NAIA no longer 'world's worst airport'


Posted at Oct 16 2014 06:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2014 09:42 PM

MANILA – After being tagged the "world's worst airport" for three straight years, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) improved its ranking in the 2014 edition of the Worst Airports list.

The Manila airport dropped to fourth place on the list, compiled through a survey by review website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.

According to the site, the survey still showed the same travelers’ complaints over the NAIA-Terminal 1, such as “overcrowding, lengthy queues, limited seating, unfriendly immigration/customs officers and smelly toilets.”

It also noted the poor ventilation in the terminal due to defective air conditioning systems, making it “Asia’s largest public sauna” during the summer season.

However, the site noted that things are starting to look good as rehabilitation work at the Terminal 1 finally started this year.

“All news was not grim at NAIA-1 this year. After last year’s survey results, the newly refurbished day rooms reopened,” it said.

It added that efforts to decongest the airport are underway, citing the transfer of several international airlines to Terminal 3 as well as the inclusion of terminal taxes on international tickets.

The site warned, however, that long lines in Terminal 1 may continue to be a problem, suggesting to travelers to exert an effort to book flights using Terminal 3 as much as possible.

“Consider this a firm recommendation to do all that you can to fly on airlines that use Terminal 3 rather than Terminal 1 – particularly if your time at Manila NAIA is looking long,” it said.

NAIA-1 is currently undergoing rehabilitation and will be completed by the first quarter of 2015.

Taking NAIA’s spot as the world’s worst airport this year is Pakistan’s Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which the site compared to “a central prison” because of its “crowds (and absence of crowd control), the pervasive corruption, the aggressive-yet-inconsistent security checks, and the overall lack of cleanliness and technology.”

According to the site, the annual survey is based on traveler feedback in terms of “services, amenities, sleep-ability and at times, good-old-kindness” and how limited an airport fared in the four C’s of airport travel: comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service.

Another website, Cheat Sheet, recently tagged NAIA as one of the world’s worst airports because of its “rundown facilities, impolite staff and officials, and long wait times."