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Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


  • Total voters
    27
Hugely infuriating aspect of living in the ME - they know they are ******* you about and it seems to be their only reason for existing.

My Grandfather was the least judgemental man I've ever known - he served and worked all over the place. In his own turn of phrase, he said he enjoyed the many other peoples and cultures he came across, 'not so much' the Arabs - which if I were to translate that to normal speak, he thought them to be a massive bunch of cnuts.

Irony is I then worked out there for nigh on 15 years - within the first few I came to the same conclusion and decided to rinse them for as much as I could.

Yes and no in my experience. We used to stopover in Abu Dhabi and it was always painless. Jordan and Egypt are a bit disorganised but not actively obstructive. Dubai and Saudi are the kind of entries on your roster that make you wonder who you’ve upset in rostering.

Oddly enough, the locals mirror their officialdom. I think it’s a pride thing, the more bling a country wants to be, the more the Arabs have to rely on non Arabs to make it happen and that highlights their utter incompetence which hurts their pride. Fair one I suppose but if they bothered to look beyond the staggering hypocrisy that underpins their entire psyche, they’d find that they’d soon be able to run it all themselves.

Power comes in the form of oil. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
 
The Haj terminal.

And Jeddah more generally. Someone mentioned the Chinese being a bit ambivalent about maintenance? The Saudis, at least in Jeddah, seem to be the same? They (slave labour supervised by White Eyes) throw up these massive, bling buildings, roads etc. then just leave it to rot. All the pavements are falling apart, piles of rubbish along what could be one of the most spectacular corniche, roads to nowhere and everywhere you look, the most bizarre sculptures like a 50’ high yellow concrete teapot in the middle of a roundabout, all of it faded and with chunks missing.

We went though once a week over the 3 months of Haj, taking pilgrims from and to Indonesia. Each week you could guarantee that the one piece of paper that you didn’t have last week but was critical to the future of mankind / getting out of the terminal is the one piece of paper you’ve made sure you’ve got this week but is now useless. After a 13 hour flight, being messed about by a weedy little Arab in trousers 2” to short and a beret 2’ too big for several hours can be “trying”. You can’t argue as the standard answer is jail.

Then the killer; a few cold ones after such a day usually alter your outlook for the better. But you’re in Jeddah. A pot of tea just doesn’t cut it somehow.
It sounds like it has become quite an unpleasant place. I first went there in 1979 when it was an untidy but fascinating city. Dhows were built in the traditional manner at the southern end opposite the Queen's Building, with salt being gathered on the flats nearby. There were only a couple of small shopping malls, the Corniche was a few years down the road and no Chinese it was all S. Koreans.

I was last in Jeddah in 2000, it had much more than quadrupled in area but was not as dilapidated as you describe. No wish to go back, ever.
 
Yes and no in my experience. We used to stopover in Abu Dhabi and it was always painless. Jordan and Egypt are a bit disorganised but not actively obstructive. Dubai and Saudi are the kind of entries on your roster that make you wonder who you’ve upset in rostering.

Oddly enough, the locals mirror their officialdom. I think it’s a pride thing, the more bling a country wants to be, the more the Arabs have to rely on non Arabs to make it happen and that highlights their utter incompetence which hurts their pride. Fair one I suppose but if they bothered to look beyond the staggering hypocrisy that underpins their entire psyche, they’d find that they’d soon be able to run it all themselves.

Power comes in the form of oil. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Spot on.

They despise those who the feel are beneath them, which is pretty much everyone, and they hate those that actually assist them as they are a constant reminder of how utterly useless they are.

Never have a bunch of people had such misguided arrogance.

Only people I had time for were the Omanis - lovely.

I think I'm more talking about the GCC states Qatar & Kuwait are the same as the Saudis and Emiratis.

Jordanians best of the Levant lot.
 
