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Worst Airports in Asia (2012)

Date: October 15, 2012

We asked travellers to tell us the worst airports to spend long delays and/or sleep in overnight (due to being stranded by flight cancellations or travelling low budget). Here are the airports (or terminals) that received the highest number of negative votes and feedback in the SleepingInAirports 2012 Best & Worst Airports survey.

When you are done here, visit the Best Airports in Asia. are looking at old survey results. Check out the 2014 Worst Airports!

1. Manila NAIA (Terminal 1)

manila terminal 2
Terminal 2 Airport Sleeper (we don't have any Terminal 1 Sleeper Photos)

There was lack of seat, but I slept on the floor on my own camping mattress." - Urban Nomad

With its collapsing ceilings, overcrowding, rampant bribery, and taxi drivers scamming travellers on fares, its easy to understand why "disappointed" and "unbelievable" are just a few of the words travellers use to describe Manila's Terminal 1.

After the honour of winning last year's "Worst Airport in the World" title, authorities were impressively quick to start releasing some of the airport tax money for improvements on the struggling terminal. A rehabilitation project began in January 2012. Judging by the thousands of people who sent us their feedback and voted in the polls, these improvements can't be finished fast enough.

In the meantime, travellers continue to complain about the long and numerous queues that begin outside the terminal.   Once inside, there will be no time for naps and certainly no place for quiet rest and enjoyment as you'll be busy going through various queues for the next few hours as you proceed to your gate.

While the terminal does have a VIP lounge and Day room for transiting passengers, Terminal 1 is not for sleeping. The overnight sleeper awaiting early morning flights should go to Terminals 2 and 3 where there is armrest-free seating (landside). Terminal 3 is very clean and modern, but it is not operating to full capacity.

at this airport you have to have your itinerary to enter the terminal. i forgot it that day and so the police said if i give him 10 USD he'll let me in." - beaniebaby

If you are transiting to another terminal, the shuttle bus departs when there are enough people on the bus to make the journey worthwhile. If you are in a hurry, you'll probably end up taking a taxi, but look out for meter tampering as some drivers rig their meters with a gadget called a batingting that speeds up the meter and increases your fare. To the airport's credit they did crack down on this practice in March.

More disconcerting are the number of reports we've received indicating officers asking for cash payments to expedite normal procedures.  Shame!

In Summary: Use Terminals 2 and 3 when possible.

Traveller Complaints: (Anything and everything) Poor Transit Facilities • Queues • Bribery • Crowded • Insufficient Seating • Delays receiving bags on belt • Poor quality restaurants • Taxi Scams

Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Pay Lounges ($) • Prayer Rooms

Visit our Manila Airport Guide


2. Mumbai

There is security on the terminal doors and you are not allowed in until just before your check-in opens. I arrived 6 hours early for a BA flight and was turned away." - Lanchoppy

Traveller Complaints: Dirty Bathrooms • Insufficient Seats

Services/Facilities: Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Prayer Rooms Hotel at the airport ($)

Visit our Mumbai Airport Guide


3. Islamabad

islamabad airport

You should be aware that if you arrive too early for your flight you will not be allowed into the airport and will have to wait outside (not much fun at 38c)." - a traveller

Traveller Complaints: Bribes • Dirty Toilets

Services/Facilities: Prayer Rooms • Pay-in Lounge ($)

Visit our Islamabad Airport Guide


4. Singapore Budget Terminal

The budget terminal here was much worse than the massive one at neighbouring Kuala Lumpur. I understand the need to cut down costs for airlines, but do they really need to remove nearly everything? At the check-in area, it was simply a warehouse with only desks, nothing else. - samuel95

Oh well, no airport is perfect. This terminal handled budget airlines before it closed in September. Changi will be building Terminal 4 to add to its already impressive collection of 5-star terminals.

Traveller Complaints: Crowded • Noisy

Services/Facilities: unknown

Visit our Singapore Changi Airport Guide


5. Kolkata

When we entered the waiting hall we realize that we were two of about 100 people waiting out the night in the airport. The seating was 'airport seating' with hard padded benches partitioned by metal arm rests. So, we slept sitting up. The lights remained on all night and we had to dawn our jackets (in India??) because the AC was quite cold. The sleep was intermittent and not very long." - Mur the Explorer

Traveller Complaints: Dirty Toilets • Poor Food Options • Noise (different TVs blaring different programs in departure lounge)

Services/Facilities: Luggage Storage ($) • Pay-in Lounge ($) • Retiring Room ($)

Visit our Kolkata Airport Guide


6. Jakarta

jakarta airport

We slept on departures level on big wide wooden slatted benches. I got 4 hrs sleep and the experience and money we saved was worth the hassle. Not dangerous at all. Lots of families doing the same!" - linaworldwide

Traveller Complaints: "Scary" Old and Dark Domestic Terminal • Dirty Toilets • Overcrowded

Services/Facilities: Pay-in Lounges ($)

Visit our Jakarta Airport Guide


7. Hanoi

Chairs were non-existent to rare. The place is similar to a bus station. Don't think you can sleep here. When you go outside, overpriced taxis will be waiting for you." - pinaytraveler

Traveller Complaints: Insufficient Seats •Taxi scams • Safety concerns

Services/Facilities: unknown

Visit our Hanoi Airport Guide


8. Chennai

chennai airport

Security would only let me into the Visitor's gallery because my departure wasn't within 3 hours. The gallery was cold and the chairs designed specifically with metal separators so you couldn't lie across. The gallery did, however, feel safe and there was a kiosk open and people around all night." - sophcotton

Traveller Complaints: No air-conditioning • Insufficient Seating • Dirty Bathrooms • Crowded

Services/Facilities: Free WiFi (in the lounges) • Pay-in Lounges ($)

Visit our Chennai Airport Guide


9. Kuala Lumpur LCCT

It's a barebones basic low cost budget terminal. No frills. I'd advise turning up as late as possible or dying from the sheer tedium of the place! There's a fairly good choice of food outlets and a hidden food court (walk past the buses). It's a packed airport, clearly no one was spending money on architects as it's just a huge square." - 5ftman

Traveller Complaints: Crowded • Sense of Disorganization • Noise

Services/Facilities: Free WiFi Pay-In Lounges ($)

Visit our Kuala Lumpur International Airport Guide


10. Bali

chairs were non existent there's like 10 every few 20-100 meters, the departure gates looked like it was old and smelled..Hopefully the new International Airport in 2013 will be better." - EnvyFX

Traveller Complaints: Old Building • Uncomfortable Seats • Mosquitoes • Lack of Air-Conditioning

Services/Facilities: Pay-in Lounges ($)

Visit our Bali Airport Guide



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