Here are the World's Worst Airports According to You

By Spencer Hart on at

Last week we asked for the lowdown on Gizmodo reader's least favourite airports, and boy, you didn't disappoint. A total of 31 airports were put forward for grumbling, giving us plenty to choose from. Power-hungry border officials, short runways and exorbitant prices were just some of the reasons airports were nominated. Here are ten of your least favourite terminals – and the somewhat surprising stories behind them…

1.) Zakynthos International, Greece

Suggested by: JBEE123

The first finger was pointed at Zakynthos International in Greece, where a member of staff stole something from a Giz reader's luggage. The manager's response? "It happens". Not a great place to start the holiday then.

Zakynthos International is also known as 'Dionysios Solomos' after an 18th-century poet from the city. No planes are actually permitted to take off or land at the airport between 12am and 4am due to endangered loggerhead turtles, who lay eggs at night on the nearby beach. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

2.) Miami International, USA

Suggested by: bluntneedles

A recurring theme of distaste was American airports, queues and passport control. The most striking US offender was Miami International, with its three-hour lines and distinctly un-British queueing system. Well, Miami is one of the busiest airports in the US and the 26th busiest in the world thanks to its tourist attractions and large local Latin American and European population.

Miami was also the location of the first time an air marshal fired a weapon on or near an aeroplane. On the 7th of December 2005, Rigoberto Alpizar claimed to have a bomb in his rucksack – when he tried to run from the plane, he was chased by two air marshals and, upon failing to stop, was shot several times in the jetway. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

3.) Newark Liberty International, USA

Suggested by: Brian

Newark is another US airport which Giz readers found unfavourable thanks to it's overly aggressive border security.

Opened on the 1st of October 1928 on 68 acres on reclaimed land, Newark was New York's first airport and the busiest in the world until 1939. Today, the three airports in New York – Newark, JFK and LaGuardia – combine to create the largest airport system in the world. In 2013, they processed 112.1 million (probably very disgruntled) passengers. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

4.) Norwich International, UK

Suggested by: Matt Carding-Woods

Despite being built on the flat, seemingly perfect-for-aviation, landscape of Norfolk, Alan Partridge's local manages, predictably, to be a rubbish airport. The reason Norwich earned Britain's first nomination, though, was it's tiny car park and short runway.

Norwich International wasn't the city's first airport – that was built on Mousehold Heath, the site of a First World War aerodrome. In an episode of Top Gear, James May flew a caravan that had been converted into a blimp into Norwich's airspace. The programme was edited to make the event appear accidental, but it was actually (shock horror) the result of detailed planning. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

5.) Kerry, Ireland

Suggested by: helmutderhaas

Kerry Airport, which has been open since Captain Milo Carr flew in on 25th August 1969, was described as a "shed with a car park outside that they turned into a runway".

Although the airport's size creates an admittedly "friendly" environment, the site's main problem is more its location. In 2013, just 172 people flew from the Kerry to Friedrichshafen, Germany, which isn't very many for an international flight path.

6.) Jomo Kenyatta International, Nairobi

Suggested by: JonCon

The reason this travel hub of East Africa was put forward was because it's hellishly busy, overpriced and your chances of being pick-pocketed or solicited are pretty high (apparently).

Jomo Kenyatta aiport is named after the first president and prime minister. It was originally going to be opened by the Queen Mother, but her flight was delayed in Australia so she couldn't make the ceremony. [Image Credit: Standard Media]

7.) Gatwick and Gatwick Village, UK

Suggested by: Charles Windsor, MENTAL1ST

Ah, good old Gatwick. Unsurprisingly unpopular with Gizmodo commenters across the board and somewhat poetically described as "some sort of dystopian future space station". Which sounds like the perfect video-game setting to us.

The airport was built on the site of Gatwick Manor House, it's name derived from the Old English, gāt (goat) and wīc (dairy farm). Now Gatwick has the busiest, single-use runway in the world, capable of 55 aircraft movements per hour. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

8.) Glasgow Prestwick, UK

Suggested by: Chris Hamilton, mykweb

This Scottish airport is served solely by Ryanair, which is enough reason to be nominated in the first place we'd proffer. Other reasons, say Giz readers, include the drab 1960s exterior and tedious terminals.

You may be surprised to know that Glasgow Prestwick Airport is one of only two places Elvis Presley visited in the UK. In 1960, a United States Army transport plane carrying Presley home from Germany stopped at Glasgow to refuel and a departure lounge has carried his name since 2006. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

9.) Pyongyang Sunan International, North Korea

Suggested by: faceofjoe

North Korea's international airport is an old soviet building, which is both low-tech and low on interest. During the summer the airport is open from 6am to 10pm, but in winter the building has shorter opening times, from 7am to 9pm in fact. See what we meant about "low on interest"? [Image Credit: NYT]

10.) Luton, UK

Suggested by: Michael Henderson

Luton's "embarrassment to humanity" (your words, not ours) is the final airport on our list. If looking a bit like a suburban leisure centre qualifies for that critique, we're not likely to disagree either, and you may have seen it on EasyJet-following telly series Airline.

In 2004 Luton Airport supported plans for the Government to expand Luton into a full-sized runway. Yet the proposal met fierce opposition from the charming acronyms SLAP (that's Stop Luton Airport Plan) and LADACAM (the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise). [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

[Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock]