What is the World's Worst Airport?

By Matt Hill on at

A report today from the Airports Commission reckons that the proposed new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick are going to cost a whole lot more than anyone's actually budgeting for. Quelle surprise. In fact, it reckons that a second runway at Gatwick alone will actually cost £2 billion more than any of the bids received. Anyone got an old glow stick they can borrow for a marshalling wand? Every little helps…

But these huge till receipts ringing out from our expanding air-travel industry got us thinking back to the launch of the £2.5 billion "Queens Terminal", otherwise known as London Heathrow Terminal 2, this summer. Indeed, I was, rather unexpectedly, the first person through its shiny new e-passport security doorways.

"Sorry, what do I do? I've never used this before," I stammered like an idiot with my newly issued e-passport, trotting through the empty expanse early as I at last benefited from going "carry-on only" for once.

"Don't worry, neither have we," responded the five staff who were seemingly waiting around for something to occupy them and then didn't know what to do exactly once they'd found it. I didn't get a medal or anything and, of course, the scanner didn't read it first time either. And despite all the money behind the terminal, and the lovely big plane statue at its centre, the way you actually navigate in and out is also somehow a confusing mess of one-way escalators and, at one point, a compulsory lift ride.

But then from LAX's theme park-style queue tailbacks into the taxi rank to Berlin's 10ft procession of check-in/passport control/security/departure lounge in 10 minutes via the permanently stationary luggage carousels of Greek islands, our travels with Giz have seen us pop up at some right airport oddities.

With huge differences throughout the world, be it due to financing, building materials, local customs or just the sheer hell of it, what's been your worst airport experience of the lot? How do you find that Britain's growing flight terminals compare? And is there a best-in-class building somewhere showing everyone up?

Let us know below…

Image Credit: Problem in the airport at Shutterstock