Two of Nigeria’s airports, the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos and the Port-Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), are among the five worst airports in the world, according to a 2017 airport survey.
The Port Harcourt Airport was rated the worst airport in 2016 but it moved up two places to become the third worst airport for overall passenger experience while the Lagos Airport was rated fifth worst.
Travelers were asked to rate the airports worldwide based on their overall airport experience. The criteria for the evaluation include: comfort (gate seating & availability of rest zones), services, facilities and things to do, food options, and Immigration/Security.
Other factors were customer service, cleanliness, navigation and ease of transit, sleep ability.
The survey result showed that corruption was the biggest problem with airport officials and staff allegedly demand bribes for pretty much everything
Other complaints by the travelers included lack of bathroom facilities, lack of air conditioning, horrible baggage handling, and the tent that serves as the arrivals terminal.
“Every official asks you for money. Don’t tell them you have cash, otherwise, the customs official will take you to the dark room,” said one of the respondents, adding that “if you give money to the official, you can bring anything on to the plane”.
However, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) rejected the result of the survey, saying that it failed to take several factors into consideration before arriving at a result.
“The report failed to reflect that the Port Harcourt Airport terminal is under construction while the recently implemented executive order has revved up passenger experience at the MMA,” said Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Public Affairs of FAAN, in an interview with Daily Trust.
“The terminal is under construction and those that are rating the airports should have waited for the terminals to be completed.
“The ease of doing business implementation has also righted a lot of wrongs at the airport especially in Lagos. And those soliciting for bribe have reduced drastically.”
According to the survey, the Juba International Airport in South Sudan was ranked the worst airport in the world, followed by the King Abdul-Azeez International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Other airports on the list of 10 worst airports in the world are: Heraklion International Airport, Greece; Thira National Airport, Greece; Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania; Rhodes International Airport, Greece; Beauvais-Tille Airport, France and Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan.