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Airports that Suck !!


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#41 meister

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:49 AM

http://www.avoiddela...al-airports.asp

Interesting link there...
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#42 pdksca

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 05:08 AM

The Manila airport in the Philippines can be scary. On one dive trip, a bunch of us were herded to the wrong gate, with our luggage (not checked yet). At the last minute told we had to 'run' for the plane in another area of the airport.

We ran, literally, chasing an airline employee - and carrying all of our as yet unchecked luggage. When we got to the plane, they had us climb on WITH ALL OF OUR LUGGAGE. That included, of course, a wide selection of big scary dive knives.


This was pre-9/11. But not THAT long ago.
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#43 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 09:41 AM

The best thing to do when flying out of NAIA (Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport) is to get there at least 3 if not 4 hours before your flight, especially if you're flying coach. The only reason they rush you through to a gate is they think you're not going to make your flight. I had the same problem but this happened in Narita. The gate agent rushed us through everything and we got to the right gate...but no airplane...it had left 15 minutes earlier (our flight was over 2 hours late)

In NAIA, security is slow and you have to go through immigration as well. Hopefully if they open Terminal 3 it won't be as bad. If you have a b-class or higher ticket you will go through faster, or if your mileage program lets you do business class check in then you breeze through as well.

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Edited by scubastu, 15 April 2008 - 09:45 AM.

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#44 PIG004

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 10:14 AM

Never had any problems with Manila and I've flown through there dozens of times.
Manado though did annoy me though. Paid for business class and couldn't find a trolley to put my 70 lbs worth of luggage and dive gear on!
By the time I got to the check in counter I needed another shower.

Hate the security at heathrow especially the idiots that made me check in my empty laptop bag as it was about 1/2 inch bigger than the allowed size. Had to carry my lappy under my arm..............Grrrr

Edited by PIG004, 15 April 2008 - 10:14 AM.


#45 secretsea18

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:47 PM

Never had any problems with Manila and I've flown through there dozens of times.
Manado though did annoy me though. Paid for business class and couldn't find a trolley to put my 70 lbs worth of luggage and dive gear on!
By the time I got to the check in counter I needed another shower.

Hate the security at heathrow especially the idiots that made me check in my empty laptop bag as it was about 1/2 inch bigger than the allowed size. Had to carry my lappy under my arm..............Grrrr



After traveling to/from Manila for the last 10 years, it is a dream compared to any of the three airports I visited in the last two days in INDIA.
Bombay, Chennai and Port Blair all top every airport I have visited as hand-down losers. :rolleyes: Yesterday in Bombay, as I was boarding my NW flight to Amsterdam, I was told I had to go down on the tarmac to unlock my check-in luggage. In the dark, I removed my TSA lock (had to get a torch to see) and they proceeded to search my luggage at the bottom of the jetway. I had no idea what they were looking for, and neither did they! Oh and the fact that no domestic flights have jetways, are all bus gates, you are deplaned into the non secure part of the airport and must proceed through security at every airport for your connecting flight, get separated from your carryons (if you are a female) and get groped at least once at each airport in a crush of passengers. Such joy....

#46 randyj

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 01:00 PM

Miami in our books. Flew in, went to our gate with 30 minutes to waste, got something to eat and found they switched gates to other side of airport. As we ate on the fly, got to the gate with a little time to spare to find that they switched it back to the original gate. All this during their construction upgrade made for a wonderful precursor for the San Juan, PR airport.

#47 Halabriel

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 09:01 AM

MIA has my vote as the worst, mainly because everytime I go near the place I get pulled by Homeland Security.

I have a full UK passport, and a valid US visa...but my passport was issued in Swaziland (Mozambique/S.Africa area of the world). I can travel anywhere in the world without problem - EXCEPT MIA where I am guaranteed to spend 2 hours in secondary passport holding area. I never even travel to the USA as such, I live in Bermuda and if I want to travel Caribbean or S.America I have to transit via the US.

I am going to Roatan in July, and seriously considered booking my tickets via Toronto, just to avoid MIA. Currently I have routed via Atlanta...which brings me to ATL as an airport teetering on the brink of disaster. It is a lovely shopper friendly place where spending 5 hours connecting can go in a breeze. However it is so busy with air traffic, that a slight problem snowballs and the whole thing collapses with little provocation.

