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Best and Worst Airports

Smithy

Strata Poster
UK
East Midlands
Luton
Gatwick
Stansted
Birmingham

Cyprus
Larnaca

Denmark
Copenhagen

Holland
Amsterdam

Sweden
Gothenberg Landvetter

Spain
Reus
Barcelona
Alicante
Madrid

Palma
Ibiza
Gran Canaria
Tenerife North
Fuerteventura

Portugal
Faro

Germany
Cologne-Bonn

France/Germany/Switzerland
Euroairport Freiburg Basel Mulhouse whatever

Norway
Oslo

Luxembourg
Luxembourg City

Italy
Milan
Rome

Still loathe Stansted with an absolute passion. Horrible to get to, always far too busy for what it can handle at security, at departures, at the gate. Fortunately not had to ride the stupid ****ing tram on my last few visits. At least passport control finally had all their e-passport scanners open yesterday because the last few times they've had 2/3rd's shut.

Oslo Gardemoen was brilliant, easy to navigate, clean, spacious, loads of food options at every area of the airport, and the transport option all linked in the one building.

Don''t think I commented on just how god-awful Faro airport was too, the actual building looks very impressive but it wasn't ****ing finished so we walked out of arrivals into a marquee tent to sort out transfers etc...with piss-leaking portakabins propped up alongside.

Adding a few for future reference.

Prague was decent enough, bit of a pain to get to the City Center but it was clean and easy to navigate.

Burgos in Bulgaria was tiny, run down and I'm glad I didn't have to spend more time than I needed to.

Budapest I can literally remember nothing about. At all.

Bratislava airport I didn't mind. It was ****ing tiny and stuff only opened for a few hours a day but it was modern, clean, and had plenty of toilets. Guess I've been spoilt with more modern airports having a multitude of connections to the city as opposed to queueing for an hour to get a bus.

Kos. Possibly the worst airport I've had the misfortune of using overseas. It's tiny, you have to queue outside the terminal, you have to queue to get your baggage tagged, then queue again to deposit it, and then there's enough seats for about a third of a RyanAir flight, with no air conditioning.

Valencia. Clean, modern, plenty to do.

Heathrow. Flew from terminal four. Typical nightmare M25 journey to get there. Lounge was good.

Fortaleza. Will be very nice when it's finished. If it's finished. Very much a domestic airport and geared as such.

Paris CDG. Horrible. Stupid transit systems, even more stupid labelling and naming, stupid security systems. At least the Skyteam Lounge is decent.
 

Mack

Mega Poster
LAX is terrible. Unless LAX is a nonstop option for you and no other airport is, it's always better to fly into Long Beach or Burbank. I've gotten to Long Beach 20 minutes before my flight took off and made it on the plane because it's small, the parking is right there and cheap, and security almost always is less than 5 minutes. So, if you're going to have a layover anyway or there's a nonstop to LGB, take it. And it's actually usually closer to where you're going in the Greater LA area than LAX is. You are welcome.

Which I guess tells you what my favorite is -- LGB. They board and deplane through the front and back doors of the plane so it's super fast, there's a nice outdoor courtyard with palm trees, it's just the best.

My favorite experience in an airport was in Bucharest when I figured out where the departures were because the sign said Plecari and I realized that's like "vrei sa pleci" in Dragostea din Tei, "you want to leave," ohhhh.....
 
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Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Oh tell me about it! I have had to wait for some people faff about getting their laptops etc. out of their bags, as they were not prepared. If I see a queue and people faffing about, I am not a happy bunny. Happens on a daily basis too -_-

posting from somewhere in the world...
To be fair... The amount of personal electronic devices I travel with, I have no choice but to do it at the counter :/ Don’t have enough hands to carry them all! surprised it’s not the same for you...

What gets my goat is people not sorting their liquids!!! No your makeup bag is not a clear plastic bag!!! Yes your mascara is a liquid... No you’re not going to fit that litre bottle of Pantene into the plastic bag and the max is 100ml anyway!!! FFS people, it’s not difficult!!!
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
I went to an airport in Indonesia where airport security was literally a freestanding wall with a hole in it. Do I win?

Actually, I'd rather pass my luggage through that wall for all eternity than take a single trip to London Stansted. Or, rather, "London" Stansted. Since it's nowhere near London.

Looking at Google maps, Stansted Airport is near 'Takely', so it should be called 'Takely Airport'. Which would be apt, because its takes the ****ing ****.
 

