Naia 1 is rated ‘world’s worst airport’


Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City. RODEL ROTONI/INQUIRER

It just gets worse and worse.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), particularly Terminal 1, now ranks No. 1 among the “Worst Airports in the World,” said “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” an interactive website that gathers reports from various reviewers.

Naia 1’s ratings worsened from the website’s 2010 assessment that it was the world’s fifth-worst airport and the worst in Asia.

The ranking of Manila’s international airport was based on reviews of travelers who complained, among other things, of “safety concerns, lack of comfortable seating, rude staff, hostile security, poor facilities, no (or few) services to pass the time, bribery, being kicked out and general hassles of being in the airport.”

Sought for comment, Dante Basanta, Naia Terminal 1 manager, said the issues raised on the website were old and rehashed.

“It’s unfair for them to say that we have the world’s worst airport because we’ve already implemented several improvements at the terminal for the past several months,” Basanta told the Inquirer.

He said the photos shown on the website were old ones.

Basanta said that to date, a total of 16 rest rooms had been renovated and that the ceilings at the boarding gates and waiting lounges improved.

“We’re also improving water services; the replacement of old pipes is ongoing,” he added.

Worst 10

Besides Naia 1, the following made it to the 10 worst airports in the world: Paris Beauvais in France, Keflavik International Airport in Iceland, Bergamo-Orio al Serio Airport in Italy, Kiev International Airport in Ukraine, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in Germany, London Luton Airport in the United Kingdom, Pisa Airport in Italy, Paris CDG Airport in France and Los Angeles International Airport in the United States.

“The list this year is very heavily European, simply because that’s where the most airport-sleeping adventures are to be had. We base our list on user reviews and poll votes and we just happen to receive more reviews for overnight sleep overs for European airports,” the website said regarding the quality and facilities of the world’s airports.

Best three

The website also named the world’s three best airports in 2011—Singapore Changi, Hong Kong, and Seoul Incheon. The facilities—all in Asia—were named the best airports the previous year.

Most complaints of reviewers about Naia concerned the old Terminal 1, which hosts all international flights except those of Philippine Airlines, which uses Terminal 2 and Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and All Nippon Airways, which use Terminal 3.

“The current administration should hire a bulldozer and a ramming team and start tearing it apart,” said ajloren123, a reviewer.


Among the problems cited by the reviewers who managed to survive the airport were theft, bribery and the absence of toilet seats and running water in the bathrooms.

“Earlier this year, some bad press regarding the state of the airport made airport officials promise to clean its Terminal 1 toilets and provide running water and soap. Imagine…. they actually had to “promise” to offer this!” the website said.

It also pointed out physical hazards that recently plagued Naia 1, including the collapse of a portion of a ceiling plaster in May, which prompted an inspection by government officials led by President Aquino.

“Their arrival ramp is not user-friendly because it slopes downward!! If you happen to be pushing your loads of baggage through this ramp, watch out or your baggage might get to the bottom of the ramp before you,” said Tiffycality, another reviewer.

The Guide to Sleeping in Airports acknowledged that there was hope at Naia if one went to Terminal 3, which it said was clean, spacious and had Internet connection.

But the website, citing a report that reportedly came out earlier this month, also reminded travelers that the 9-year-old terminal had been deemed “structurally flawed.”

The woes that confront travelers at Naia 1 went beyond poor facilities, the site said. It warned passengers about sleeping in the terminal because of bribery and theft.

“Forget about sleeping in this airport! You will not want to even close your eyes here! Bribery and theft exist. Airport taxes are collected, but the money does not seem to go toward the betterment of the airport. Document holders have been told their papers are not correct, but a fee of x amount should clear up the matter,” the site said.

Big bucket

One reviewer said a big bucket with a dipper was by the front door and about four attendants demanded a tip.

“When I asked a security guard where the smoking area was he told me to follow him … and took me out on to the tarmac where he then insisted on a bribe before he let me back into the terminal. How does one say “no” to a security guard with a gun?” the reviewer said.

Another reviewer said nothing compared with his experience at Naia.


“It’s a horrible waste of time and you should all hold onto your wallets as tightly as possible. I especially advise any foreign travellers to avoid this airport. The amount of corruption and bribery is just mind-blowing,” said Shizumasa, a reviewer.

A reviewer named Monette said she lost her cell phone between the drop-off at the entrance and the security check.

Handbag slashed

“The phone was in my side pocket of my handbag and this side pocket was slashed with a sharp knife! I mentioned it to the (police) officer and he referred me to an airport policeman.

