Best and Worst Airport List
I would now like to honour the people and the airports who have made this site possible. I would especially like to thank everybody who has shared their funny/frightening airport experiences (a frightening experience is always a delight for us readers). Anyway, here they are… and don’t forget….if you want to add your airport/train station/ferry terminal listing submit your listing here.
For the past 10 years, the coveted Best Airport Award has gone to Singapore’s Changi airport. When asked for their thoughts on this prestigious honour, the normally gracious Singaporean airport officials had "no comment". Despite this flagrant disregard, they did generously send me a CD ROM containing stunning photos of their facilities. And so it is, that Singapore’s little city within a city remains the reining mother of all airports that airports around the world should emulate and airport sleepers must visit on their sleeping travels. Sleepers worldwide will be brought to tears of joy when they discover all of the wonderful amenities available in Singapore.
Throw away those inflatable rafts for this trip, my friends, because there are comfortable seats all over the place. In addition to those typical amenities that we rave about at other airports such as internet cafes, prayer rooms, shopping, and good eats, add these upgrades available at Changi: free mobile charging, free tours of the city, alarm clocks on the chairs, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, massage and spa facilities, live bands, extensive gardens, a special "official" napping corner, and free movies — all at the airport. There really is no reason to leave Club Changi.
Several contributors have raved about Changi and have suggested you stay a few nights there even if you have the money for a hotel. I am almost inclined to travel to Singapore, just to camp out in the airport. Best of all, it is comfortable, safe, quiet (so quiet in fact that students study there during exams) and there’s even a karaoke bar. One other fun fact about this little piece of heaven on earth are the signs that read " no pets, no skateboarding, no smoking and no studying". Check out the official Singapore Changi web site before you go to see, via photos, what this airport is about.
Runners up of the Golden Pillow Award go to (in alphabetical order):
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Why? Children’s play area, internet, showers, In transit areas feature comfortable sleeping chairs while pre-check-in seats are horrible, a casino to make your stay here go quickly
2. Athens, Greece
Why? As a new airport there are reports of it being "pleasant" and luxurious in comparison to other European airports. Padded benches, free internet, clean.
3. Auckland, New Zealand
Why? Few announcements, movable chairs and benches, comfortable couches, showers, mini-theatre with lounge chairs.
4. Helsinki, Finland
Why? Showers, benches and couches, internet
5. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong really gives Singapore a run for its money. I’m hoping that one year it comes in first, just so that I can change Singapore. I’s sure it’s nice and all….but time for a change me thinks. Why? Cushioned benches, overstuffed single chairs, showers, courteous staff, free internet, e-message board, children’s play area, tv lounge
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Why? So quiet they play soft classical music to liven things up a bit, the traveller’s lounge at US$ 17 gets you access to free food, tea, coffee, beer, internet, magazines, TV, access to massage chairs, mini golf putting green, and showers.
7. Oslo, Norway
Comfortably benches, good temperature, 24 hour convenience store
8. Seoul Incheon, South Korea
Why? Comfortable couches sent from the "Almighty, "restful", "stress-free, "designed with the comfort of passengers in mind", lots of available seats, free internet, showers, possibility of 5 hour+ naps, free lockers, children’s play room, massage room, game room, "slumberettes" , telephone numbers throughout to should you be anal enough to want to "complain" about anything you find not to your liking.
9. Vancouver, Canada
Having stayed overnight here myself I don’t know why it ranks high. I would prefer to veto this, but I guess you all had a better time. Why you like it? Free WIFI, comfortable seating.
This was toughy. If we were determine the worst airport based solely on the number of low-ranking votes an airport has received, Paris Charles de Gaulle would win (or lose depending how you look at it) hands down. However, we must also consider the truly heinous experiences people encounter and for that, there other airports that are much, much worse.
So you can probably imagine how difficult this award is to determine a winner for. I can never narrow it down to just one in this case. Everybody please put their hands together for Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), an airport in which one of our contributors witnessed 7 seven being killed in a gang shoot-out. When in Port Moresby, be sure you’re wearing your bullet-proof vest and run.
There are the airports in the Mid-East and India section where we have received MANY Hellish reviews. In years past, we honoured the entire country of India who only has one airport rated "good", but only because it was a better alternative to actually sleeping in one of their hotels. Unacceptable seating, foul odours, filth, fleas, safety, and general hassles have resulted in India’s 8 year reign of the Worst Airport(s) Title. Travellers beware: when sleeping in one of India’s "fine" airports be sure you have your own bug spray, air freshener and disinfectant or just go to the nearest bar and drink the pain away.
Runners up for the Poopy Airport Award go to (in alphabetical order):
1. Bombay, India
Why? Dirty, smelly, before check-in seats are uncomfortable (you fare better once you’re past security), mosquitoes (make sure your malaria prescription is filled), loud, stench of "feces and urine", security ask for bribes, even Indians don’t like passing through this airport.
2. Cairo, Egypt
Why? Lots of good reports lately may actually get Cairo off the Worst List, but it won’t be seeing a spot on the Best List anytime soon. However, we still fondly remember the reports of rats, dogs, lice, questionable yet expensive food, "immigration here are real asses", bathroom attendants hold people captive when they are not tipped, disgusting bathrooms, foul odors, metal and plastic seats, dirty, insufficient seating, security ask for bribes, passports are taken and are sometimes difficult to retrieve.
3. Chicago O’Hare, Illinois
Why? "Crap", "O’Hell", Uncomfortable hard plastic seats with armrests, often crowded with travellers stranded due to a snow storm, lots of security announcements, air-conditioning too cold (Children’s play area is the only place with heat), smells like "feet and broccoli", noise, "long walks" to find food, fluorescent lights buzz continuously.
4. Delhi, India
Why? Uncomfortable hard seating with armrests, filthy floor, air-conditioning is too high, smells of insecticide and stale cigarettes, mice, "dozens of Indians will stand over you and stare", used syringes spotted in the bathroom, crowded.
5. Jakarta, Indonesia
Why? Uncomfortable seating, possible requests for your passport "for safekeeping" , security will want bribes, squat toilets, crazy people, women will likely have problems travelling alone here, "poor people may attack you".
6. Kiev, Ukraine
Why? Security want bribes, too cold, loud and incorrect announcements, poor lighting, "looks like a prison", "looks like a refugee camp", hard seats, squat toilets, cleaners will give you the scrub brush and tell you to clean the bathroom yourself if it is not to your liking.
7. Lagos, Nigeria
Why? Reports of murders, filthy, lack of comfort and facilities, airline workers ask for bribes, knifepoint robberies at the airport, "bottled water" is questionable, rats, little seating, overflowing toilets, immigration officials "kidnap" passports, report of passengers being mugged on the tarmac.
8. Moscow Sheremetyevo, Russia
Why? Poor lighting, dirty, unsafe, small clusters of plastic seating, you have to pay to use the bathrooms, looting of luggage by baggage handlers, metal benches, noisy TVs, awful food, "scariest in the world…[deserving] a new icon of fright", "ghastly place", "Longest night of my life", crowded with mafia types, seats don’t exist, strange characters.
9. Paris Charles de Gaulle, France
Why? CDG is on the verge of becoming the worst airport simply because it is suppose to be a first class airport worthy of a first class city. Instead, even third world nations would reject it. The citizens of France are astonished and ashamed of its poor state. Reasons: dirty, ugly, rude staff, inconvenient, expensive food, plastic seating with armrests, steel benches, noise, mean security, high air-conditioning, homeless people, "What a dump", dogs piss and shit on the floor.
With additional dishonourable mentions to: