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The 10 worst airports in the world – 8 of them are in Europe

Terminal 1 of Lisbon airport in Portugal.
Contributor / iStock / Get Images

The AirHelp travel website evaluates and publishes a ranking of the largest airports in the world every year. This ranking is from 2019.

Surprising result: eight of the ten worst airports in the world are in Europe.

Lisbon Portela Airport in Portugal ranks 132nd, making it the worst airport in the world.

The AirHelp company evaluates the largest airports in the world based on three criteria: punctuality, quality of service, restaurants and shops.

Hamad International Airport in Qatar has been named the best airport in the world by AirHelp.

Hamad International Airport in Qatar has been named the best airport in the world by AirHelp.
IStock / Getty Images Plus Contributor / Editor

AirHelp, a German company specializing in compensation claims in the event of flight cancellations, has published a ranking of the best airports in the world since 2015. Airports are rated on a ten-point scale based on three criteria. AirHelp goes into great depth into the methodology used: it excludes airports for which it “cannot obtain data” and that the ranking includes only the “best known and most used airports”.

The punctuality of departures and arrivals accounted for 60 percent of the vote. Service quality contributes another 20 percent to the rating. It is rated based on the quality of customer service, waiting times at security checks, and airport cleanliness. The bottom 20 percent of the rating goes to food and shops in the airport buildings; this data is collected from passengers who rate dining and shopping options on a scale of one to five.

The last ranking we show here is from 2019. Top of the list: Hamad International Airport in Qatar, which beat 131 other airports to take the top spot. It received an overall rating of 8.39 out of ten possible points.

But while the Qatar airport shone, several European airports landed at the bottom of the list. According to AirHelp, eight of the ten worst-rated airports in the world are located in Europe, along with one airport in the Middle East and one in North America.

We have collected the top 10 airports ranked by the airline for passenger rights as the worst in the world. Losers are listed in descending order of points.

10. London Gatwick Airport (England)

London Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport
David Goddard / Getty Images

Total score: 6.62

punctuality: 5.7

Quality of service: 8

Gastronomy and shops: 7.9

London Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the UK. In 2021, 6.2 million passengers were handled there.

It has an overall rating of four out of ten on Skytrax, a UK-based airline and airport rating website. There, many passengers complained about how “crowded and noisy” the airport was and that it had “terrible facilities” for children. The airport also appeared in Forbes magazine’s list of the worst airports of 2020.

9. Toronto City Airport (Canada)

Toronto city airport

Toronto city airport
David Cooper / Toronto Star / Getty Images

Total score: 6.50

Point: 5.8

Quality of service: 8.1

Gastronomy and shops: 7

Toronto City Airport is Canada’s ninth busiest airport. In 2021, 282,000 passengers were handled there.

Although the airport has been rated one of the worst in the world by AirHelp, it has a regional 4-star rating on Skytrax. The airport gets a 4.3-star rating from more than 1,000 Google reviewers, with one user saying he appreciates how well-organized operations are.

8. Porto Airport (Portugal)

Porto airport

Porto airport
Santiago Urquijo / Getty Images

Total score: 6.46

Punctuality: 5.6

Quality of service: 7.9

Gastronomy and shops: 7.6

Porto Airport is the second busiest airport in Portugal. Over 13 million passengers were handled here in 2019.

It has a 4-star regional rating on Skytrax, where passengers have given the airport a rating of six out of ten. Public opinion appears to be divided: while one guest claimed the airport is “one of the best in Europe”, another complained about poor food quality and extremely long queues.

7. Paris Orly Airport (France)

Paris Orly Airport

Paris Orly Airport
Stephane de Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images

Total score: 6.37

Punctuality: 5.4

Quality of service: 7.9

Gastronomy and shops: 7.8

Paris Orly Airport was the main airport in Paris before Charles de Gaulle airport opened in 1974. It is the second busiest airport in France and handled 15.7 million passengers in 2021.

The airport has a three out of ten rating on Skytrax. One user called it the “worst airport ever” and complained that duty-free shops close at 8am. Another said he had to wait “extremely long” at passport control and missed his flight as a result.

6. Manchester Airport (England)

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Mark Williamson / Getty Images

Total score: 6.26

Punctuality: 5.2

Quality of service: 7.8

Gastronomy and shops: 8

Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the UK. In 2020, 6.7 million passengers were handled there.

The airport has a two out of ten rating on Skytrax. One review stated that the airport was “unsuitable for purpose” and “rip off” with expensive airport parking rates. Another wrote that he had been waiting for his luggage for over two hours.

5. Malta Airport (Malta)

Malta airport

Malta airport
Geography Photos / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Total score: 6.05

Punctuality: 5

Quality of service: 7.7

Gastronomy and shops: 7.5

Malta Airport is the only airport in the Maltese Islands. In 2020, 1.7 million passengers were handled there.

The airport has a six out of ten rating on Skytrax. An Italian traveler said the airport was “too small for the number of passengers it handles” and that several people slept on the ground because there was no seating at the airport. Another traveler advised arriving at the airport early as delays are common.

4. Bucharest-Otopeni Airport (Romania)

Bucharest-Otopeni Airport

Bucharest-Otopeni Airport
Alex Nicodim / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Total score: 6.03

Punctuality: 6

Quality of service: 6.1

Gastronomy and shops: 6

Bucharest-Otopeni International Airport is Romania’s busiest airport, with nearly seven million travelers in 2021.

The airport has a four out of ten rating on Skytrax, with one passenger complaining that the staff are “a little aggressive” and unfriendly. A user of an online review site wrote that the airport was “old and reminiscent of the 1960s”.

3. Eindhoven Airport (Netherlands)

Eindhoven Airport

Eindhoven Airport
Joris Refers / BSR Agency / Getty Images

Total score: 5.92

Punctuality: 4.9

Quality of service: 7.8

Gastronomy and shops: 7.1

Eindhoven Airport is the second busiest airport in the Netherlands. 6.7 million passengers were handled there in 2019.

The airport, rated four out of ten on Skytrax, has been described by travelers as being small and with “very rude staff”. Another user said the airport resembles a “corral” as passengers have to wait outside.

2. Kuwait Airport (Kuwait)

Kuwait Airport

Kuwait Airport
Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

Total score: 5.78

Punctuality: 4.3

Quality of service: 8

Gastronomy and shops: 8

Kuwait International Airport handled over 15 million people in 2019. It also has a military airport used by the Kuwaiti Air Force.

The airport received a two out of ten rating on Skytrax, with some passengers complaining of a terrible smell at the airport and “unprofessional and slow boarding”.

1. Lisbon Portela Airport (Portugal)

Lisbon Portela Airport

Lisbon Portela Airport
Contributor / iStock / Get Images

Total score: 5.76

Punctuality: 4.7

Quality of service: 7.3

Gastronomy and shops: 7.4

Lisbon Portela Airport handled over 31 million passengers in 2019, making it the 16th busiest airport in Europe.

Passengers have often complained of long immigration lines, with some having to wait up to six hours to clear passport control. The airport has an average rating of three out of ten on Skytrax, with one user saying it is “the worst airport we have ever flown from”.

This article was translated from English by Ben Peters. You can find the original here.

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