Flying High? Not at These 11 Airports Travelers Around the World Dread The Most

Welcome, fellow travelers, to something we can definitely agree on: airports are no one’s favorite place. Whether you’re heading off on a dream vacation or returning home from the trip of a lifetime, chances are you’ve had your share of frustrating airport experiences.

From long queues to chaotic terminals, these 11 worst airports have etched themselves into the memories of countless travelers in an online forum, making people appreciate those that are, well, not so bad.

1. Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 or NAIA, Manila, Philippines, April 12, 2019, Terminal 3 Is the largest and newest terminal at Manila International Airport complex included the domestic and International airport since 2017 and has the capacity to handle 13 Million international passengers annually with 24 gates and 140 check-in desks
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

Named the 8th worst airport in Asia for passenger queueing times, it’s no surprise that frustrations run high in this airport. According to one forum respondent, “…lineups start on the narrow sidewalk outside the doors and you have to ensure you don’t go off the curb into the path of a taxi.” Its first passenger terminal is equally chaotic, with reports of water dripping and ceiling tiles falling down.

2. Albuquerque International Sunport

Albuquerque International Sunport
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The cleanliness – or lack thereof – was a complaint from a few respondents. One says, “I had an agent asking people to walk through an area near security with no shoes (I had on sandals). It was summer. There were no antimicrobial mats. There was also blood on the floor that hadn’t been cleaned up off to one side. It was like a petri dish for foot fungus. Bathrooms were kinda suspect too.” This airport is in the lead for the worst airport in America.

3. Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport
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One person had a truly awful experience at this airport, describing how they discovered during an extended overnight layover in thirty-seven-degree weather that the airport turned off the heat at night.

4. Charlotte Douglas International Airport

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 1, 2019: Waiting area in Charlotte Douglas International Airport. CLT is the second largest hub for American Airlines with service to 161 domestic and
Image Credit: Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock.

An airport’s layout and design make the difference between a smooth travel experience and an unpleasant one. Someone took exception with this airport’s small, inadequate space: “I was recently stuck at the end of Charlotte‘s C concourse, which feels like it was designed by someone who hates humans and wants them to be uncomfortable. There are at least six gates in this tiny space, and it seemed like all of them were deplaning or boarding at the same time.”

5. Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt, Germany - MARCH 06, 2016 - Frankfurt airport international departure terminal .
Image Credit: SSKSCK/Shutterstock.

For a different respondent, the airport itself wasn’t the problem; the personnel was who they took exception, saying, “No matter what staff I talked to, they treated me like my existence was ruining their day. I have German friends, and I’m aware of the stereotypical German bluntness, but these people were just rude.” Frankfurt is by far one of the worst airports in the world for connections, especially if your flight has to deplane and be bused to the terminal. 

6. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 27, 2015: The main hall inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It is the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic.
Image Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.

Several travelers dislike how far away everything is at this facility. An individual on the thread compared navigating the airport to running a marathon.

7. Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Ataturk airport , Istanbul,Turkey , April 19,2016, people waiting in line to make check-in for their flight and drop-off their luggage.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Denizce.

Located in Istanbul, Turkey, this airport made a less than favorable impression on at least one traveler, who laments that the facility “is both enormous and completely devoid of water fountains, or really much-running water of any kind.

8. Los Angeles International Airport

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, US - Jun 17 2017: Tom Bradley International Airport departure terminal duty free shops in Los Angeles, US
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Martin Valigursky.

A large metropolitan area like Los Angeles would require an equally large airport. The drawn-out distance of the terminals irritated at least one wayfarer, who shared that their flight to San Francisco took less time than it did for them to walk from the entrance to their terminal. LAX is frequently mentioned as one of the worst airports in the US to fly through. 

9. Miami International Airport

Miami, USA - September 21, 2019 - Miami international airport with flags of different countries
Image Credit: Shutterstock/mariakray.

One frequent flyer laments the problems they routinely experience at their home airport, where they’ve had money and expensive electronic devices stolen from their luggage on multiple occasions. They acknowledge flying more than most people, but even so, that’s a lot of stolen valuables.

10. Toronto Pearson International Airport

Toronto, Canada - March 2nd 2018: Modern interior Toronto Pearson International Airport. Contemporary architecture inside of the Toronto Pearson International Airport
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Nadezda Murmakova.

This airport draws some of the most intense responses from vacationers, who express their strong dislike of this airport’s logistics, with one person describing it as “a small city but without any directions. Welcome to Toronto, good luck finding your way out of here.”

11. Sydney Airport

SYDNEY- MAY 17 : Passengers in Departure terminal of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, Sydney, Australia on May 17, 2014. It is the only major airport serving Sydney, and is a primary hub for Qantas.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Tooykrub.

This Australian airport made a negative impression on a visitor, thanks to two-hour delays in customs, which resulted in delayed and missed flights. All of this occurred after they completed an eighteen-hour flight.

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Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.