phase Two for the last few years.

For now, that means business as usual: cramped spaces; long lines; inadequate seating; frequent power outages; tiny washrooms hiding up several flights of stairs; shabby duty free shops; overpriced food outlets; and business class lounges worthy of a shelter in mid-city Los Angeles.

Sure, it’s a breeze compared to Lagos. But it could be so much better. The confusing result: grateful disappointment?


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Post time 2011-12-14 14:00:00 |Display all floors
5. Ninoy Aquino International, Manila, Philippines
Beleaguered by ground crew strikes, unkempt conditions, soup kitchen-style lines that feed into more lines and an overall sense of futility, NAIA brings the term “Stuck in the 1970s” to a new level.

At Terminal 1 all non-Philippine Airlines remain crammed despite serious overcapacity issues and a new and underused Terminal 3 is occupied by a few minor carriers.

A rash of bad press this year (including a “Worst in the World” ribbon from Sleeping in Airports) was capped by a collapsed ceiling in T1, a paralyzing ground service strike at T2, and the usual charges of tampered luggage, filthy restrooms, seat shortages at gates, re-sealed water bottles sold in retail shops and an Amazing Race-style check-in routine spiked with bureaucracy, broken escalators, lengthy Dot Matrix passenger lists and creative airport departure fees.

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Post time 2011-12-14 14:00:42 |Display all floors
4. Toncontín International, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
When do the most common airport gripes about inefficiency, uncomfortable gate chairs, dirty floors and lousy dining options suddenly become irrelevant? When you’re preoccupied about whether your 757 will actually be able to stop before the runway does.

Nestled in a bowl-shaped valley at 957 meters above sea level, Toncontín’s notoriously stubby, mountain-cloaked landing strip was recently lengthened another 300 meters following a fatal TACA aircraft overshoot in 2008.

Not enough though to avoid being named the “second most dangerous airport in the world” by the History Channel.

Nepal’s hair-raising Tenzing-Hillary Airport in the Himalayas is the top seed, but receives fewer gripes from its thrill-seeking Everest-bound clientele.

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