Nigerian airport voted world's worst hits back

An airport in Nigeria has hit back after being voted the worst airport in the world in a survey of thousands of international passengers.

Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria, voted the world's worst.

Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria, voted the world's worst. Image by david / CC BY 2.0

Port Harcourt International Airport on the Niger Delta gained the unwanted accolade after passengers complained of being housed in tents as a new terminal building was under construction. The airport was also criticised by frequent flyers who said there was no seating, broken air-conditioning and that bribery was endemic. However, authorities in Nigeria said it was unfair to judge an airport terminal that was in the middle of major renovations.

A spokesman said: ‘Our stand is that the said ranking was unfounded as it did not take cognisance of the fact that the airport terminal was still undergoing remodelling. Some of its terminal operations are still conducted in a temporary structure.

‘We believe that operations at such an airport where construction work is going on simultaneously with normal flight and related operations cannot be as conducive as in those airports where there are no on-going construction projects.’

They also said it was not possible to be “equally clean” to other airports whilst in the midst of major construction work. According to an official statement, one of the tents being used has been closed with passengers moved back into the remodelled terminal, where the finishing touches are being put on some sections.

Jeddah airport.

Jeddah airport, Saudi Arabia, came in second worst in the survey. Image by Francisco Anzola / CC BY 2.0

‘We promise that service at these airports will surely get better at the completion of these projects,’ said a spokesman.

Port Harcourt was selected as the world’s worst by the Sleeping in Airports website, which asked users to vote on their airport experiences, both good and bad.

Also rated badly were Jeddah International in Saudi Arabia, Kathmandu Tribhuvan in Nepal, Tashkent International in Uzbekistan, and Caracas Simón Bolívar in Venezuela. In Europe, Beauvais Airport – a low fares hub on the outskirts of Paris – was voted the worst in the continent.

Singapore Airport.

Singapore Airport was voted the best. Image by Sandip Bhattacharya / CC BY 2.0

Some airports are a pleasure of course, and selected as the three best in the world were: Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon in South Korea, and Tokyo Haneda in Japan. Best in Europe was Munich International.

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