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Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


  • Total voters
    27
Not just small airports; I came across a rather nonplussed alligator on a taxiway at Orlando McCoy. S/he’d bimbled out onto the hot tarmac as the evening cooled and was pretty clear that 300kg of prehistoric reptile had precedence over 100+T of 21st century technology. Who am I to argue?

Cletus came out in his 4x4 and tried to shift my new friend but sensibly stayed in the vehicle so matey opened one eye and fucked the human race off. I was starting to fret a bit as we were burning fuel and starting to eat into our reserves and the only way to solve the impasse was for me to get towed backwards onto another taxiway, 3 point turns not being in The Big Book of Flying Big Things.

By this time, half the cabin crew were on the flight deck videoing proceedings, giggling and offering general advice based on how they stopped next door’s cat shitting in their flower beds. For comic affect (and in the absence of any better ideas), my FO opened the side window and shouted “shoo”.

It would appear that the best way of shifting recalcitrant alligators that are close to bringing major international airports to a standstill is to shout “shoo” at it.

Mr/s Ambulatory Posh Luggage duly sauntered off into the drainage channel and the modern world resumed normal service.

Had a bit of a Jonah cojoe who almost landed on a crocodile on the runway twice at Bujumbura.

Managed to bump a bit of power on and scooted over the beastie the first time. Second time involved a bit of heavy braking then a gentle steer around Senor Grumpy.

He was also with me when the boss got killed.

Ah, could be I'm the Jonah.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
That list is certainly one compiled by someone who has only ever been to only those airports, and found that they don't have cafes serving his preferred kind of latte. Probably a Guardian writer (and segue'ing on to all sorts of other global social issues...
No, I won't go there on this thread).

A 'First World' complaint, I think?
I have been to two of those CDG and Newark, they've been treated very kindly in that survey. While nothing like the cataclysmic shitholes elsewhere, they have their own dismal brand of low grade unpleasantness that makes your flesh creep.
 
Oi! @Lardbeast bloke. What bloody plane is this - It's in my Gabon folder, but I'm damned if I can remember what it is:

View attachment 495380

Co-pilot's obviously at the bar.

It‘s a 737 Classic (-300 to -600), forerunner of the NG and MAX series, successor to the Jurassic, -100 and -200.

This example is a bit of an hybrid as it has EFIS instruments and FMCs (the green screen by the Capt’s right knee) but EIS engine instruments, a kind of first stab at electronic instrumentation. It’s reasonably recent, post 9/11 as it has a camera covering the flight deck door showing on the screen in the middle, between the FMCs.

The photo was taken on the ground as the flight instruments are all at zero and there are a number of blue lights on the overhead panel that you’d not see in flight.

Smug Mode AUTO
 
Most places will get a pass from me if they have working aircon, pax are not taking a shit on the floor of the terminal, the security bods have some kind of clue and no one is trying to stick the barrel of an AK up my nose.
 
It‘s a 737 Classic (-300 to -600), forerunner of the NG and MAX series, successor to the Jurassic, -100 and -200.

This example is a bit of an hybrid as it has EFIS instruments and FMCs (the green screen by the Capt’s right knee) but EIS engine instruments, a kind of first stab at electronic instrumentation. It’s reasonably recent, post 9/11 as it has a camera covering the flight deck door showing on the screen in the middle, between the FMCs.

The photo was taken on the ground as the flight instruments are all at zero and there are a number of blue lights on the overhead panel that you’d not see in flight.

Smug Mode AUTO

Yup, thought it was a jet for a while but figured maybe too many gauges for something without a prop to complicate things.
 
I would have thought that being in merica, a few well placed 30.06 would have done the job nicely.

Nah, they are quite cuddly about their wildlife, it’s only humans they routinely slot.
 
...not corrupt? Where do you think all those confiscated aerosols went?
I used to be a fan of Noxzema shaving foam - great stuff but can’t get it any more. I used to come in a weird shaped aerosol can.

Coming back from one of my little holidays courtesy of HMG one of the guys manning the X-ray machine pulled my bag aside with a quizzical look on his face. After a quick rummage he pulled the bottle of noxzema out - fair doos, it did look weird.

Completely missed the (well vented and rinsed out) fuel bottle for my MSR petrol stove though...

On a similar theme:

I once did an electronics course at Cranfield - taken by a guy with a brain like one of the Tefal guys. Part of it was to solder together a particular circuit board identical to one used by PIRA during the troubles, test it and see if it worked.
The next day flying back to NI out of Bristol I suddenly realised that having effectively an IED component in my bag might cause a bit of a kerfuffle, so I had better put it in my hand luggage and show the guys to allay any fears.
At the x-ray machine, pulled it out and explained that I thought they would have a heart attack if they saw it going through: “gosh, looks like it came out of a bomb that!”
 
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....

Apart from the smuggling boxes of King Edward cigars and tabs across the German border back in the BAOR days.


I and the wife and American friends got through the Namibian , Caprivi strip Ngoma customs using some US Granola bars.

We were on a self planned self drive safari through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbo.