Amman, Jordan. That's the PM's transport in the background. Not a particularly bad experience in terms of transit due to the people involved. However the PM was due to meet bigwigs so the Convoy in the foreground sped off at breakneck speed, leaving our crappy 'carrier' behind. Despite the sweating driver's best efforts we were well behind the main convoy to the point where roads that had been closed were re-opening.

Of course the armed plod on the streets of Amman were not amused to see a random vehicle apparently chasing the smart official Range Rovers and Mercs of the Prot teams. Our driver drove deftly around the Police, shouting advice as he went: I was pretty sure we would be brassed up at any moment.

IMG_0252.jpg


We swapped the RAF's VIP transport for a Herc for the trip into Basra and were told to put our body armour on (because that's going to be a life saver when the a/c gets hit and stuffs in). I tried to get a photo of the PM in her war gear but got told to **** off by her Prot bloke. (he was loving his C4, shades and jeans rig!)

Prot blokes, 'Them' and us: A huge contrast to the regular RAF booze trolley visits on the Voyager.

IMG_0201.jpeg
 
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...Dubai and Saudi are the kind of entries on your roster that make you wonder who you’ve upset in rostering...

First time into Dubai, went through immigration and the fat sweaty retard sat in his box grunting at arriving passengers. Made the mistake of glancing into his box and the floor was awash in lung oysters him and his predecessor had probaby been hacking up for a week. My in flight meal made a pretty good attempt at joining the mess before I could shut my eyes and think of penguins.
 
Lubumbashi is a strong contender - I was there last year - but I actually liked the city.

Before boarding a flight nowadays in DRC one must buy a 'Go-Pass'. I thinks it's $25 for domestic and $50 for international (or perhaps double that). Cash only, and must be in USD.

Leaving Lubumbashi (on the second attempt because the first plane didn't bother turning up) we all got to the 'air side' of the air port to be greeted by an avaricious 'Go-Pass' collector, with GMG bag in hand. He had no change and no receipts. A near riot of businessmen broke out as they shouted at him telling him he was corrupt and was supporting a corrupt government, but of course everyone had to pay. Go-Pass man left with a chinese laundry bag full of dollars and a grin on his face. We all got on the plane (which, incidentally, smelt of fresh turds).
The “No Change available” can go badly wrong.

Changing flights from London / Caracas to Caracas/ Bogotá left me with 2 hours to kill and a desperate need for coffee. Venezuela has fantastic coffee so up to the coffee shop I ventured .

Coffee was a mere 5 US cents a cup but I only had paper money and oddly enough, no change was available .

Hung over as I was, ( free booze on Varig in those days), I wasn’t really in a mood to be fucked around and explained that if they had no change then I had no patience so “line up 20 cups of coffee ******** and we will see who the funny ****** is here.”

I had about 12 before my heart rate went through the roof, heart palpitations kicked in and I started seeing double. I really though I might die

I’m never doing that again.
 
The “No Change available” can go badly wrong.

Changing flights from London / Caracas to Caracas/ Bogotá left me with 2 hours to kill and a desperate need for coffee. Venezuela has fantastic coffee so up to the coffee shop I ventured .

Coffee was a mere 5 US cents a cup but I only had paper money and oddly enough, no change was available .

Hung over as I was, ( free booze on Varig in those days), I wasn’t really in a mood to be fucked around and explained that if they had no change then I had no patience so “line up 20 cups of coffee ******** and we will see who the funny ****** is here.”

I had about 12 before my heart rate went through the roof, heart palpitations kicked in and I started seeing double. I really though I might die

I’m never doing that again.

Brilliant idea though :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
The “No Change available” can go badly wrong.

Changing flights from London / Caracas to Caracas/ Bogotá left me with 2 hours to kill and a desperate need for coffee. Venezuela has fantastic coffee so up to the coffee shop I ventured .

Coffee was a mere 5 US cents a cup but I only had paper money and oddly enough, no change was available .

Hung over as I was, ( free booze on Varig in those days), I wasn’t really in a mood to be fucked around and explained that if they had no change then I had no patience so “line up 20 cups of coffee ******** and we will see who the funny ****** is here.”

I had about 12 before my heart rate went through the roof, heart palpitations kicked in and I started seeing double. I really though I might die

I’m never doing that again.
Coffee does sneak up on you like that.
I had a night on one of the Londonderry PVCPs and was chugging chogie coffee all night. I puked my ring up all over the ops room.
Popular, me.
 

Oyibo

LE
The “No Change available” can go badly wrong.

Changing flights from London / Caracas to Caracas/ Bogotá left me with 2 hours to kill and a desperate need for coffee. Venezuela has fantastic coffee so up to the coffee shop I ventured .

Coffee was a mere 5 US cents a cup but I only had paper money and oddly enough, no change was available .

Hung over as I was, ( free booze on Varig in those days), I wasn’t really in a mood to be fucked around and explained that if they had no change then I had no patience so “line up 20 cups of coffee ******** and we will see who the funny ****** is here.”

I had about 12 before my heart rate went through the roof, heart palpitations kicked in and I started seeing double. I really though I might die

I’m never doing that again.

Excellent work - you're a man after my own heart.

There's one I sometimes like to do in airports where one is thronged by 'helpers'. One has to be in the mood and have enough time. I call it 'The Helpdesk Doubleback'. (I don't really, I just made that up.) It goes like this:

When the usual f*ckers come running up pretending to be official bag toters or people of influence, I gladly accept the first ones help. I then ask another to help instead of the first, and so on.. This can have the gratifying effect of starting a massive argument between the 'helpers'. It does mean that some dosh will have to be paid to someone in the end, so I usually reserve that for the people putting my baggage airside to ensure it gets there. As the chaos reaches Beirut levels of overpressure, pointing out an innocent person and saying 'I gave $100/Shekels/Whatevers' to him to share between you allows a good window of time to get past security etc.
 
Addendum to this - A lot of the runways in the Sudan were just a section of straightish track, part of a road. Main problem was clearing it to get out of there, what with all the rubberneckers and their goats who'd turned up. (If you want to save Africa, eat more goat curry. They're killing the vegetation and this buy a village a goat charity are a massive fucking con IMO.)

The other thing was, we kept a pair of work gloves in the side pocket and would don them after shutting down and before opening the door. New blokes would learn very quickly as the local men would all want to shake hands to show the rest of the village how important they were, the grande fromage being first to do so.

Problem is, the digit always left the nostril and was extended straight out for a handshake, no matter what was still adhering to it.

First time I flew into Mana pools, hired a local , young man . Not too expensive, flew there from Vic falls , I was with two UK uni students who were doing some field work in a Gold mine. Had a few nice trips there as well.

Anyway as we got in the “ some small Cessna type” Young pilot asks how much we weighed. Knowing a little but they said 9, 10 stone I said oh 11 . So got to sit next to him .

On arriving in Mana, he did a couple of very close touch and goes before we landed. I even took a picture as I though WTF.

On landing , asking why he did that?

Oh to scare off the animals as hitting anything moving tends to spoil you trip.

As an airport goes , a strip in the Bush with a few barrels full of Avgas and a hand pump is a bit different.
 
DSCF0159.jpg


Could be any strip in Africa, I suppose. Luzamba Camp on the Rio Cuango. Dead planes here and there around the runway, lots of mines etc. War long over, but the paranoia still there.
 
Excellent work - you're a man after my own heart.

