The 5 Worst Airports in the World

The 5 Worst Airports in the World

By Jaqueline Junginger・Last updated on 15 May 2023

Featured photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

We’ve already covered the world’s best, but what about the not-so-happy end of the list? Let’s take a look at some of the worst airports in the world. This ranking is from our 2022 AirHelp Score, which looked at 138 airports worldwide and considered flight punctuality, the quality of shops and amenities, and customers’ rating.

5. Bristol Airport (BRS)

The fifth worst airport in the world is the UK’s Bristol Airport. It’s a major hub for many of Europe’s low cost carriers, which are also some of the world’s busiest airlines. This means that it gets a huge amount of traffic: in 2019 alone, Bristol Airport handled 8.9 million passengers.

Unfortunately, it ranked particularly low for on-time performance, of 5.98 out of 10. Not good news for passengers.

Customer reviews of the airport flag other issues too. High traffic, along with a lack of staff often leads to long lines at security checkpoints, which reportedly can take upwards of 40 minutes to clear. There is also a lack of seating areas, resulting in lengthy and uncomfortable waits, especially during peak travel seasons.

4. Antalya Airport (AYT)

Antalya Airport in Turkey is one of the fastest growing airports in the world, with passenger numbers increasing by 125% in 2021, handling over 18 million passengers. The growth is driven by tourists traveling to Turkey’s beaches, and gets especially packed in the summer months.

Unfortunately for holiday makers, it also has one of the worst on-time performance scores, just 5.67 out of 10.

In addition to what our data shows, common complaints in customer reviews include long wait times, bottlenecks at security checks, difficulties getting a taxi, and problems with finding where to drop off or reclaim luggage. The airport will need some serious updating to be able to accommodate its increasing number of passengers.

3. London Luton Airport (LTN)

Languishing in 3rd place among the world’s worst airports is yet another from the UK: London Luton Airport.

Another fast growing airport, London Luton is constantly being upgraded, with the goal of increasing handling capacity to 38 million by the end of 2050 — a truly ambitious goal.

However, the changes cannot come fast enough. Our ranking placed it near the bottom due to a poor on-time performance score, but in reviews passengers often complain about how packed and chaotic this airport is, with many experiencing difficulties navigating security checkpoints, checking in their luggage, and a severe lack of staff. During busy travel seasons, travelers also complain about massive queues in front of restaurants and toilets, with very little space to sit down and relax.

2. Lombok International Airport (LOP)

Lombok International Airport in Indonesia is the world’s most delayed airport in the AirHelp Score, with an on-time performance of just 4.97 out of 10.

It is the only fully operational airport in Lombok island, and though it’s a modern, well-maintained airport, passenger reviews mention constant delays, a confusing layout, and problems with heat and humidity which make it an uncomfortable wait for your flight.

1. Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

According to our 2022 AirHelp Score, the Toronto Pearson Airport in Canada ranks worst airport in the world overall, though it’s not quite the most delayed, with 53.3% of flights departing and arriving on time. It also has one of the lowest customer ratings in the score: 6.88 out of 10.

The low rating could be due to how busy it gets. Toronto Pearson Airport is a major passenger and cargo hub. In 2019 alone it handled up to 50.5 million passengers.

In reviews of the airport, passengers report a lot of chaos and confusion, especially if their flight was canceled or delayed. There are also mentions of overcrowding with long queues at security checks, restaurants, and toilets. And some passenger reviews complain of confusing gate placements and cluttered luggage claim areas, making it especially difficult to find your bags.

Hopefully, Toronto Pearson Airport will improve their performance in the coming years and lift themselves out from rankings as the worst airport in the world.

No matter the airport, prepare for flight delays

Navigating a crowded airport is already stressful, and if your flight is delayed, stress levels go through the roof. That’s why it pays to prepare for possible hiccups — be sure to arrive several hours before your flight to accommodate delays in security and check-in, and always keep an eye on announcements for delays or cancellations.

If you’re worried about flight delays and cancellations consider signing up for AirHelp Plus. It’s a great complement to your travel insurance!

Not only will we help you claim compensation for travel disruptions, with the Complete plan, you’ll get lounge access every time you’re delayed over an hour — perfect for avoiding airport overcrowding. Learn more.

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