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#48 DesertEagle

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:05 PM

Miami is a mixed bag. Endless security lines but at least they don't get snow. I had the misfortune of flying through Detroit last winter. We got rerouted twice and my luggage didn't make it to a business meeting. I was lucky that I carried a change of clothes in my carry-on. On the plus side, the new terminal is nice.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Atlanta. What a pain in the ass.

Hurghada is an interesting experience. The first thing I noticed was a single soldier on the tarmac with an AK-47. This flight was 7 years ago. On our return, the check-in line took forever. For whatever reason the computers weren't working (if they had them). Everything was done on paper.
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#49 Captsaaz

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:10 AM

I'd add Miami as the worst experience I ever had. I avoid it if possible.. a.k.a. I'll pay more not to have to go thru there.
LGA I understand the fact that everything is an hour late. Too many planes in a small, commuter airport. I hate San Juan airport.. if you are coming back to the US, the customs and immigration is miles thru long corridors just to wind up back where you were.

Is there anyone that knows LAX. I haven't had any problems.. just every time we land, we pull close to the gate and then get the announcement... there will be a short delay as due to federal requirements, we have to have a tug pull us into the gate. What federal requirement? No other airport in the world I've flown in to does this.

#50 pxguru

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:21 AM

I "forgot" to check in my dive knife at MIA 15 years ago..my how I laughed when they opened my bag and pulled out a solid 8 inches! Its still a miserable airport tho.

Least fave airports - Mumbai and Heathrow (yes..I put them in the same category, not least because whenever I'd transfer thru LHR they'd *always* lose the bag - I had a girlfriend who worked for BA in Asia and she swore that LHR was the worst baggage offender, corroborated by her friends who worked for TG, CX, etc).

We are spoiled here in Asia for good airports -KLIA, Changi (although its pretty old and 2nd division now compared with most others), Incheon, Chep Lap Kok, Subvarnabhumi.... Sydney is pretty poor though as the gateway to Oz...only place I've seen two unfortunate buggers die of heart attacks while waiting for their luggage after (presumably) long haul flights in economy - err correction - saw the same in Houston last year. Sad, but true.
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#51 bvanant

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 09:55 AM

I "forgot" to check in my dive knife at MIA 15 years ago..my how I laughed when they opened my bag and pulled out a solid 8 inches! Its still a miserable airport tho.

Least fave airports - Mumbai and Heathrow (yes..I put them in the same category, not least because whenever I'd transfer thru LHR they'd *always* lose the bag - I had a girlfriend who worked for BA in Asia and she swore that LHR was the worst baggage offender, corroborated by her friends who worked for TG, CX, etc).

We are spoiled here in Asia for good airports -KLIA, Changi (although its pretty old and 2nd division now compared with most others), Incheon, Chep Lap Kok, Subvarnabhumi.... Sydney is pretty poor though as the gateway to Oz...only place I've seen two unfortunate buggers die of heart attacks while waiting for their luggage after (presumably) long haul flights in economy - err correction - saw the same in Houston last year. Sad, but true.

LAX gets my vote, although I agree with Cor that Heathrow is up there. LAX might be a great place to connect from, good food in some terminals but if you live here and want to go to the Pacific it is a nightmare. Very long lines at the counter, then you turn around and get in an even longer line for baggage x-ray that is right out in the middle of the terminal. Usually only one x-ray line is open and the TSA guys really don't care about doing their job.

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#52 SimonSpear

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 11:06 AM

I'll stick up for Heathrow - or at least I'll stick up for T5. I've been through there 7 or 8 times now since it opened and it has been a pleasant experience every time, even if you can't get into the BA lounges (which are very very nice if you can). I can't stick up for T1 or T2 though as they suck and deserve to be demolished, which is pretty much what's going to happen to anyway.

As for worst airports? MIA, JFK, CAI all spring to mind. I think MIA and JFK would be ok if they sacked everyone who worked there and replaced them with people who can actually talk to customers without resorting to snarls. CAI on the other hand is just downright nasty. In Europe Paris CDG is just an awful horrible place and to be avoided if at all possible. It amazes me that people slate Heathrow and never seem to mention CDG which is far worse.

Best airport ever? Koh Samui. Oh what a joy it would be if all airports were like that..

