The Budget Traveller's Guide to
Sleeping in Airports
This was toughy. I certainly could not narrow it down to just one in this case. First up, everybody please put their hands together for Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), an airport in which one of our contributors witnessed 7 seven being killed in a gang shoot-out. When in Port Moresby, be sure you're wearing your bullet-proof vest and run.
And then there are the airports in the Mid-East and India section where we have received MANY Hellish reviews. As there are so many to choose from, I am also giving the Worst Airport(s) award to the entire country of India who only has one airport rated "good", but only because it was a better alternative to actually sleeping in one of their hotels. Unacceptable seating, foul odours, filth, fleas, safety, and general hassles have resulted in India's 8 year reign of the Worst Airport(s) Title. Travellers beware: when sleeping in one of India's "fine" airports be sure you have your own bug spray, air freshener and disinfectant or just go to the nearest bar and drink the pain away.
Runners up for the Poopy Airport Award go to (in alphabetical order):
Why? Terrorists are strangely attracted to it, most seats have armrests, air-conditioning is bitterly cold even at times when it is not required, chapel locks up at night, lots of security announcements
Why? Dirty, smelly, before check-in seats are uncomfortable (you fare better once you're past security), mosquitoes (make sure your malaria prescription is filled), loud, stench of "feces and urine", security ask for bribes, even Indians don't like passing through this airport
Why? Lots of good reports lately may actually get Cairo off the Worst List, but it won't be seeing a spot on the Best List anytime soon. However, we still fondly remember the reports of rats, dogs, lice, questionable yet expensive food, "immigration here are real asses", bathroom attendants hold people captive when they are not tipped, disgusting bathrooms, foul odors, metal and plastic seats, dirty, insufficient seating, security ask for bribes, passports are taken and are sometimes difficult to retrieve
Chicago O'Hare, Illinois
Why? "Crap", "O'Hell", Uncomfortable hard plastic seats with armrests, often crowded with travellers stranded due to a snow storm, lots of security announcements, air-conditioning too cold (Children's play area is the only place with heat), smells like "feet and broccoli", noise, "long walks" to find food, fluorescent lights buzz continuously
Why? Uncomfortable hard seating with armrests, filthy floor, air-conditioning is too high, smells of insecticide and stale cigarettes, mice, "dozens of Indians will stand over you and stare", used syringes spotted in the bathroom, crowded
Why? Uncomfortable seating, possible requests for your passport "for safekeeping", security will want bribes, squat toilets, crazy people, women will likely have problems travelling alone here, "poor people may attack you"
Why? Security want bribes, too cold, loud and incorrect announcements, poor lighting, "looks like a prison", "looks like a refugee camp", hard seats, squat toilets, cleaners will give you the scrub brush and tell you to clean the bathroom yourself if it is not to your liking
Why? Reports of murders, filthy, lack of comfort and facilities, airline workers ask for bribes, knifepoint robberies at the airport, "bottled water" is questionable, rats, little seating, overflowing toilets, immigration officials "kidnap" passports, report of passengers being mugged on the tarmac,
Moscow Sheremetyevo, Russia
Why? Poor lighting, dirty, unsafe, small clusters of plastic seating, you have to pay to use the bathrooms, looting of luggage by baggage handlers, metal benches, noisy TVs, awful food, "scariest in the world...[deserving] a new icon of fright", "ghastly place", "Longest night of my life", crowded with mafia types, seats don't exist, strange characters
Paris Charles de Gaulle, France
Why? CDG is on the verge of becoming the worst airport simply because it is suppose to be a first class airport worthy of a first class city. Instead, even third world nations would reject it. The citizens of France are astonished and ashamed of its poor state. Reasons: dirty, ugly, rude staff, inconvenient, expensive food, plastic seating with armrests, steal benches, noise, mean security, high air-conditioning, homeless people, "What a dump", dogs piss and shit on the floor