There's one I sometimes like to do in airports where one is thronged by 'helpers'. One has to be in the mood and have enough time. I call it 'The Helpdesk Doubleback'. (I don't really, I just made that up.) It goes like this:

When the usual f*ckers come running up pretending to be official bag toters or people of influence, I gladly accept the first ones help. I then ask another to help instead of the first, and so on.. This can have the gratifying effect of starting a massive argument between the 'helpers'. It does mean that some dosh will have to be paid to someone in the end, so I usually reserve that for the people putting my baggage airside to ensure it gets there. As the chaos reaches Beirut levels of overpressure, pointing out an innocent person and saying 'I gave $100/Shekels/Whatevers' to him to share between you allows a good window of time to get past security etc.
Nasty b'stard!
I had leaving Lagos down to a fine art.
For those that don't know, you get a few shakedowns on your way through to actually get to the aircraft. Passport control, security, customs then departure lounge. However, before you board the aircraft, they have another fingertip bag search. The usual whispered, "Do you have anything for me" was always met with a very deaf Biff replying in a very loud voice, asking them to repeat it, "Did you say you wanted money?"
Bag shut, next passenger, thank you very much.
One of the biggest scams at Lagos was departing with some sort of carving or leaving gift. Their 'Customs' would only ever go through your check in luggage. If you had anything that looked remotely like an 'antiquity' you needed a certificate from the Lagos museum. No certificate, no item or pay the dash/customs fee. Their interpretation of 'antiquity' was any old cheap wooden carved mask, usually made in China. However, they never checked the carry on.;)
 
I don't know about worst airport, but the worst railway station has got to be Edinburgh Waverley, particularly if you are changing trains. At first sight it seems to be a rather impressive edifice from the Victorian age. However, the layout is a total mystery and not being a terminal station, trains chug in and out from both ends often sharing the same platform. Some platforms are through lines, others are bay platforms.

Things have been cunningly arranged so that whatever train you are continuing your journey on will be at the other end of the world from the one bringing you in and usually with a five minute connection time.
 
Does Toronto count as First World? I've ******* loathed it for 40 odd years now.

Third World, Cairo was surprisingly nice when I passed through it 10 or so years ago, Luxor and Hurgada are horrible.
 
Nasty b'stard!
I had leaving Lagos down to a fine art.
For those that don't know, you get a few shakedowns on your way through to actually get to the aircraft. Passport control, security, customs then departure lounge. However, before you board the aircraft, they have another fingertip bag search. The usual whispered, "Do you have anything for me" was always met with a very deaf Biff replying in a very loud voice, asking them to repeat it, "Did you say you wanted money?"
Bag shut, next passenger, thank you very much.
One of the biggest scams at Lagos was departing with some sort of carving or leaving gift. Their 'Customs' would only ever go through your check in luggage. If you had anything that looked remotely like an 'antiquity' you needed a certificate from the Lagos museum. No certificate, no item or pay the dash/customs fee. Their interpretation of 'antiquity' was any old cheap wooden carved mask, usually made in China. However, they never checked the carry on.;)

Back in the 1980ies one of my uncles worked in Nigeria, his customs plan out of Lagos was to take a string bag of Mangoes ,Avocados and a few bottles of Hero or Star. On being asked about his trip and if he had anything to declare he just said , “Oh this , would you like one?” Lost a few but never stopped.
 

Oyibo

LE
Nasty b'stard!
I had leaving Lagos down to a fine art.
For those that don't know, you get a few shakedowns on your way through to actually get to the aircraft. Passport control, security, customs then departure lounge. However, before you board the aircraft, they have another fingertip bag search. The usual whispered, "Do you have anything for me" was always met with a very deaf Biff replying in a very loud voice, asking them to repeat it, "Did you say you wanted money?"
Bag shut, next passenger, thank you very much.
One of the biggest scams at Lagos was departing with some sort of carving or leaving gift. Their 'Customs' would only ever go through your check in luggage. If you had anything that looked remotely like an 'antiquity' you needed a certificate from the Lagos museum. No certificate, no item or pay the dash/customs fee. Their interpretation of 'antiquity' was any old cheap wooden carved mask, usually made in China. However, they never checked the carry on.;)


I did the "Why are you asking (axing?) for money" in a loud voice to a few years in Nigeria and then stumbled across a more satisfying solution courtesy of a guy you worked with (Initials DT - looks like Basil Faulty).

On being asked "do you have anything for me", pull oneself up to full height with a beatific smile and say something like "I do indeed - may the blessings of the Lord be upon you" or at Christmas time, "I do indeed -Season's Greetings!"