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#53 Drew

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 02:19 PM

So what criteria are we bitching about anyways?
Lost/stolen luggage? LAX is tops by miles. I've lost loads of stuff (housings, lenses, suits, shoes) over the years of flying out of there. I think it's still ranked as number 1 by TSA for most claims for lost/stolen/damaged luggage. It got seriously worse after 9/11.

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#54 Giles

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 05:13 AM

There is no criteria Drew, It was just an idea to share your least liked airports and say why. Everyone travels differently so different things affect different people.

I can't say lost or stolen luggage has ever been an issue for me, touch wood, but some airports win just due to the way they were designed and the way they are used.

USA has a huge problem with security, it's just shockingly laborious, and that is highlighted in MIA for me as I use it the most, NYC in general is ok with it's security techniques. But JFK sucks as all the damn shops close at 5pm so you can't even get a drink if you are laid over for a few hours. Oh but there is a vending machine for ipods and PSP's .. oh so very usefull!

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#55 biminitwist

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:43 AM

Living in Ft Lauderdale we have flown out of MIA a few times and it was always an adventure. Last time we were told they had to wrap our checked on bags in plastic wrap to ensure no one opened them and oh it was $5 a bag to do so, hand it over. Next week my wife and I are flying Continental to LAX (mercifully from Lauderdale). Because Air Pacific cancelled our original flight, Continental moved our flights up to the first flights of the day for the new date. This will give us an 11 hour layover in LAX prior to our AP flight to Nadi. That should be plenty of time to recover our luggage (God willing). We were thinking of paying to hang out at the American Lounge till we rechecked our bags with Air Pacific. Would welcome any advice. LAX sounds bad. Great thread. John

Edited by biminitwist, 01 June 2009 - 07:44 AM.


#56 AllisonFinch

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:21 AM

My airport from hell is Brisbane in Australia!! The building is beautiful, but the people who check you through to either PNG or Indonesia are like pitbulls with hemorrhoids!! EVERY, and I mean EVERY time I fly through there they give me problems with my baggage and photogear. The even confiscate questionable small photo tools.

#57 eyu

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 06:36 AM

I agree, traveling through Cairns and Brisbane, Australia SUCKS. The security personnel must be trained by the Gestapo. They tear your camera equipment apart and make you pay extra baggage charges if your carry-on is over 7 kg.

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#58 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 06:44 AM

MIA - never got to experience too much of it as immigration decided to arrest me the one time I was stupid enough to transit through there - eventually after five hours they put me on to my connecting flight.

The old Cairo terminal was right up there on the terrible list - I used to compare flying out of there to the fall of Saigon. Certainly you gave a big sigh of relief when your plane finally took off.
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#59 oneyellowtang

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:53 PM

Flown through almost every airport in India multiple times (for work) - all have challenges for domestic, and international isn't much better - however, there is absolutely NOTHING in the world that compares to the experience of landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi at 1AM and have the masses of humanity press in on you when you step outside. It's unmatched...

How about the airport that is never used?

Christmas Island (Kiribati) has two airports (airport is misleading - these are nothing but landing strips) - the one the US built is used for the weekly flights (when they fly), but the one w/the larger runway (on the other side of the island) built by the British is right in the migratory path of the Boobies - they nest, mate, and shit all over the runway... 0,000's of birds... all day long (the runway has been unused for decades).

I agree Changi in Singapore is great (how about for the fact they encourage that you venture out to shop or go eat black pepper crab on even a short stopover). KLIA is an empty husk - it's a Changi wanna-be... HK is nice, although the old airport had so much character... surprisingly disappointing - the airport in Dubai - they could have done so much better.

For kicks - who remembers the old Chuuk or Pohnpei airports? Buzzing the coral runway in a 727 to scare the animals off in Chuuk was always fun, and Pohnpei was just a shack (and no way of telling when the plane was coming... and sometimes it didn't... for days if the weather in Tokyo was bad).

#60 tdpriest

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:01 AM

LAX is definitely brutal on many fronts...


LAX gets my vote: what possible excuses can there be for an American airport to be so bad?

I had to sleep on a pavement outside Honolulu airport on the way back from Bikini, as the airport closed between one flight and the next...

Port Sudan is pretty fundamental, but the random timetable of Sudan Air makes it really special.

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