Thursday 16 October 2014

Layover ideas for the world's worst airports (2014)

* * Click HERE for 2016 * *


Read below for 2014:

Today, Sleeping in Airports announced the results of their 2014 Worst Airports in the World.

Here, we do our best to weigh in on some options to help you survive a layover at these dismal airports. Be warned, the options can be limited... please feel free to add suggestions in the comments below!

Tip: keep in mind that you may need a transit visa to leave some of the airports listed - or tips assume that you've done your homework on that front.

View of Islamabad from Daman-e-Koh

1. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan (ISB)

Survey lowlights:
• Uncontrolled crowds
• Pervasive corruption
• Taxi touts

Layover ideas:
• Lok Virsa Museum features 25+ large galleries
Golra Railway Museum has locomotives and rolling stock
• Daman-e-Koh offers hiking, food, music and great city views

Layover resources:
Islamabad Airport Sleeping Guide
Islamabad Airport transportation guide
• Arriving in Islamabad - a taxi tour story

2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia (JED)

Survey lowlights:
• Rude immigration officers and long queues
• Limited services
• Limited, uncomfortable metal seating, not sleeper-friendly

Layover ideas:
• Souq al-Alawi is located in al-Balad (the old town)
• Naseef House museum has great evening views from the top floor
• Atallah Happy Land Park has rides, skating, bowling, theatres, dining, shopping

Layover resources:
Jeddah Airport Sleeping Guide
Jeddah Airport transportation guide
How to Obtain a Saudi Arabian Transit Visa
• Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - I Am Bound Here

3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM)

Survey lowlights:
• Disgusting washrooms (bring your own soap)
• No air-conditioning
• Not sleeper friendly

Layover ideas:
Cultural Walking Tour with Nepalese Cooking Lesson
Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw
• Do anything that will allow you to pee elsewhere!

Layover resources:
Kathmandu Airport Sleeping Guide
Kathmandu Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Kathmandu
A Night in Kathmandu - National Geographic
Kathmandu Layover

4. Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines (MNL)

Survey lowlights:
• Overcrowding
• Lengthy queues (fly airlines that use Terminal 3, vs Terminal 1)
• Not enough seating

Layover ideas:
Overnight Layover Tour with Hotel and Transfers
Manila Old and New Sightseeing Tour
4 Hour Makati City & Museum Tour

Layover resources:
Manila Aquino Airport Sleeping Guide
Manila Aquino Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Manila
17 Hour Layover: Overnight in Manila Airport
How to have a great stopover in Manila

5. Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan (TAS)

Survey lowlights:
• Horrific queuing
• Suspect immigration processes
• Sleeping discouraged

Layover ideas:
• Chorsu (Eski Juva) is the oldest bazaar in Central Asia
• Tellya Sheikh Mosque is home to the world's oldest Koran
• Tashkent TV Tower offers great views of the city
Tashkent things to do

Layover resources:
Tashkent Airport Sleeping Guide
Tashkent Airport transportation guide
Tashkent Airport Sleeping Guide
Tourist Visa to Uzbekistan

6. Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France (BVA)

Survey lowlights:
• Poor transportation options to distant airport
• Cramped, rundown, treats people like cargo
• Closes at night (no sleeping!)

Layover ideas:
• Visit Beauvais Cathedral to see the Gothic architecture
Beauvais things to do
• Head into Paris and take an Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Hop On, Hop Off Bus tour
• Take @AirportSleeper's advice and fly into CDG or ORY instead!

Layover resources:
Paris Beauvais Airport Sleeping Guide
Paris Beauvais Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Paris
Beauvais-Paris - more than just a stopover, it's a destination

7. Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Germany (HHN)

Survey lowlights:
• The 2 hour bus ride to distant airport
• Bleak and bare-boned
• Uncomfortable metallic seats, floor sleeping

Layover ideas:
• Use the advanced bag drop-off and storage lockers to get out of the airport
Go golfing or go-karting nearby
10 Things to do near Frankfurt-Hahn
• Take a Hop On, Hop Off Bus, cruise or guided city tour in Frankfurt

Layover resources:
Frankfurt Hahn Airport Sleeping Guide
Frankfurt Hahn Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Frankfurt


8. Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport, Italy (BGY)

Survey lowlights:
• Crowded with sleepers, constantly woken up by cleaners
• Lack of WiFi and electrical outlets
• Short-tempered security staff

Layover ideas:
• Take the funicular up to Città Alta, the medieval old town
• Explore the Città Bassa (lower town)
Bergamo Main Sights

Layover resources:
Milan Bergamo Airport Sleeping Guide
Milan Bergamo Airport transportation guide
• Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Milan

9. Berlin Tegel International Airport, Germany (TXL)

Survey lowlights:
• Limited seating, little personal space
• Crowded restaurants
• Especially crummy since it's not even a low-cost carrier airport

Layover ideas:
Private Berlin City Layover Tour with Airport Transport
Third Reich Sites Half-Day Walking Tour
Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour
• Take @AirportSleeper's advice and fly into SXF instead

Layover resources:
Berlin Tegel Airport Sleeping Guide
Berlin Tegel Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Berlin
Berlin Layover from Tegel Airport


10. New York City LaGuardia International Airport, USA (LGA)

Survey lowlights:
• Security lines, unhelpful staff, services shut down (even when crowded)
• Counterintuitive layout (like the bar on the wrong side of security!)
• Lousy seating, not conducive to sleeping

Layover ideas:
Visit the historic LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal
• Plan ahead to see a show
• See the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building
New York Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Layover resources:
New York LaGuardia Airport Sleeping Guide
New York LaGuardia Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in New York 

For more, check out the juicy sublists of 2014 Worst Airports for Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America.

Too bad there weren't enough votes to produce a Worst Airports in the South Pacific list (there is a Best Airports in the South Pacific list). If you travel this region, be sure to add your 2 cents in the 2015 Best and Worst Airports Survey.

Related resources:

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