Mack

Mega Poster
What gets my goat is people not sorting their liquids!!! No your makeup bag is not a clear plastic bag!!! Yes your mascara is a liquid... No you’re not going to fit that litre bottle of Pantene into the plastic bag and the max is 100ml anyway!!! FFS people, it’s not difficult!!!
tbh all summer i had to fly between la and slc every 7 days and i never even used a plastic bag or whatever and never got any sh-t about it

i also realized after 37 flights that there were like 10+ 2-3" nails in the bottom of the backpack i was using every time oops
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
tbh all summer i had to fly between la and slc every 7 days and i never even used a plastic bag or whatever and never got any sh-t about it

i also realized after 37 flights that there were like 10+ 2-3" nails in the bottom of the backpack i was using every time oops

Not sure where slc is, presume LA is LA ?... but if you fly here in Europe, especially in England you will not currently get through security faff free without using the ‘bag.’

Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago I was on the wrong end of it when travelling out of Mancs to Cologne (Phantasialand) I sailed through security, as usual, the missus had one of her boxes separated off for extra screening. This was very annoying as the extra screening backlog led to that queue being longer than the original security queue... It turned out that she’d assumed her ‘Dream Matt Mouse’ foundation was not classed as a liquid and she’d left it in her case, but the scanner picked it up as an organic liquid. ???

Yeh... Thanks... Missed out on at least 1 pint because of that hold up!!!
 

Mack

Mega Poster
Not sure where slc is, presume LA is LA ?... but if you fly here in Europe, especially in England you will not currently get through security faff free without using the ‘bag.’

haha salt lake city
i forget that domestic air travel is kinda less of a thing in europe
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
I’ve had quite a few experiences in Russian airports. I could go on and on, but I’ll just mention one: the airport in Ufa (in Bashkiria, near the Urals).

It was supposed to be a quick stopover for a connecting flight, but we had to wait a long time in the airport. Finally, when we’re allowed on, we’re led through a gate and out onto the tarmac. It’s night and there’s a full blizzard on, with several inches of snow on the ground, through which we’re compelled to drag or carry all our luggage. By the time I get on the plane there are inches of snow down the aisle that all the passengers have tracked in. We’re then made to wait several hours with no air ventilation, as it gets unbearably stuffy. Then they announce that there’s no fuel, and we’ll have to return to the airport to wait for the next flight. We return to the airport through the same snowstorm and inside the airport is freezing cold. I’m not one to get cold very often, but it was arctic. I mean, dangerously cold as a place to ask people to wait. No one takes off their outside clothes. The boards announce that our next flight leaves at 8. 8 pm comes and goes and no announcement. At 9 o’clock they announce it’ll leave at 10. 10 o’clock comes and goes and no announcement. Then at 11 ... This pattern keeps up until the wee hours, not allowing anyone to sleep, as you have to be aware of the time. Eventually, the flight left the next morning.

This was soon after the fall of the Soviet Union, and what astounded me most about the entire experience was that the Russians around me would grumble a little at each delay, but no one seemed to get irate. All employees treated the customers with the berating tone of schoolteachers fed-up with naughty pupils. And the people just took it. I remember thinking that back in New York, any one of these issues — say, the delays without communication — would cause a riot among the passengers. Here there were shrugs, as if they were reacting to the weather rather than their treatment by Aeroflot.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
I'm not sure if I've ever posted in this thread before.

My current airport count is 5, and the airports I've visited as follows:
  • London Gatwick
  • Manchester
  • Orlando
  • Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (Baden-Airpark)
  • London Stansted

London Gatwick is perfectly fine, from memory; a good departure lounge, fine security as far as airports go, and I had no real issues with it.

Ditto with Manchester, to be honest; both of the big UK airports I've done (Manchester and Gatwick) blend into one for me, really. Although it must be said that Manchester Airport did have a very snazzy new terminal with very posh new departure gates when I last flew from there!

I've always liked Orlando airport. I love the big arrival hall with the huge fountains, the immigration queue never seems unbearable in spite of Orlando often being a busy airport, and I've generally always had a good feeling in Orlando MCO, for some reason! Although the buzz of being in Orlando may admittedly help there...

Baden-Airpark is definitely a small airport, but it serves its purpose fine. Immigration queue wasn't overly long, it's easy to find your way around; what more can you ask for, really? Admittedly, the departure lounge isn't very big, and I found it interesting how we Brits had to go through passport check twice when leaving the country, as the "international gates" were separated from the EU gates by another checkpoint (although this may be a general German/EU policy rather than one exclusive to Baden-Airpark; I'm not 100% sure. Do other EU airports do this?), but this airport served its purpose well. On a side note, is Europa Park one of the few reasons people fly to Baden-Baden? I only ask because the bulk of the adverts in the airport were for Europa Park; hardly any for anything else.

London Stansted was a mixed bag. Going out was fine; with a short security queue and a good departure lounge, what more could you really ask for? Going back was different, and possibly among the least pleasurable airport experiences I've had; the immigration queue was far, far longer than any I've ever seen before (and that includes Orlando, which is notoriously busy), and getting out of Stansted took 1.5-2 hours all in... has anyone else found Stansted to be like this, or did I just strike it at a busy time?
 

