NAIA 1 no longer world’s worst
Ellen Tordesillas (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2014 - 9:46pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Teminal 1 (NAIA 1) is no longer the worst airport in the world, according to an online website dedicated to reviewing airports all over the world.

NAIA is now No. 4 in the 2014 list of Worst Airports of “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” outranked by Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Pakistan (1st); Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia (2nd); and Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal (3rd).

The Guide to Sleeping in Airports explained the improvement in ranking of NAIA1:
“After three years at the top our worst airports lists, Manila NAIA saw a slight ‘improvement’ in its ranking as a result of increased positive votes for its Terminal 3.

This year, in an effort to lose its title of being the ‘laggard of Asia’ (as one survey respondent put it), the long awaited rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 finally commenced. Since then travelers have been quick to remind us of their continued grievances such as overcrowding, lengthy queues, limited seating, unfriendly immigration/customs officers and smelly toilets. Adding to an already lengthy list of traveller complaints, in April the terminal became Asia's largest public sauna when the airconditioning broke down. The units were reportedly not replaced until months later.”

The online airport guide took note that after last year’s survey results, the newly refurbished day rooms reopened.

"More recently, some international airlines were finally moved over to Terminal 3 to help reduce congestion in the overflowing Terminal 1. And just before publication, the controversial terminal tax was set to be included on international tickets starting October 01, further decongesting the terminal by reducing at least one lengthy queue,” it said.

Guide to Sleeping in Airports recommended to travelers “to do all that you can to fly on airlines that use Terminal 3 rather than Terminal 1—particularly if your time at Manila NAIA is looking long! The NAIA1 rehabilitation is expected to be complete in 2015.”

Completing the list of 10 worst airports in the world are Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan (5th); Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France (6th); Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Germany (7th); Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport, Italy (8th); Berlin Tegel International Airport, Germany (9th); New York City LaGuardia International Airport, USA (10th).

Singapore’s Changi International Airport retained its distinction as best airport in the world.

The others in the Best Airport list are Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea; Helsinki International Airport, Finland; Munich International Airport, Germany; Vancouver International Airport, Canada; Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia; Hong Kong International Airport; Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan; Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands; and Zurich International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH).

Guide to Sleeping in Airports said in its annual survey it asks travellers to consider the four C’s of airport travel: comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service. The latest result released Oct. 15 was conducted from September 2013 to August 2014.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

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