It's like an EMP strike to the Nigerian brain - it shuts it down completely.

A slight thread drift, but... A friend's (Nigerian) driver came up with an awesome pre-emptive strike. They were in their vehicle crawling out of their compound on Ikoyi, and there was a policeman ahead looking at them. 'Here we go' thought the friend. Policeman stopped them and approached the driver's side. The driver wound down his window, and before the copper could open his mouth the driver said "It's my birthday, what have you got for me?" Astonishingly, the copper gave the driver N500. That's the type of driver one needs in delightful places like Nigeria.
 

Oyibo

LE
Back in the 1980ies one of my uncles worked in Nigeria, his customs plan out of Lagos was to take a string bag of Mangoes ,Avocados and a few bottles of Hero or Star. On being asked about his trip and if he had anything to declare he just said , “Oh this , would you like one?” Lost a few but never stopped.


Yes - the decoy baggage. Have used it a few times, but mostly with things like empty cigarette lighters and christmas cracker nail clippers.

Star beer would be an interesting one nowadays!
 
I did the "Why are you asking (axing?) for money" in a loud voice to a few years in Nigeria and then stumbled across a more satisfying solution courtesy of a guy you worked with (Initials DT - looks like Basil Faulty).

On being asked "do you have anything for me", pull oneself up to full height with a beatific smile and say something like "I do indeed - may the blessings of the Lord be upon you" or at Christmas time, "I do indeed -Season's Greetings!"

It's like an EMP strike to the Nigerian brain - it shuts it down completely.

A slight thread drift, but... A friend's (Nigerian) driver came up with an awesome pre-emptive strike. They were in their vehicle crawling out of their compound on Ikoyi, and there was a policeman ahead looking at them. 'Here we go' thought the friend. Policeman stopped them and approached the driver's side. The driver wound down his window, and before the copper could open his mouth the driver said "It's my birthday, what have you got for me?" Astonishingly, the copper gave the driver N500. That's the type of driver one needs in delightful places like Nigeria.
I wonder if they have upped their entry requirements at MMA in Lagos.
I have mentioned here before when they were doing the Bird flu scam, asking for vaccination certificates before you get to passport control. Of course, no one did so it was a dash or a difficult argument. 'Fvck off' and a sarcastic laugh worked fine for me.
I would not be surprised if they were doing the Covid 19 vaccine scam. I think we were both there during the Ebola crisis. My biggest fear was never getting taken hostage, it was always getting suspected of having Ebola and being put into their 'isolation room', with all the other unfortunates. If you didn't have it before, you would after a few nights at their hands.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm loving this thread, it's got me thinking about some of the land border crossings i've made (and some i've avoided...) although the more interesting ones are dulled by time and liberal application of alcohol... a doss bag & mossie net were definitely part of the required kit, along with many 'petit cadeau' of various denominations
ETA - unsuprisingly most in Africa....
 
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Oyibo

LE
I wonder if they have upped their entry requirements at MMA in Lagos.
I have mentioned here before when they were doing the Bird flu scam, asking for vaccination certificates before you get to passport control. Of course, noone did so it was a dash or a difficult argument. 'Fvck off' and a sarcastic laugh worked fine for me.
I would not be surprised if they were coing the Covid 19 vaccine scam. I think we were both there during the Ebola crisis. My biggest fear was never getting taken hostage, it was always getting suspected of having Ebola and being put into their 'isolation room', with all the other unfortunates. If you didn't have it before, you would after a few nights at their hands.


Do you remember on arrival sprinting to get to the front of the immigration queue, and the escalators just before the immigration desks. The escalatiors that would overload with people descending them and turn into a sort of Heironymous Bosch meat grinder as people piled up at the bottom?

MMIA actually improved quite a bit, and the new domestic terminal was a huuuuge improvement on the sheep shearing shed they had before.

ETA - they were actually quite good (by African standards) during the Ebola nonsense.
 

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