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Naia no longer rated world’s worst airport

/ 12:26 AM October 20, 2015
NAIA FILE PHOTO

NAIA FILE PHOTO

NINOY Aquino International Airport (Naia) has apparently gotten a little better and is now ranked eighth among Asia’s Terrible 10, an improvement from No. 3 last year.

The improvement was due in part to decongesting and cleaning up Naia’s Terminal 1 and introducing Wings Transit Lounge in Terminal 3, according to the Guide to Sleeping in Airports website.

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Naia was the world’s worst airport from 2011 to 2013.

The 2015 list of the worst Asian airports was posted over the weekend on the Guide to Sleeping in Airports website.

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Traffic congestion

Based on the review of travelers surveyed by the website, which offers tips to budget-minded flyers, what has kept Naia on Asia’s Terrible 10 list is the challenge posed by moving between terminals.

The guide cited an observation of one traveler on the scarcity of shuttle buses, often stuck in hourlong traffic between terminals and the unavailability of taxis resulting in long passenger queues.

“Rehabilitation efforts have helped decongest and clean up Naia Terminal 1, and the introduction of things like Wings Transit Lounge in Terminal 3 ha[ve] helped make things more comfortable, albeit for a price,” the website said.

Room for improvement

“That said, things like leaking ceilings in Terminal 1 and collapsing floors in Terminal 2 show that there is still room for improvement,” it pointed out.

“Passengers remain annoyed by the poor customer service, the long queues, the sub-par food selection, the lack of rest rooms and the crowded seating areas. There is definitely a long way to go but we’re thrilled to see improvements come along bit by bit,” it concluded.

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The survey was based on the “overall airport experience,” including the friendliness of airport workers, terminal facilities and services, cleanliness and comfort of travelers.

Asia’s worst

The website listed Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal as Asia’s worst.

The airport was described as resembling “a bus station” and was said to have rest rooms in a poor state. But the website cited recent events that could have affected the airport, such as the earthquake that devastated the country in April.

Other airports on the website’s worst 10 list include Tashkent’s International Airport in Uzbekistan (No. 2); Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan (No. 3); Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam (No. 4); Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Pakistan (No. 5); Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport in China (No. 6); Chennai’s (Madras) International Airport in India (No. 7); Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh (No. 9); and Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka (No. 10).

World’s worst

Port Harcourt International Airport in Nigeria has been adjudged the world’s worst airport, while Changi International Airport in Singapore is the world’s best, according to the website.

Port Harcourt International Airport “should also win the title of most corrupt airport in the world,” the website said.

“The terminal’s unpleasant and unhelpful staff help to earn it this trifecta of atrocious awards. With virtually no seating, broken air-conditioning and a tent for an arrivals hall, it was a struggle for many voters to pass the minimum required amount of time here.”

It did cite as good news recent renovations undertaken at the terminal.

The Guide to Sleeping in Airports started in 1996 and is the brainchild of Donna McSherry.

The website was previously named Budget Traveler’s Guide to Sleeping in Airports and was initially made up of McSherry’s airport sleeping tips and reviews of the airports in Dublin, Frankfurt and Geneva.

The website started to grow when other travelers started contributing their reviews as well as useful and practical information on the world’s airports.

MIAA reaction

Sought for comment, David de Castro, spokesperson for the general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), said the airport authority welcomed the findings of the Guide to Sleeping in Airports website.

“Being removed from the world’s list (as worst airport) reflects the major improvements done at Naia,” De Castro said in a text message to the Inquirer.

“We do recognize that there are still areas for improvement. Management is on top of these as it strives to better its services and facilities,” he added.

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