Traveling these days is no vacation. Over booked facilities and increasing tensions around the world make flying a complicated experience, and sometimes downright infuriating. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, you’re best to stay on the safe side and avoid these 10 worst airports in the world.
1. Manila International Airport: Manila, The Philippines
Top of our list of worst airports in the world is the Manila International Airport in the Philippines. Last year the ceiling in the airport Terminal 1 caved in on passengers, injuring two people. In addition, facilities are often reported to be run down and grimy – particularly with toilets that don’t work. Not only that, reports of thieves and bribery are common. Definitely an airport to avoid if you want your trip to be memorable for the right reasons.
2. Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal B/C: Moscow, Russia
The Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal B/C terminal in Russia is easily one of the worst airports in the world. The terminal itself is miles away from the rest of the airport, making flight transfers difficult. While official numbers say transfers are usually quick, delays lasting a few hours have been reported as common. Not only that, the airport is notorious for abrasive customer service and broken signs. Because signs in English rarely work, the airport can be difficult to navigate. Fly into nearby Domodedovo International Airport instead, unless you love lengthy, confusing, nerve grinding layovers.
3. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport: Nairobi, Kenya
This airport in Nairobi is another airport to avoid if you want to enjoy your trip. The airport was built to accommodate between 2 and 3 million people, but regularly accommodates double that. The airport is also reported to be crowded with thieves and pickpockets, as well as run down facilities. Though the government initially had plans to expand the airport, slow construction, and more recently a fire in 2013, have made the airport perpetually difficult to navigate.
4. Newark Liberty International Airport: Newark, New Jersey
The Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey is among the more poorly designed airports in the world. In this airport, the terminals are also not connected to each other, so passengers are required to take a city bus between them. This makes traveling very difficult if you have transfers between terminals, sometimes resulting in you needing to go through security again. Not only that, but Newark International is notorious for flight delays. Another airport you need more than a little extra time to find your way through, Newark Liberty International is one airport to always skip.
5. Tenzing-Hillary Airport: Lukla, Nepal
This airport is one you might not even want to call an airport. The main building lacks facilities, including food and beverage outposts and accessible bathrooms. If that isn’t enough for you, the runway itself ends at the side of a cliff. While this airport seems like one you’d never fly into, it’s actually quite popular because it’s where most people fly in to climb Mount Everest. Additionally, this airport is patrolled by the Nepali Armed Police day and night. A rocky enough experience to give even the most seasoned traveler heart problems, this run down airport is one where you’ll need your own supplies.
6. Entebbe International Airport: Entebbe, Uganda
This airport in Uganda is one that would certainly make you nervous. The main airport in Uganda, this airport is home base for UN peacekeeping forces travelling to and from Uganda. This means that the terminals are constantly full of heavily armed soldiers. Enough to make anyone uncomfortable, this airport is probably not somewhere you want to include in your travels.
7. Los Angeles International/Philadelphia international Airports: Los Angeles/Philadelphia, California/Pennsylvania
The next spot on our most avoidable airports in the world is a tie between Los Angeles International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. Both airports have outdated and rundown infrastructure, and both see travelers constantly fighting hours of traffic to and from the airport. Unfortunately, this traffic extends into the terminals, and passengers sometimes wait hours before even leaving the airport. Philadelphia International Airport might be more difficult to navigate than LAX, but large areas of Los Angeles International’s underground arrivals complex completely knocks out cell phone service. Both airports are among the most difficult in the world, where you’ll have an easier time staying clear.
8. Sao Paulo International Airport: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo International is the main airport serving Sao Paulo and is one of the busiest in Latin America. Previously run down facilities were under construction for the 2014 World Cup, but delays leave some areas unfinished and difficult to navigate. Another poorly planned airport, this one at least provides shuttle buses to the terminal not connected to the main building. However, passengers must fight sprawling traffic at this airport, too, plus incredibly crowded conditions. Another of the worst airports in the world to only visit if you love uncomfortable inconveniences.
9. Murtala Muhammed International Airport: Lagos, Nigeria
This airport in Nigeria is one of the worst in the world because it is rife with reports of corrupt officials. Passengers report having to frequently pay more in taxes than they should, plus soldiers around the airport are heavily armed. On top of that, this airport isn’t air conditioned, in a region that averages more than 30°C/90°F most of the year. This airport is not only terrible, but frightening to pass through.
10. London Heathrow International Airport: London, England
While facilities at the London Heathrow international Airport are newer and easier to navigate then the other various mazes on this list, the airport is stern and nerve-racking. The airport takes terrorism threats highly seriously, with British soldiers routinely patrolling the airport. The airport even stores baggage underground, making it less likely that a bomb would injure passengers in the terminals. It is clear that the entire atmosphere at the airport revolves around the threat of terrorism, plus record numbers of delays, makes even a seasoned traveler nervous.
Runners Up – Toncontín International Airport: Tegucigalpa, Honduras & La Aurora International Airport: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Since these airports facilities are just fine, they aren’t technically airports that are the worst in the world. However, these airports deserve to be mentioned because even a seasoned traveler would be beyond anxious to fly into them. Toncontín International Airport in Honduras is placed between mountain ranges and windy conditions making it dangerous to fly into, plus planes must make a 45° turn to line up with the terminal’s runway. The tight landing conditions and possibility of hazardous weather conditions make this airport slightly terrifying. La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City also requires airplanes to navigate through mountains. The difference is, on your way to Guatemala City you have to pass over sometimes active volcanoes. Such spectacular conditions belong more in a thrill seekers vacation, and less at regular airports.