From 5th worst, NAIA-1 now world’s worst airport

by David Dizon,

Posted at Oct 18 2011 03:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2011 05:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 has fallen into disrepute and is now ranked the world’s worst airport due to poor facilities, bribery and security concerns, according to an interactive website.  

The Guide to Sleeping in Airports ( said NAIA Terminal 1, which was ranked the 5th worst airport in the world and the worst in Asia last year, is in bad shape compared to the much newer NAIA Terminal 3. It noted that a portion of the ceiling of the NAIA Terminal 1 caved in last May.

“Bribery and theft exists. Airport taxes are collected, but the money does not seem to go towards the betterment of the airport. Document holders have been told their papers are not correct, but a fee of x amount should clear up the matter,” the website noted.

The website said airport officials promised to clean up NAIA-1 toilets and provide running water and soap after a spot of bad press. It said the terminals are lacking services such as left luggage and pay-in lounges for transit passengers.

“Forget about sleeping in this airport! You will not want to even close your eyes here!” the website noted.

However, it said a big plus for the 30-year-old terminal is the free WiFi in the "passenger movement" areas.

Based on poll votes, user reviews

The website said it ranks the world's least favorite airports based on poll votes and user reviews for reasons such as safety concerns, lack of comfortable seating, rude staff, hostile security, poor facilities, few services to pass the time, bribery and being kicked out or other hassles of being in the airport.

The NAIA Terminal 1 was completed in 1981 and had a size of 67,000 square meters with a design capacity of 4.5 million passengers per year. It was originally named the Manila International Airport and then renamed after the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. in 1987.

The terminal has been a frequent target of criticism with travelers who say it is congested and filthy.

The NAIA-1 was ranked lower than some airports such as the Paris Beauvais, Reykjavik Keflavik, Frankfurt Hahn, London Lutton and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  

Not-so-pleasant experiences

Several reviews on the website gave their not-so-pleasant experiences in the Philippines’ first international airport.

User Monette said she lost her cellphone between the drop-off at the entrance and the security check after someone slashed the side pocket of her handbag with a sharp knife.

“I mentioned it to the PNP officer and he referred me to an airport policeman. This guy had the guts to suggest that I go to the lost and found office and check if they found it. Long story short, he didn't even get my name and address to file a report and was just saying: ma'am there are many thieves in this airport. Just look after your belongings!" the review said.

Another reviewer, livingabroad, commented that he had seen airport workers trying to pocket trinkets and phones from bags while not allowing passengers near their belongings.

The same reviewer also noted that a concession stand at the gates was selling bottles of water that had already been opened and reused with broken seals “and they pretended to break the seal on the bottles when selling.”

User shizumasa said he had travelled to many airports and stayed overnight in some of them, “but nothing compares to the experience at NAIA. In short, it’s a horrible waste of time and you should all hold on to your wallets as tightly as possible.”

“I especially advise any foreign travellers to avoid this airport, the amount of corruption and bribery is just mind blowing.”