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

Terminal 1 at Lisbon Airport in Portugal.
Contributor / iStock / Gett Images

The travel site AirHelp 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.

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

AirHelp rates the world’s largest airports 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.
Contributor / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus

AirHelp, a German company that specializes in compensation claims in the event of flight cancellations, has been publishing a ranking of the world’s best airports since 2015. Airports are ranked on a ten-point scale based on three criteria. AirHelp gives a lot of detail about the methodology they use: airports that “can’t get their data” are excluded, and the ranking includes only “the most famous and most used airports”.

Accuracy of departures and arrivals made up 60 percent of the rating. Service quality contributes another 20 percent to the rating. They are ranked based on the quality of customer service, waiting times at security checkpoints, and airport cleanliness. The last 20 percent of the rating goes to food and convenience stores in the terminals; This data is collected from passengers who rate their dining and shopping options on a scale of one to five.

The latest ranking we show here is from 2019. And at the top of the list: Hamad International Airport in Qatar, which beat 131 other airports to take first place. It has an overall rating of 8.39 out of ten possible points.

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

We’ve rounded up the 10 worst airports in the world by airline passenger rights. The losers are listed in descending order of their score.

10. London Gatwick Airport (England)

London Gatwick Airport

London Gatwick Airport
David Goddard / Getty Images

total point: 6.62

Punctuality: 5.7

Quality of service: VIII

Gastronomy and shops: 7.9

London Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom. 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 that the airport was “crowded and noisy” and that it had “terrible facilities” for children. The airport also appeared on Forbes magazine’s list of the worst airports for 2020.

9. Toronto City Airport (Canada)

Toronto City Airport

Toronto City Airport
David Cooper/Toronto Star/Getty Images

total point: 6.50

result: 5.8

Quality of service: 8.1

Gastronomy and shops: 7

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

While the airport has been rated among the worst in the world by AirHelp, it has a 4-star regional rating on Skytrax. The airport has a 4.3 star rating from over 1,000 Google reviewers, with one user saying she appreciates how “well organized” the operations are.

8. Porto Airport (Portugal)

Porto Airport

Porto Airport
Santiago Urquijo / Getty Images

total point: 6.46

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Punctuality: 5.6

Quality of service: 7.9

Gastronomy and shops: 7.6

Porto Airport is the second busiest airport in Portugal. In 2019, more than 13 million passengers were handled here.

It has a 4-star regional rating on Skytrax, with passengers giving the airport a rating of six out of ten. Public opinion appears to be divided – while one guest said the airport was “one of the best in Europe”, another complained about the poor quality of the food and the very long queues.

7. Paris Orly Airport (France)

Paris Orly Airport

Paris Orly Airport
Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

total point: 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 welcomed 15.7 million passengers in 2021.

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

6- Manchester Airport (England)

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Mark Williamson / Getty Images

total point: 6.26

Punctuality: 5.2

Quality of service: 7.8

Gastronomy and shops: VIII

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

The airport received two ratings out of ten in Skytrax. One reviewer said the airport was “not fit for purpose” and “a rip-off” with exorbitant airport parking fees. Another wrote that he had been waiting for his bags for more than two hours.

5. Malta Airport (Malta)

Malta Airport

Malta Airport
Geography Images / Global Image Collection / Getty Images

total point: 6.05

Punctuality: 5

Quality of service: 7.7

Gastronomy and shops: 7.5

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

The airport has a rating of six out of ten on Skytrax. An Italian traveler said the airport was “too small for the number of passengers it could handle” and that many people were sleeping on the floor because there were no seats at the airport. Another traveler advised to be at the airport early as delays are common.

4 – Bucharest Airport – Otopeni (Romania)

Bucharest Otopeni Airport

Bucharest Otopeni Airport
Alex Nikodem/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

total point: 6.03

Punctuality: 6

Quality of service: 6.1

Gastronomy and shops: 6

Bucharest-Otopeni International Airport is the busiest airport in Romania, welcoming nearly seven million passengers in 2021.

The airport received a rating of four out of ten on Skytrax, with one passenger complaining that the staff were “a bit aggressive” and unfriendly. A user of an online review platform wrote that the airport is “old and reminiscent of the 1960s”.

3 – Eindhoven Airport (Netherlands)

Eindhoven Airport

Eindhoven Airport
Joris Veroest/BSR/Getty Images

total point: 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. In 2019, 6.7 million passengers were handled there.

The airport, rated a four out of ten on Skytrax, was described by travelers as a small airport with “very rude staff”. Another user said the airport is like a “cattle barn” where passengers have to wait outside.

2 – Kuwait Airport (Kuwait)

kuwait Airport

kuwait Airport
Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

total point: 5.78

Punctuality: 4.3

Quality of service: VIII

Gastronomy and shops: VIII

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

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

1 – Lisbon – Portela Airport (Portugal)

Lisbon Portela Airport

Lisbon Portela Airport
Contributor / iStock / Gett Images

total point: 5.76

Punctuality: 4.7

Quality of service: 7.3

Gastronomy and shops: 7.4

Lisbon’s Portela Airport handled more than 31 million passengers in 2019, making it the 16th busiest in Europe.

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

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

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