Indy

Hyper Poster
So, I'll just get into the good and the bad, and then provide my list of airports that I've been to.

The Best
London Gatwick
Munich

The Best for America
Indianapolis
New Orleans
Austin

The Worst
Kansas City
LAX
Miami
Milan Bergamo
Mexico City

The List
Amsterdam Schipol
Atlanta
Austin
Baltimore
Birmingham (USA)
Boston
Brisbane
Brussels
Charlotte
Chicago Midway
Cincinnati
Clearwater St Pete
Cleveland
Dallas Fort Worth
Denver
Des Moines
Detroit
Dublin
Edmonton
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Myers (old)
Hartford
Houston (Bush)
Houston (Hobby)
Huntsville
Indianapolis (new)
Indianapolis (old)
Kansas City
Las Vegas
LAX
London Gatwick
London Heathrow
Louisville
Manchester
Memphis
Mexico City
Miami
Milan Bergamo
Milan Malpensa
Milwaukee
Minneapolis
Montego Bay
Munich
Nashville
New Orleans (new)
New Orleans (old)
Newark
Oakland
Orlando
Orlando Sanford
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Sacramento
Salt Lake City
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Ana (John Wayne)
Sao Paulo GRU
Seattle
Spokane
St Louis
Stockholm-Arlanda
Sydney
Toronto
Vancouver
Victoria
Warsaw Chopin
Washington (Reagan)
Washington Dulles
 
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Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
I have been to quite a dew darted across Europe- a lot though were when i was younger so i do not have full memory of them.

Out of the 'big 3' in the UK. I have been to Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick especially a heavy amount and here is my take on all of them:

Gatwick: This airport is 4 miles from my house and is the backbone of my town's economy so i know it like the back of my hand- I even work there!
I believe it is pretty strong overall. I think there is good choices with food and drink in both terminals, and its generally not hard to get around with the amount of signs. I do think it has got better over the years. I think it by far has the best train link as well to London. Gatwick to London is as easy as jumping on a 30-40 minute direct gatwick express train amongst the million Southern Services that also go to London via Gatwick.

Stansted:
Stansted did not impress back in February. It had Gatwick level crowds but being there really made me appreciate how good Gatwick is at making sure there is enough seats/enough toilets/ect.
The layout of Stansted always confuses me to be fair, it is needlessly spaced out and plenty of long walks. I know Gatwick has some of this but it has an extra terminal and i believe Stansted is needlessly big in some areas. It also is a little more annoying to get to the london via this one compared to the other two as well.

Heathrow: This is the one i have visited the least though every terminal seems to either hit or really miss.
I am going later this month and i pray it does not miss. I think Heathrow really varies in quality. I guess you have a good tube link to London?

For mentions i would like to congratulate O'Hare for "dumbest layout" i have seen,
Keflavik for being the cleanest
and.. Dalaman for being just the worst
 

Gazza

Giga Poster
Australia
Melbourne
Sydney
Brisbane
Mildura
Shepparton
Gold Coast
Perth
Darwin
Hobart
Adelaide

USA
LAX
Santa Barbara
SFO
Fresno Yosemite
SeaTac
Las Vegas
Dallas Fort Worth DWF
San Antonio
Orlando
Chicago Ohare
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Salt Lake City
Atlanta
Charlotte
Richmond
Newark
Hartford/Windsor Locks
Louisville

NZ
Auckland

UK
Gatwick

NL
Schipol

DE
Hamburg
Munich

DK
Copenhagen

Singapore
Changi

India
Delhi
Mumbai
Chandigarh

Japan
Narita

UAE
Dubai
Abu Dhabi

Thailand
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

Canada
Toronto
Montreal
Vancouver

I think of that list Changi is the best.
Dubai and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi are impressive too.
Munich is clean and efficient.
Of the American ones Minneapolis I remember having a good variety of restaurants, and Fresno has this whole fake indoor redwood forest.
Mumbai had nice architecture but the security was so slow.
Vancouver i remember was nice looking.
Of the Australian ones, I don't mind Adelaide actually.
 

hersheyfan410

Roller Poster
Been to…
Philly
Harrisburg
Atlanta
Denver
Orlando
Milwaukee
Kansas City
San Diego
Dallas Fort Worth
Myrtle beach
O’Hare
Newark
Heathrow

Of those Newark is the worst and it’s not even close. If you’ve been there you know why and if you haven’t, well the other airports in NYC are also **** so avoid at all costs. I’ve had the misfortune of Philly being my main airport but I personally don’t find it as bad as some say. My favorite big airport is probably Denver cause it’s just massive and not too overcrowded.
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I have been to ...