“This guy had the guts to suggest that I go to the lost-and-found office and check if they found it. Long story short, he didn’t even get my name and address to file a report and was just saying: ma’am there are many thieves in this airport. Just look after your belongings!” she said.

The website also noted that terminals were lacking such services as left-luggage and pay-in lounges for transit passengers.

It said free WiFi connection and day rooms at the air side of Naia 1 were among the airport’s redeeming qualities.

Originally posted: 7:51 pm | Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Anonymous

    Pahabol lang while comments in this topic is not yet closed…

    One commentator said, ‘outsource’.  Why not replace NAIA people with people from the hotel industry and SWAT.

  • donaldo trumpo

    YEHEY !!        NASA BALITA NA NAMAN ANG PILIPINAS !!       DIYAN TAYO MAGALING !!        we definitely hit rock bottom !!        not only are we the favorite tourist destination for foreign men looking for sex but we also have the world’s worst airport !!

  • Anonymous

    Went home last Dec.2010 for a school reunion, and promised myself never go the airport’s toilet at NAIA I. They not only stink, but no water or tissue paper to use if ever you’re having LVM. Rather suggest don’t leave your newspaper copy on the plane. How about moving to Macapagal airport at Angeles City?

    • coffeeand tea

      What??? Angeles city airport is even worse, they are all corrupt and even scare the passenger “babarilin kita dito e” if they don’t give them what they are asking for, a lady immigration officer there e garapalan kung mangutong. humahanap ng dahilan para questionen ang mga papeles ng passenger even if it’s legal and according to the guard she won’t accept accept less than 1500 hundred but why would you give a cent? if you are leaving the country legally.

      • Anonymous

        Subject: [globalnation-inquirernet] Re: Naia 1 is rated ‘world’s worst airport’

  • Fan

    parang divisoria mall, mga stalls na may takip na trapal, at yung ceiling may mga mantsa pa ng tulo, para kang nasa govt bldg/dry market year 1970’s.

  • Anonymous

    One thing is sure. The NAIA manager and other officials are used to dirty toilets in their houses that’s why they don’t see this a problem.

  • Anonymous

    Finally! this is a wake up call to those responsible for neglecting to keep the airport worthy of being called an airport…….. it’s a weird feeling whenever I go back for some R&R and the moment you get out of the plane it feels like you’re going to a cage full of crocs….waiting for opportunity to grab a piece of meat from you……until you reach the parking lot where there are people harrassing balikbayans and tourists alike to give them some change (mind you they want not just change)……why do they allow these people to loiter these area that is supposed to be strictly for fetching passengers…….

  • WillmerF

    kapag ordinaryong mamamayan aalis  at uuwi ng pilipinas ang tingin sa iyo ng mga staff ng airport mula porter,security hanngang immigration officer ay hindi tao ..ang tingin sa iyo ay dollar at euro na gumagalaw, very attractive ka sa kanila, at ano naman ang mararamdaman mo at magiging pananaw mo sa kanila? nararamdaman ko at ang nagiging pananaw ko sa kanila ay paraang mga buwayang gutom,, ,at kapag aalis ng pilipinas at uuwi naman ang mga extraordinary na mamammayan gaya ng mga politician natin,,,ano naman ang tingin sa kanila ng staff ng immigration?…ang tingin sa kanila ng mga staff ay mga dambuhalang buwaya na busog na busog, at nanginginig pa ang mga immigration offficer at secutity na mabigyan ng kaluwagang dadaanan ng dambuhalang buwaya na busog na busog… at ano naman ang tingin sa kanila sa kanila ng dambuhalang buwaya na busog na busog sa mga staff ng airport?..ang tingin sa kanila ng dambuwalang buwaya ay mga lintang gutom na sinisipsip ang dugo ng mga ordinaryo nating over seas workers na nagpapadala ng bilyong bilyong dollar every year….at bakit hindi ninyo naman mapalitan ng mga totong tao ang mga hayup na staff sa airport?r,,,dahil under training pa raw ang mga susunod na staff ng babuyang airport,,,,ang kapaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllll ng mga mukkkkkkkkkkhhhhhhhha ,mga balat baboy ang kakapal,,,,sir aalis po ako papuntang america,pwede po bang pahipo ng balat ninyo kung balat baboy kayo,,,,,bwiiiiseeet ka ipitan mo muna ng 30 dollar ang passport mo para makaalis ka agad….ang kapal talaga ng supladong buwaya at baboy….

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