The 12 Most Horrible Airports Around the World

Travelers make their way through Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey
Unless you’re lucky or rich enough to turn left on the plane, we all know that flying is far from a glamorous business. But it can be intensely irritating too. With personal space at an all-time low and cabin fever setting in, even the smallest things can cause us to see red. Here we countdown our ultimate pet peeves when we’re at 35,000 feet.
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The Most Horrible Airports Around the World

Even with major overhauls, many airports in still resemble shabby bus terminals — or medieval torture chambers.

AirHelp — a website that assists airline passengers who are owed refunds — has scored all the major airports in the world based on flight delays, service quality and customer opinions. These 12 airports are ranked the absolute worst on the planet.## 12. Moscow Domodedovo Airport

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: MOROZ NATALIYA / Shutterstock People stand in line to wrap their luggage at Domodedovo International Airport

Score: 6.46 out of 10

Landing at this international airport — one of the largest in Russia — is like entering a time warp.

The airport workers often do not speak English, the food options are limited and overpriced, and there aren’t enough seats for passengers waiting for their planes. The only place left to sit is on the floor — but there’s a strictly enforced rule against doing that.

To add further inconvenience, the airport is located more than an hour’s drive from Moscow’s city center and its tourist attractions.

11. Newark Liberty International Airport

a group of people in a car: Jonas Larsson / Flickr Chaos at the taxi stand, Newark Liberty International Airport

Score: 6.4 out of 10

Although Newark Liberty has a direct train to Manhattan, getting through the New Jersey airport is a challenge.

Travelers gripe about disorganized terminals, constant delays, overpriced food choices and overly long TSA lines.

One reviewer on Yelp was shocked to find “overflowing trash bins and water leaking from the roof (with no buckets or wet signs).” Another reviewer notes, “This place is INSANE!!!!! I don’t even know how to leave a review. It was just pure chaos.”

10. Eindhoven Airport

a group of people standing in front of a building: Alex Tihonovs / Shutterstock Crowd of people at Eindhoven Airport

Score: 6.39 out of 10

Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands is so tiny that it struggles whenever it has to process passengers and luggage from more than a couple of flights an hour.

The security lines are so long and understaffed that customers may miss their departures.

“Try to avoid this over busy and too unorganized airport,” cautions one Yelper.

9. Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

a large white building: Ivo Antonie de Rooij / Shutterstock Plane waiting for passengers at Bordeaux international Airport

Score: 6.37 out of 10

The Bordeaux-Merignac Airport in the south of France is another small, chaotic airport that seems to exist to torture travelers.

The terminals are so cramped that passengers have to line up just to enter the building, and once inside, there’s barely enough space to stand. There’s one lone sandwich shop, several empty restaurants, and staffers who have clearly had enough of working there.

One traveler writing on the airport’s Facebook page calls the place “unfit for humans,” and adds: “I nearly choked being even close to bathroom, and overpriced food and water — can’t believe the wine is cheaper than water — disgusting!!!”

8. Edinburgh Airport

a group of people standing around a plane: wimala namket / Shutterstock Passengers wait to board their flight, Edinburgh Airport

Score: 6.29 out of 10

Some 3.85 million people a year now visit Edinburgh in Scotland, which is an 18% spike from just five years ago. The airport can’t handle the massive influx of visitors.

Travelers express disappointment over the lack of seating in waiting areas, and confusing or missing signage that can leave you frantically looking for your gate.

“Been travelling through this airport on a regular basis for 30 years and it is worse now than it ever was,” writes one reviewer on

7. Boryspil International Airport

a group of people standing around a plane: Dmitry Birin / Shutterstock Cramming passengers onto a budget flight at Boyospil International Airport

Score: 6.03 out of 10

The lines are long, the services are meager, and the staff can be surly at Ukraine’s Boryspil International.

Visit here, travelers say, and you’ll be scrambling to find a seat and decent food — plus, you’d better bring a magazine, because the Wi-Fi drops every 15 minutes.