Been in the Kalahari for a few days
1596882749574.jpeg

Then onto Namibia. Met some Saffies who asked if we had visas as the Namibians had just changed the visa requirements . We got into Namibia but had no visas. Bugger. Driving early in the morning to the customs post, Andy , the American was chewing one of his breakfast bars. I asked him for a couple as we drove into the customs post . Walking up to the customs man with the bars in my hand, he was asking about visas and passports, I put down the bars On the counter and he asked what they were? Told him it was breakfast in a bar , great way to start the day, “Would you like them to try?”

Oh yes and do you have a visa ? ‘“OH no we don’t , we were in Botswana and never knew we needed them”.

Ahh , it’s OK . Quick stamp in the passport and we were away.
 
Most places will get a pass from me if they have working aircon, pax are not taking a shit on the floor of the terminal, the security bods have some kind of clue and no one is trying to stick the barrel of an AK up my nose.

Night out in The Gambia.

We‘d been to a great restaurant run by a Dutch expat and he’d sorted some taxis back to the hotel. Capt splits the crew 50/50 and hops in a cab with one lot, I take the others. SOP in iffy places.

We scream off in a cloud of exhaust fumes, me with my feet on the dashboard as sitting conventionally was problematic given there was no floor in the footwell. Rounding a corner, anchors slam on and we grind to a halt on a bridge (grind being the operative word as the brake pads were something of a misnomer).

Usual rag bag set up, international range of DPM type uniforms, concrete filled 45 gallon drums, flip flops and the only touch of class, that rifle, wooden furniture and all. I was “invited“ to carry out a barrel inspection via the 7.62 MILE (so it appeared) muzzle and then entered into negotiations on the price of the women in the back.

My hoop was going sixpence bin lid as these guys had that wide eyed, glassy stare thing going on, something to do with a herbal remedy popular thereabouts. At which point one of the cabin crew whips her knickers off, hangs them on the fore sight and screams “drive!”.

You don’t find that in Ops Manuals.
 
Apart from the smuggling boxes of King Edward cigars and tabs across the German border back in the BAOR days.


I and the wife and American friends got through the Namibian , Caprivi strip Ngoma customs using some US Granola bars.

We were on a self planned self drive safari through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbo.

Been in the Kalahari for a few days View attachment 495458
Then onto Namibia. Met some Saffies who asked if we had visas as the Namibians had just changed the visa requirements . We got into Namibia but had no visas. Bugger. Driving early in the morning to the customs post, Andy , the American was chewing one of his breakfast bars. I asked him for a couple as we drove into the customs post . Walking up to the customs man with the bars in my hand, he was asking about visas and passports, I put down the bars On the counter and he asked what they were? Told him it was breakfast in a bar , great way to start the day, “Would you like them to try?”

Oh yes and do you have a visa ? ‘“OH no we don’t , we were in Botswana and never knew we needed them”.

Ahh , it’s OK . Quick stamp in the passport and we were away.

That‘s on my bucket list.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
I used to be a fan of Noxzema shaving foam - great stuff but can’t get it any more. I used to come in a weird shaped aerosol can.

Coming back from one of my little holidays courtesy of HMG one of the guys manning the X-ray machine pulled my bag aside with a quizzical look on his face. After a quick rummage he pulled the bottle of noxzema out - fair doos, it did look weird.

Completely missed the (well vented and rinsed out) fuel bottle for my MSR petrol stove though...

On a similar theme:

I once did an electronics course at Cranfield - taken by a guy with a brain like one of the Tefal guys. Part of it was to solder together a particular circuit board identical to one used by PIRA during the troubles, test it and see if it worked.
The next day flying back to NI out of Bristol I suddenly realised that having effectively an IED component in my bag might cause a bit of a kerfuffle, so I had better put it in my hand luggage and show the guys to allay any fears.
At the x-ray machine, pulled it out and explained that I thought they would have a heart attack if they saw it going through: “gosh, looks like it came out of a bomb that!”
It's on Amazon, can doesn't look that odd unless it's changed
 
Night out in The Gambia.

We‘d been to a great restaurant run by a Dutch expat and he’d sorted some taxis back to the hotel. Capt splits the crew 50/50 and hops in a cab with one lot, I take the others. SOP in iffy places.

We scream off in a cloud of exhaust fumes, me with my feet on the dashboard as sitting conventionally was problematic given there was no floor in the footwell. Rounding a corner, anchors slam on and we grind to a halt on a bridge (grind being the operative word as the brake pads were something of a misnomer).

Usual rag bag set up, international range of DPM type uniforms, concrete filled 45 gallon drums, flip flops and the only touch of class, that rifle, wooden furniture and all. I was “invited“ to carry out a barrel inspection via the 7.62 MILE (so it appeared) muzzle and then entered into negotiations on the price of the women in the back.

My hoop was going sixpence bin lid as these guys had that wide eyed, glassy stare thing going on, something to do with a herbal remedy popular thereabouts. At which point one of the cabin crew whips her knickers off, hangs them on the fore sight and screams “drive!”.

You don’t find that in Ops Manuals.

One can only hope said knickers contained a skid mark like a melted Mars Bar.
 
