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Saturday, February 25, 2017

The World’s Worst Airport I Have Ever Experienced

Airports can make or break vacations more often than not. Having a troublesome experience at a sub-standard airport with poor amenities and check-in procedures can test even the most patient of people. And the problem can escalate if you have a young family to guide through such unsavory conditions. Luckily for me that isn’t the case but this was certainly not an experience I wanted to repeat, so I will share the experience with you.

It’s all well and good preparing for a bad airport but sometimes there’s very little you can do. Every year, Sleepingin Airports releases their ‘Worst Airports of the Year’ list. News like this usually does the rounds and even sees many of the mainstream news portals such as CNN pick it up as a very newsworthy story.

Pakistan’s Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport was described by Sleeping in Airports as “likened to a central prison,” among other things. It’s also extremely overcrowded, suffers from “pervasive corruption,” which you can fall victim of, and its overzealous and aggressive security checks have come under fire from many aviation industry experts.

It doesn’t stop there either. The airport’s general cleanliness is horrendous, and has a distinct lack of technology thus it attracts large amounts of criticism for languishing in the dark ages. With these issues being a constant problem many have called into question the Pakistani government for not being able to manage things such as the congestion issues properly. And this was alarming to see it firsthand.

The airport also has congestion issues regarding the ingress and egress points of the airport. Heavy traffic jams are a common occurrence around the airport. Even though the airport isn’t particularly big, it still struggles with the volume of passengers and vehicles it facilitates. It’s a stark contract to European airports or even to a certain degree Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Our very own Manila airport comes under scrutiny very often by the media, but it is a dream compared to Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Our local infrastructure is gradually improving, Caticlan airport has received a major redevelopment, and respective local airlines are winning awards. 

This flight guide for Manilato Cebu courtesy of Philippine Airlines outlines how the country’s second biggest city is now very easy to travel around even though it’s in close proximity to the airport. This is in stark contrast to Benazir Bhutto International Airport as it makes it hard work for you to leave it let alone get around the city of Islamabad. So, if other relatively small airports like Cebu International Airport can function efficiently, why can’t Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport? Don’t panic because change is on the way. Or is it?

The new airport built in Islamabad was meant to be complete by 2016 but it has been put back again. So does that mean when I next have to fly to Islamabad for work that I won’t have to fly to Benazir Bhutto International Airport? I am not holding my breath yet. But it would certainly be nice.

What will happen to the infamous Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport has yet to be announced but if it does end up being knocked down, I don’t think that many people will miss this unhygienic relic. The one thing I do know for sure, is if I don’t have to step foot in it again, I will be a happy man!

Author Bio:

Gino Cruz: Gino works in a call center in the middle of Cebu. He has six dogs, and is married with three children. He splits his time between the Philippines and Pakistan due to work commitments. Gino loves to play cricket and basketball.


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