A reviewer on AirlineQuality calls the airport “one of the most horrible ones I have seen in my whole life,” partly because of the “unfriendly and sometimes plainly impolite staff.”

6. Manchester Airport

a group of people standing around a bag of luggage: RootsShoots / Shutterstock An evacuation caused baggage claim waiting times to exceed 4 hours at Manchester Airport

Score: 5.95 out of 10

The Manchester Airport in the U.K. is a fiasco from start to finish. Upon arrival, it charges a fee for people who drop off travelers, and the check-in has been compared to the 1950s, with one long line for ticketing and another for baggage drop-off.

One Yelper called out the slow and belabored security process. “Our three carry-ons became 13 trays: one tray for your shoes, one tray for any lip balm … one tray for your actual bag,” and so on.

The best advice? Arrive at the airport three hours before your flight if you plan to make it.

5. Stockholm Bromma Airport

a large body of water with a city in the background: Hans Baath / Shutterstock Incoming flight to the tiny Bromma Airport

Score: 5.91 out of 10

Stockholm’s teeny-tiny domestic airport has friendly staff, and baggage claim and security lines move quickly. But one very real issue is that the place isn’t open overnight.

If you’re stuck waiting for a flight, expect to be (politely) kicked out of the building when it closes. This might not be so bad in the summer, but it could be a real problem in the dead of winter.

Travelers also complain about the limited food offerings and seating, the lack of Wi-Fi and the crowded feeling in the airport’s single, bus-station-like terminal.

4. Paris Orly Airport

a group of people standing in front of a store: Sorbis / Shutterstock The crowded terminal at Orly Airport.

Score: 5.83 out of 10

Because Paris is such a tourist draw, this small airport must deal with tons of visitors — but there aren’t enough seats, and food is limited and expensive.

Flyers also complain about the unfailing rudeness of the security staffers, who reportedly make any and all international travelers feel downright unwelcome in France.

While clear signage is lacking, one Yelper was amused to find that the men’s restroom did have “signs indicating that the urinal water is NOT for drinking.” Is this a problem here?

3. Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport

a car parked on the side of a building: Pablo Garbarino / Flickr New train station at Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport

Score: 5.78 out of 10

From hours-long security lines to an incredibly lengthy car rental process, every step of getting into and out of this French airport is fraught with delays.

Travelers say poor scheduling can result in the security checkpoint, gate area and baggage claim getting jammed when up to six flights arrive or depart at the very same time.

“I have now been sitting on the plane over an hour waiting for people to fight their way through departure security to reach the gate,” writes one reviewer. “What a bunch of complete useless idiots must run this place.”

2. London Stansted Airport

a group of people in a store: Christian Mueller / Shutterstock Packed departure lounge of London Stansted Airport

Score: 5.53 out of 10

This busy budget airport is packed with travelers looking for cheap flights and passage to London. Unfortunately, the building was not designed to handle the massive onslaught of deal-seekers.

One Yelp user saw “rows and rows of people sleeping outside departures to save on a night’s accommodation.”

Many other travelers complain that the narrow airport corridor is crammed with stores and restaurants and feels like a poorly designed shopping mall. One Yelper says Stansted looks cheaply constructed, too, like a “pop-up stand.”

1. Kuwait Airport

a group of people standing in front of a store: Philip Lange / Shutterstock Kuwait's airport hasn't been updated in decades

Score: 5.40 out of 10

Kuwait’s Airport goes down as the worst in modern history, according to the AirHelp study.

Passengers report severely delayed flights that cause missed connections and misplaced luggage. Travelers say the bathrooms are a nightmare, the Wi-Fi is nonexistent, the power sockets dont work and the waiting lounge is a disaster.

One reviewer on says he flew through the airport in 2001 and had a terrible experience. He revisited it 17 years later, expecting to see some refurbishment — only to find that the airport was even worse than before.

The bottom line: If you land in Kuwait’s airport, expect the unexpected — and no apologies, ever.

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