World's worst airports
Each year, Skytrax, a travel research and consulting firm, rates the world’s airports and comes up with a list of the top 10, based on travellers’ feedback. The top 3 airports are in Asia and I guess Singapore and Hongkong would be in that group. The European airports that made the list include Munich at No. 4, Zurich at No. 6, Amsterdam Schiphol at No. 7 and Madrid Barajas at No. 10. U.S. airports did not make the list at all, surprise, surprise. We were at Washington Dulles Airport last summer and were surprised and disappointed at how basic and unfriendly this airport was. Being in the capital, we foolishly thought that it would be a much better grade airport than what we saw. It was was packed to the rafters and had very facilities. We were glad to be out of there as quickly as our flight would take off.
Last month, an IHT correspondent decided to do his own version of the survey, but this time focusing on the 10 worst European airports. His non-scientific approach involved polling his fellow frequent travellers, over a two month period, on airplanes, in security lines and at taxi ranks.
Hands down, London Heathrow was voted the worst, according to 100 percent of his respondents and I couldn’t agree more. Our several transfers through LHR in the past two years have given us the dreads about this airport and given a choice, we would prefer to not fly through Heathrow. We appreciate that London is a target of terrorism and there is a need for higher security, however one would have thought that if things were less chaotic, that there’d be less room for intending terrorists to blend in the chaos to carry out their evil deeds.
As one American businessman said “Heathrow is horrible!”. Where else in the world do you see placards at airline counters telling passengers that the staff are not there to be yelled at. If things are so bad, then why don’t they improve conditions so that passengers can have a better customer experience and staff don’t cop unnecessary abuse from disgruntled passengers .. or is this being too sensible a suggestion?
Charles de Gaulle came in a close second and Leonardo da Vinci at Fiumicino and the Frankfurt airport won dishonorable mentions as well. One wonders with all the massive airport taxes and myriad of other taxes, why are conditions getting so bad at international airports. So, if you’re flying through any of these airports, brace yourself and anything positive will then be a bonus.