Shout out fit Manchester too, utter fcuking gopping nightmare of a place. Utter nightmare to get to. Cramped, smelly/dirty, staff with all the charismas of amoeba’s. It is always my last resort airport of choice. You know it’s been abad day if flying Ryanair out of a Manchester.....
Seconded.

Despite the crappiness of Liverpool John Lennon, I will try to fly out of there rather than Manchester.
If you have to endure it then try to only have carry on luggage - they are universally renowned the utter uselessness of their baggage reclaim. Coming back from Vegas it took 2 hours, with several other flights in the same circumstances - and not a single representative on the floor, with good reason I imagine. They would probably get lynched.



[/QUOTE]

I have been to two of those CDG and Newark, they've been treated very kindly in that survey. While nothing like the cataclysmic shitholes elsewhere, they have their own dismal brand of low grade unpleasantness that makes your flesh creep.

On my way out to Vegas I had the misfortune to have an 8 hour delay at Newark - all I wanted was a couple of ice cold beers. Just a few, ice-cold, almost flavourless fizzy pop beers that America is famous for. I am normally a real-ale guy, but on a steaming hot day a cold Bud can be perfect.

Nope - all they had was lukewarm craft ales. And if I wanted a cocktail then you make a decision on an iPad, a computer mixes it for the barman and all he does is bring it to you. I did discover the very pleasant pretzel and mustard combination however, so not a total disaster.
 
...they have their own dismal brand of low grade unpleasantness that makes your flesh creep.

That is an excellent way of describing CDG T1.

I especially note that when going up those stupid escalator thingies in the middle, that sag as if they haven’t been maintained since they were installed.

They were state of the art when this was released in ‘77. Now they’re just depressed.

“Life, don’t talk to me about life”

 
A few years back I was dating a very delicious ex-ballerina who was formally married to a rather rich merchant banker. So she came out of the divorce with a few quid.

On her bucket list was a safari - and I was lucky enough to be her fella at the time she decided to tick it off the list with a trip to Tanzania. Totally amazing, hot air balloon over the serengeti, only the two of us in the tour jeep - we even had our own butler at one of the better lodges.

We then had a week on the beach on Zanzibar (she thought it would be nice to recover from the rigours of safari). Flying out of the bush-airport was brilliant. Just park up, our guide had it all sorted for us - he chucked the bags in the Cessna Caravan and off we go.

On the way back however...

Kisauni airport on Zanzibar was an amalgam of what others here have described in terms of the general inefficiency and blind officialdom of the dark continent. No x-rays of course, just a very corpulent female security guard going through a random selection of bags. I doubt she was actually looking at what she was pulling out of the bags, just going through the motions.
The rest just melds into a feeling of utter incompetence - the place was packed and nobody had a clue. God knows how we got off the ground. After a lifetime of flying in and out of holidays courtesy of HMG I am normally a very chilled traveller, but on this occasion I felt more than a modicum of discomfort over my safety. Worse still, my GF seemed to pick up on this and got rather worried too.

We got to Dar es Salam in one piece however - And there it was worse. Packed to the gunwhales again and utter chaos. Chinese tourists raising hell, locals screaming the odds and a feeling of utter incompetence again. We checked in on time - or tried to. The airline rep was just ignoring us and about 5 other people who had arrived with us from Zanzibar for onward travel. It was like the 7 of us shouting at her didn’t exist.
After about 20 minutes of being ignored she suddenly burst into life - apparently we are at the wrong desk and have to go to another desk first. We walk 5 yards, are processed and then back 5 yards to the rep. “You are too late, the flight is closed”.
Utter uproar - my GF is about to go ballistic but I calmly note the rather burly looking gentleman in her company and try to pour oil on the waters (she was very angry with me later until I pointed out what I had noted). After ALOT of shouting and some very angry customers she agrees to put us up in ’the best hotel in the city’ (to be fair it was pretty decent - I had a very good T-bone steak and a bottle of wine costing 500k in the local currency, or £20).
The next day I get talking to the same airline rep - she was caught between a rock and a hard place as the airline had overbooked the flight and she panicked when we turned up on time. She was actually really nice to us and escorted myself and the GF out to the flight carrying our hand luggage.

It turned out that for once in my life I had done something right in being the voice of reason as she pulled out the stops to get us somewhere nice - it was still a shit airport though and gets my vote for this thread.

Whilst waiting for the flight in the departure lounge we are sat behind two official looking local gentlemen and my spidey-sense starts tingling. They are looking at a PPT on a laptop and I casually notice the ‘top-secret’ header to the slides and something about ‘special forces’. That summed up Tanzania for me...

Oh and the local analogy to gin (brewed on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro) didn’t come in bottles - nope. In plastic bags in the duty free. It was that bad that the barmen in the safari lodges refused to serve me when I asked if there was a local drink. Just stick to the Tusker beer was there advice...
 
It's on Amazon, can doesn't look that odd unless it's changed

That’s the bunny! Loved the menthol version, but I won’t be paying £7 for a tin anymore. It is different enough to pique the interest of a bored snowdrop however.
 

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