Ten Of The Most Garbage Airports In The World

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If you have the misfortune of traveling through one of these airports, we’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

We’ve done this before, but it seems that so many airports suck that you just want to vent. That’s fine with us.

10.) Washington-Dulles International Airport


Jalopnik’s own Patrick George remembers this airport fondly from his time in DC:

“When I lived in D.C., conversations with my friends often went like this:

Friend: “Hey man, I’m coming to visit! Can you pick me up at the airport?”

Me: “Great! Of course, can’t wait to see you! Which airport?”

Friend: “Dulles.”


It’s way out of the way, the terminals are spread far apart, and everyone’s rude.


Suggested By: For Sweeden, Photo Credit: Joe Ravi

9.) Philadelphia International Airport


How bad is Philly’s airport? Let BigBlock440 put it in perspective for you:

“My parents fly out of Newark so they don’t have to fly out of Philly.”

Yikes. That’s bad.

Suggested By: BigBlock440, Photo Credit: Getty Images

8.) Frankfurt Airport


With this airport, you’ll get to where you need to be, you just won’t know how. Just enjoy this piece of wisdom about FRA from G8-Volt:

“Just follow the signs. Don’t think. Don’t apply logic. Just follow the sign. You will get to your destination. You might have to go through security 2-3 times, customs, passport control, tunnels, escalators, elevators, stairs and you feel that you have just walked to your final destination. But under no circumstances try to make sense of it. You will only get lost.”


Suggested By: G8-Volt, Photo Credit: Sven Teschke

7.) LaGuardia Airport


Like its fellow NYC-area airports, LaGuardia is hard to get to but not only that, it’s tiny. It was built in the 1930s and is way too small to handle modern aircraft and modern traffic.

Suggested By: itsjustaduststorm, Photo Credit: Getty Images

6.) LAX


One of the busiest airports in the world, in one of the most chronically congested areas in the world, with an incredibly rude staff. To its defense, there’s no way things aren’t going to be crazy there given the circumstances, but that still doesn’t mean I want to fly there.

Suggested By: barbaratowers, Photo Credit: Getty Images

5.) Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila


You think Newark is bad? Try Ninoy Aquino International in Manila. Reader jonnybimmer can tell you:

“Firstly, you need to pay to use the airport. I’m not talking about paying for it like a normal airport though, with the cost included with each flight ticket. I’m talking about a “departure tax” the moment after you walk through the door, like you’re buying a ticket to see a show. Hope you didn’t get rid of all of your cash yet.

Secondly, be prepared for very limited convinces. At the Terminal 2 which is where I was departing from, there were two concession stands with the entire stock visible from the counter. It’s an entirely what-you-see-is-what-you-get situation and yes, whatever it is you wanted is probably already sold out. Outlets (roughly 20 of them for the entire terminal) were limited to a few tables most likely already filled with early campers. Internet? Strong enough to show a signal but not enough to send any data, like all it had to do was exist so they can truthfully claim they had Wifi.

Thirdly, and this was the biggie for me, security. Not lack thereof, but the excessiveness of it all. Admittedly, bombing is a very real threat in the Philippines, Manila in particular which has had its fair share of threats/attacks in recent time. So I understand that they’re going to be on edge and heavy-handed. However, after going through three security check points (one to enter the building, one after paying for departure tax where the normal TSA would be, and one within the waiting area right before a roped off area in front of the gate) I was informed I’d have to toss my soda. Not one that I cleverly smuggled past the first two check points. The unopened one that I bought from the gift stand in the waiting area and that I had a receipt for. I understand they’re concerned for very real threats, but they’re so paranoid they don’t even trust the goods they sell inside the airport itself, right in front of the security’s eyes. No, really, I was watching the xray scanner’s screen while I made the purchase. Oh, and that half used 0.85 oz travel toothpaste? That’s gotta go too. Can’t be too safe.”


Suggested By: jonnybimmer, Photo Credit: Mattun0211

4.) Jomo Kenyatta International Airport


This airport in Narobi, Kenya is bad for an uncontrollable circumstance, but bad nevertheless. Reader iCowboy can tell you about it:

“A couple of years ago the main international terminal burned down, so international flights were pushed through the old domestic terminal. If you’re arriving or leaving, it’s not much more hassle than any other airport, but if you’re changing planes you can expect to spend five or six very long hours either freezing to death or steaming gently in a long corridor with a couple of bathrooms, a coffee shop at either end and a few extremely hard seats handling 300-400 seat airliners.

It’s not fun. Fortunately a new terminal is being built which should change things for the better.”


Suggested By: iCowboy, Photo Credit: Public Domain

3.) O’Hare International Airport


O’Hare is easily the most hated airport in the US. If you’re traveling through here, plan for delays.

Suggested By: onrails, Photo Credit: Getty Images

2.) Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos


After reading MD-GTI’s story about the airport in Lagos, you won’t ever complain about a reckless cab driver speeding their way to JFK:

“My parents worked for an embassy in Lagos over the course of 3 years. I would visit 1-2x per year and the experience never changed. Land and you are immediately greeted by chaos, humidity and the recognition that you are a very small minority is a sizable nation. The last point is made clear to you when you start hearing cat calls of Oyibo (loosely translated as skinless person/leper) echo down the hall as you walk to immigration. Where because we were diplomatic we bypassed the clusterfuck of bribery and outright robbery that happens before you even leave the airport.

Once out of the airport you are escorted by 4-6 armed men to a convoy of 3 bullet proof vehicles (usually Toyota/Nissan or US SUVs). PS the guys carrying the guns do not give you even the slightest sense of security as they are in their late teens/early 20s with no formal training. Once in the vehicle you rocket into the city going the wrong way on highways, driving on sidewalks and with your escort pointing their weapons at any car that approaches us.

The way out is even better with the scenario described above and the following two tidbits:

  1. You get dropped off before 9pm, no matter when your flight leaves because it is too dangerous to go to the airport at night.
  2. The 4 lane highway to the airport has purposely been destroyed to reduce traffic to a bottle neck where armed gangs pull over cars at their whim and, if you are lucky, rob you...if you are unlucky a lot worse happens fairly regularly.”

Suggested By: MD-GTI, Photo Credit: Aadeybayo

1.) Charles De Gaulle


Don’t try to catch a connecting flight at CDG. It won’t happen. Stop trying to make it happen.

Also, good luck if you don’t speak French.

Suggested By: amarnagirl13, Photo Credit: Dmitry Adeev

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Getty Images


Contact the author at chris@jalopnik.com.