NAIA 1 voted worst airport in Asia

5th Worst airport in the World

April 12, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – “A bombed out ruin,” “a cattle yard only worse,” and “filthy toilets” were just some words that travelers used to describe the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, voted one of the world's 10 worst airports and the worst in Asia for 2010 by an interactive website.

The website, “the Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” ranked NAIA, particularly Terminal 1, fifth worst in the world preceded by two French airports, including the Paris Charles De Gaulle, and the Los Angeles and Moscow airports.

In the website’s list of worst airports in Asia, NAIA Terminal ranked No. 1, followed by New Delhi, Beijing, Bombay, Islamabad, Hanoi, Chennai, Jakarta, Bangalore and Denpasar.

The ranking was based on reviews of air travelers who complained of, among others, “safety concerns, lack of comfortable seating, rude staff, hostile security, poor facilities, no [or few] services to pass the time, bribery, and general hassles of being in the airport.”

Two lists of the best and the worst airports are updated annually by the website (, which travel agent Donna McSherry started in 1996.

NAIA actually moved two places up in the worst airports list. In 2009, it was ranked seventh. Two other Asian airports made it to the worst list in 2010, both from India, in New Delhi and Bombay at sixth and eighth, respectively.

On the other hand, the world's three best airports in 2010, according to the website, were also in Asia: Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon, and Hong Kong, the same top three the previous year.

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

A reviewer named Brenty said of NAIA: “It has to be experienced to be believed. Think of a bombed out ruin and you'll get some idea. It's like a cattle yard only worse. Toilets filthy. No seating once you get thru customs [maybe 40 seats for a thousand passengers].”

“Bribery and corruption in this airport is rife and the scams start the minute you walk off the plane,” said another who called himself Mecanix.

The website, however, did acknowledge that “there is hope at this airport if you go to Terminal 3 where it is clean, spacious and has Internet connection.”

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said he respected the feedback from travelers, but added that he hoped the general public would see the improvements at NAIA.

“We are aware of the deficiencies. We really appreciate the comments and we're trying to correct these things. But please understand that this will take time,” he said.

He also encouraged critics of NAIA to visit Terminal 1 again and take note of some of the upgrades. He said they should understand that renovating the 30-year-old terminal was not an easy thing.

Honrado noted efforts to renovate the rest rooms at Terminal 1 and plans to put in “a new carpet.” He also said coordination with immigration and customs offices would hopefully eradicate the bribery menace.

In the next few years, he said “definitely” all international flights would be moving to Terminal 3 in spite of legal troubles involving the claim of its builder, the Philippine International Air Terminals Co., which is seeking a compensation claim against the government.

Honrado said the government clearly had the mandate to operate Terminal 3, and he saw no reason to put off plans to develop it until it became fully operational within “one and a half years.” He, however, added that Terminal 1 would still likely be retained for “spillover” flights.


  1. What a BIG EMBARASSMENT! It's really time to relocate all foreign airlines to T3 from T1, It's long been OVERDUE...Cebu Pacific should be move back to T1 then all by themselves, this is the only real solution right now to this embarassing situation...

  2. corruption at its finest!

  3. shut down terminal 1, its long overdue!

  4. Why sleep in terminal 1 of all places? Stupid tourists. Terminals are not build for sleeping. Idiots. So don't complain if they are not build as such.

  5. worst terminal? yup its correct! NAIA terminal 1 should be close for renovation and let terminal 3 to be use in international flight. corruption is the number 1 reason why were always on the bottom with other countries.

  6. @ 4th comment: you, obviously are not a traveller. or perhaps an ally backing up the crooks operating this run-down terminal.

    if you get the chance to see our neighbor countries' terminals, even those not credited as the bests, you will see how far left behind terminal 1 is.

    other countries' airports understand the need that some tourists may be spending the night in their airports, therefore more than enough seats are provided. even sleep stations are present. there is space for less mob. walkalators are everywhere. lavatories are clean. toilet papers and hand soaps are always provided. staffs are effervescent. their airports have a train station conveniently located within the facility. and have i mentioned how clean and creatively constructed these airports are

    i remember an experience with terminal 1 when i held on a railing then suddenly there was snot all over my fingers. now this may not be entirely the airport's fault but some nasty uneducated fella's. but maybe it's also because the terminal looked like rubbish therefore people treat it like rubbish

  7. @6th comment. I don't need to brag about the 26 international airports I've been to around the world, 8th of them in Europe, 5 in the US and the rest in Australasia. and certainly they are much more worst than Terminal 1 in my experience. Believe you me. Try to sleep at London's Heathrow airport and lets see if you can have a better one. I did. Not overnight but for three fucking cold days. Yet I never complained. So stop the crap will ya!