JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah (KAAI) topped the list of the worst airports in the world for 2016, says the website “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” which evaluates the overall airport experience based on the views of passengers.
The website recently announced the list for the worst 10 airports around the world. Every year, the website conducts a survey of the services offered for passengers who spend extended periods within the airports’ premises, and the comfort and sleeping accommodations provided for them.
The Jeddah airport jumped to the No. 1 spot on “Worst Airports in the World” list. All aspects of the terminals need serious improvement. “Though JED continually promises that ‘next year’ travelers will see a new terminal, clean toilets and more amenities, a semblance of organization has yet to appear. Instead, when the passengers arrive at Jeddah’s Haj Terminal, they walk into a terminal where cleanliness is but a mythical concept,” according to the website.
The website said, the place is said to be staffed by a team of immigration officers described as “careless,” “arrogant” and “rude,” and amenity-wise, the terminal is devoid of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said Jeddah airport’s southern terminal was originally designed to receive 6 million passengers, while now it receives 17 million passengers. Therefore, it is necessary to build anew airport in Jeddah.
Media and Public Relation Department at GACA Abdullah Al-Kharif said that the website of “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” was a personal blog of sleeping experiments in airports, and then it was transformed to a website of evaluating airports in the world. The website’s classification is not based on specific standards to evaluate airports.
Speaking to Arab News, Al-Kharif said that a delegation of experts will visit international airports in upcoming weeks to evaluate these airports. Al-Kharif, however, said feedback is important to improve services at Saudi airports.
The evaluation focuses on specific factors concerning the airport experience such as hygiene issues and cleanliness, the services and facilities provided, customer service, comfort, sleeping areas and restaurants, dining options and cleanliness in toilets.
Juba International Airport in South Sudan came second on the list of the worst airports, followed by Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria and Tashkent International Airport in Uzbekistan.