Malaga airport, Orlando and Faro are the most confusing foreign airports for British people to navigate, according to new research.
Holidaymakers have been left baffled by bad signage at the Spanish, US and Portuguese holiday destinations, which came top of the nationwide survey commissioned by car hire broker Holiday Autos. Source: PA.
Other Spanish destinations did not fare well either, with Alicante and Palma de Mallorca also making it onto the list.
Sydney Airport was found to be by far the most straightforward to navigate, closely followed by Berlin, Brussels, Geneva and Schipol, according to the OnePoll survey.
Findings also showed that each holidaymaker spent well over half an hour travelling from the gate to the car hire desk on arrival, the survey said.
Of the 2,000 people questioned, 47 per cent cited poor signage as the most common causes of confusion.
The survey also found that people were frustrated by the long walk through the terminal, at just under half a mile, combined with the 17 minutes on average it takes to reach a main road once your'e out of the terminal building.
Younger people found the route from the airport car park to the main road the most perplexing, taking on average five minutes longer than their middle-aged counterparts by spending around 20 minutes trying to find the right exit, it said.
The Holiday Autos survey also found that almost half of British drivers abroad would feel more at home behind the wheel with a pre-programmed sat nav and national driving regulation guides.
The worst airports in the world 2011
Malaga airport is the most confusing for British travellers
The NAIA in Manila has been voted as the 2011 world's worst airport by users of the online travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports (sleepinginairports.net), based on reader reviews and poll votes. The website listed reasons such as safety concerns, theft, poor facilities, bribery and lack of comfortable seating. One reader said: 'You will not want to even close your eyes here! Bribery and theft exists. Airport taxes are collected, but the money does not seem to go towards the betterment of the airport.' In terms of facilities, passengers may have better luck at the newer Terminal 3, where it is clean, spacious and offers an internet connection.
It might be the largest airport in France - and one of the busiest in the world - but Paris CDG, which opened in 1974, has since frequently been criticised for its confusing layout, rude staff and ugly buildings. What's more, the seating benches have been deemed uncomfortable and insufficient, and homeless people are said to frequently disturb sleeping travellers.
Frankfurt Hahn also made sleepinginairports.net's worst airports 2011 list. They said: 'Limited seating, bucket seats, and a lack of passenger facilities. A very basic airport for budget airlines.' In a 2010 World's Worst Travel Survey, passengers also complained of 'confusing signage' and 'unpleasant ground staff'.
In a Priority Pass survey in 2010, London Heathrow was voted the least favourite airport, owing to the fact that it is also one of the world's busiest. The problems of winter 2010, when the airport was ill-prepared for bad weather and snow grounded thousands of flights, further weakened its image. Long security queues and hours waiting at the baggage line have also been cited.
According to Independent writer Peter Popham, Delhi airport's 'carpeting is a thin scarlet runner, and stains are splattered in corners. Creature comforts are negligible. Passport control takes an eternity. Half the trolleys are broken down. They force you to x-ray your luggage coming in to the country as well as going out.' And, according to a survey by Foreign Policy magazine, it also boasts 'aggressive beggars, syringes on the terminal floor, and filthy bathrooms'.
According to reports, 'the odour of faeces and urine abound in this airport, which no doubt attract the hoards of rats, cockroaches and other bugs that scurry around the departures and arrivals area.' There's also been talk of overflowing toilets, and passengers escaping the airport chaos only to be mugged or beaten on the tarmac outside.
The San Francisco Chronicle describes LAX as 'eight terminals connected by a traffic jam'. And, according to sleepinginairports.net, seating is limited, rude security staff 'automatically assume you are a terrorist or that you will never leave their country', bathrooms are in poor condition, signage is poor, and there are no conveniences for people in transit.... 'not even a 24 hour coffee shop.' Ouch.
This small airport in the town of Lukla in eastern Nepal is popular as it is the gateway to the Mount Everest region in Nepal. But it will give you a nail-biting landing, involving a plummet onto an uphill airstrip cut into the side of a mountain. And on takeoff, the airstrip comes to an abrupt end at the edge of a mountain cliff.
At Dakar's airport 'there is only squalor, an unnerving sense of confinement, and to some extent danger,' said salon.com's Patrick Smith. Foreign Policy magzine's survey concurred, writing: 'Dakar has no seats and travellers are targeted by hawkers, porters and security guards who move them on. Immigration takes three hours.'
Simón Bolívar International, known locally as ‘Maiquetia’, is the main international airport in the South American state of Venezuela. It is located around 29km from the centre of the capital, Caracas, and is described as being 'situated practically in the middle of the favelas'. Hundreds of travellers have been robbed or mugged as soon as they left the airport, while kidnapping, stabbings and shootings 'have all occurred before passengers have even reached the taxi line', according to the Matador Network. What's more, you'll be charged a $53 airport tax for the privilege.
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