I just stumbled across an article from June, based on a list claiming to list the world’s 20 worst airports. It made me laugh.
First of all, the ranking only measures three criteria, on a scale from 1 to 10: Service, on-time performance and passenger sentiment. The overall score is an average of those three. But what happened to other criteria such as perceived security, transport to/from the airport, level of corruption, number of security checkpoints, level of bureaucracy, availability of wi-fi and average waiting times? Just to pick a few random criteria, I mean. After travelling to approximately 400 airports I should have an idea of what a decent airport feels like.
And of course, it turned out that Airhelp, the company behind this ranking, only ranked 141 airports. No wonder that 17 of the 20 worst airports in the world are in Europe, the world’s wealthiest continent.
What the hell happened to Juba airport, which doesn’t have a terminal building – only a tent, or rather a bunch of semi-connected tarpaulin? Or Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where being able to actually successfully check-in calls for a major celebration, the only problem is that there is nowhere to buy anything liquid to toast with. And let me not forget Kabul, where you will have to go through 9 security check points, several of which are manned by greedy and unfazed personell that will ask for cash, and sometimes demand it, before letting you pass. Then again, at least you can get a coffee at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Don’t get me started, there are dozens and dozens and dozens of worse airports than Arlanda, Boryspil and Stansted out there. Very few of them are in Europe. Many of them are in Africa, Asia and Oceania, at least one is in Antarctica, all continents Airhelp might not even have heard about.
And I don’t mind that a company goes all-in to try get some world-wide PR, but come on! In order to rate the world’s worst airports you might want to have a closer look at a bit more than under 1 percent of the world’s 18,000 or so airports. It’s like naming the world’s best cities without even having visited London, Seoul or Tromsø, or listing the world’s biggest countries but forgetting Russia, Canada and China.
I guess it is all about finding you niche ranking. But please, do a proper job while at it. At least I visited every single country in the world to find out which one has the fewest tourists. Hell, I even ranked all 198 countries.
Nevertheless, here’s the outrageously casually researched list from Airhelp. Without a single airport in Africa, South America, Antarctica, Sout East Asia or Oceania. Enjoy. Just don’t believe a word of it.
20. Geneva Airport, Geneva, Switzerland – 6.7
19. London Gatwick Airport, London, UK – 6.66
18. Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Stockholm, Sweden – 6.62
17. Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik, Iceland – 6.61
16. Toronto Lester B Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada – 6.59
15. John Paul II International Airport Krakow–Balice, Krakow, Poland – 6.56
14. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France – 6.56
13. Berlin Schonefeld Airport, Berlin, Germany – 6.48
12. Moscow Domodedovo Airport, Moscow, Russian Federation – 6.46
11. Newark Liberty International Airport, New York, USA – 6.4
10. Eindhoven Airport, Eindhoven, Netherlands – 6.39
9. Bordeaux-Merignac Airport, Bodreaux, France – 6.37
8. Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh, Scotland – 6.29
7. Boryspil International Airport, Kieve, Ukraine – 6.03
6. Manchester Airport, Manchester, UK – 5.95
5. Stockholm Bromma Airport, Stockholm, Sweden – 5.91
4. Paris Orly Airport, Paris, France – 5.83
3. Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport, Lyon, France – 5.78
2. London Stansted Airport, London, UK – 5.53
1. Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait – 5.40
Kuwait airport is the worst? That is bollocks. You even get decent coffee, free wifi (in the arrival hall) and visa on arrival there.