For the last 5 years, travel blog The Guide To Sleeping In Airports has been looking at – yes, you guessed it – the best airports to catch some pre-flight shut-eye in. Top of the list is Singapore’s Changi Airport - and resoundingly hitting rock-bottom is Terminal 1 of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). A sample of the site’s user reviews:
The current government administration should hire a bulldozer and a ramming team and start tearing it apart. – ajloren123
It is run by thieves and extortionists neatly dressed in uniforms. – tailspin
The worst airport on the planet. It has to be experienced to be believed. Think of a bombed out ruin and you’ll get some idea. – Brenty
If you consider that Sleeping in Airports has been written about by TIME, Reuters, The New York Times and CNN, and then read this comprehensive, just-gone-viral slating by blogger Geoffrey James Quartermain Bastin, you might start to appreciate the scale of the public relations disaster. It’s certainly not lost on Representative Teddy Casiño of the Philippines political party Bayan Muna – he’s called on the country’s House of Representatives Committee on Transportation to take a long, hard look at the whole airport, in the face of existing plans to redesign it with the help of a Japanese architecture consultancy firm.
A tentative proposal to sell NAIA has already been announced, but with the suggestion that if the country’s tourist industry picks up, Manila’s airport will be retained to support the developing Clark Airport in Pampanga. If Casiño and the readers of Sleeping in Airports get their way, NAIA’s annual traffic of 32 million passengers (including this irate Frenchman) would be shunted over to Clark…and Manila’s “bombed out ruin” will be no more. The people will have spoken.
Ever passed through Terminal 1 of this airport? And if so, was the experience as horrific as reported above?
Image (that nicely conveys the, um, aesthetic issues plaguing Ninoy Aquino) by Silly Jilly.