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NAIA ranked 5th worst airport in Asia

A survey released by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” said travelers’ complaints include the tanim bala scheme that victimized NAIA passengers by planting a bullet in their luggage and then demanding money to “fix” the offense, frequent power outages, poor air-conditioning, lack of seats and complicated terminal transfers. RUDY SANTOS, file

MANILA, Philippines – The tanim bala (bullet planting) scheme prevalent at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last year placed the country’s main gateway again among the worst airports in Asia, in fifth place.

This was three notches worse from last year’s eighth rank, according to a travel website.

A survey released by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” said travelers’ complaints include the tanim bala scheme that victimized NAIA passengers by planting a bullet in their luggage and then demanding money to “fix” the offense, frequent power outages, poor air-conditioning, lack of seats and complicated terminal transfers.

Four Philippine airports, on the other hand, made it to the list of 30 best airports in the region.

These are the Iloilo International Airport, which placed 12th; Mactan-Cebu International Airport in 14th spot; Clark International Airport at 15th and Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport, 26th.

“Survey respondents were quick to let us know when things at the airports were not going well,” the website noted.

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With major renovations implemented at the country’s main international gateway, the NAIA – for the second consecutive year – was not included in the world’s list of worst airports.

The NAIA was ranked world’s worst airport in 2011 and 2013, and was also named worst in Asia in 2012.

“Some travelers noted improvements in the airport structure and facilities such as cleaner bathrooms, more chairs and some general organization of taxis in front of the terminal,” the travel website said.

Topping the list of the worst airports in Asia is Uzbekistan’s Tashkent International Airport, followed by Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport, Pakistan’s Bacha Khan International Airport and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Following NAIA on the list are Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Pakistan, Chennai International Airport in India, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China, Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh and Siem Reap International Airport in Cambodia.

Singapore’s Changi International Airport topped the list of best airports in the world as well as in Asia, followed by Seoul Incheon International Airport in South Korea and Tokyo Haneda International Airport in Japan in third spot.

The Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia was named worst airport in the world, followed by Juba International Airport in South Sudan and Port Harcourt International Airport in Nigeria.

The survey asked travelers to rate airports worldwide based on their overall experience.

Travelers rate airports on the following factors: comfort (rest zones and gate seating), facilities and things to do, food options, immigration or security, customer service and cleanliness.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, which supervises 81 airports all over the country, welcomed the results of the survey. – With Rudy Santos

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