Manchester
Orlando International
Charles de Gaulle (Paris)
Palma
Brussels Charleroi
Reus
Frankfurt
Stuttgart
Hamburg
Basel Euroairport
Corfu
Chania (Crete)
Naples
Gran Canaria
Prague Letiste
Edinburgh
Goteburg-Landvetter
Faro
Cologne
Budapest
Orlando Sanford
Krakow
Schipol (Amsterdam)

Best: Orlando International - Big and very grand, but it's easy to get around.
Worst: Charles de Gaulle - big and very grand, but it's a nightmare to get around.
 
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CanobieFan

Giga Poster
Been a while since I updated my airport list <3
(also, I've made a geeky google maps map with all my airports plotted <3 - https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1_SuB4qOUjGYfFWhOwtb8s6Kr-Is&usp=sharing )
The List -
Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath
Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Boston Logan International Airport
Bradley International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Calgary International Airport
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas Love Field Airport
Denver International Airport
Des Moines International Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Flughafen Düsseldorf International
Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß
Flughafen Wien-Schwechat
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Gatwick Airport
General Mitchell International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hector International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Keflavík International Airport
Kloten Airport
Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup
LaGuardia Airport
Lambert–St. Louis International Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Stansted Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Madrid Barajas International Airport
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
McCarran International Airport
McGhee Tyson Airport
Memphis International Airport
Miami International Airport
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
Myrtle Beach International Airport
Narita International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Orlando International Airport
Orlando Sanford International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Port Columbus International Airport
Pittsburgh International Airport
Portsmouth International Airport at Pease
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport
San Antonio International Airport
San Diego International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Säve Flygplats
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Singapore Changi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Will Rogers World Airport
 

Christian

Hyper Poster
As a huge avgeek I have been to loads of airports all-over the world cant list them all here.

I value 3 things in an airport :
1. Speed. Don't like useless waiting and standing around. I want to be in and out fast. I'm not the kind of guy who comes hours before departure.
2. Airside views. While I don't like spending unnecessary time in airports I really enjoy spending my minimal time there looking at planes.
3. Easy city connections. Whether it's a cab, metro, bus or train that is well priced and quick then I am a fan.

The airport that I feel delivers best on all 3 points is Copenhagen Airport. This is a really simple and not fancy airport. It has a brilliant layout. Great plane views from almost everywhere. Well priced shops and great food. A brilliant metro directly to the city center, as well as fast train to Sweden. All that is great but the absolutely best thing about this airport is that it is always really efficient. There are rarely any lines for anything, bags come incredibly quick and it's just a really convenient travel experience. Absolutely love this place.

Worst is either Havanna or Los Angeles. Havana because it is an absolute mess. Everything is chaos (most of Cuba is also chaos), on arrival it is very dim, hot and slow. Everything is broken and nothing seems to ever work.

LAX. This airport is hard to generalise as it is made of loads of smaller terminals connected on a huge loop road. Most terminals are actually quite ok and some airlines have spent loads on improving their terminals such as Southwest. What I really dislike about LAX is precisely that huge loop road. It is super slow and to pick up an Uber you need to ride some disgusting bus that looks like it's from the 60s to take you to a parking lot where in extreme confusion all ride services are lined up. It is just such as hassle to get in and out of this airport even if the terminals themselves are pretty ok. It is incredibly confusing. It is such a waste of time. Granted they are trying to improve this loop road with a monorail but I don't really see how that will help.

Honorable mention to Fort Lauderdale. While the airport itself is really dated I nevertheless enjoy the ancient and smelling carpet. Ignoring the smell it looks pretty cool. What is horrible here is their immigration when coming from abroad. It is way to small to handle all the international traffic they receive. Lines at immigration can take hours. I have been here 3 times and always waited about 2 hours for immigration. Though I gotta say that these are the nicest CBP officers I have ever encountered. While most of them are always really kind these guys give restaurant and sightseeing advice and just feel incredibly friendly. That's maybe why the line is so long?
 
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Smithy

Strata Poster
Can chuck in Venice and Malaga now - the former was still a work in progress but being able to just wander outside and grab a bus or a boat over was fun.

Malaga airport was really good - cheap as chips to get into the city, bit more of a supermarket feel though and a bit crowded with many of the arrivals coming through the departure area.

Main thing I'll chuck in about those two (and Palma/Madrid that I've visited since the last update) are that the covid measurements and passport measures have been brilliant. Spain in particular handled it all amazingly well - through, scanned, checked, updated immediately and received emails instantly to confirm all was well and we knew what we needed to do. All of these came back through Stansted and I am sick to the back teeth of them having 10% of their e-gates open and monumentally long queues - but last week we were through and back to the car within 15 minutes of landing which I can't really fault.
 
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