Worst ever airport stop over

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  • Worst ever airport stop over
  • ferrals

    Following on from the how many airports WWing, another chance for one-up-man-ship:

    Worst airport stop over, duration, airport and reason it was so bad.

    I’ll start:
    9hrs, Abu Dhabi, I was paranoid about DVT so marched round and round the ring donut shaped waiting areas for much of the time 😳

    CDG or ORD.

    Not even fLounge access can redeem them!

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    Antigua, 6 hrs.

    Mrs SR and I were moving to St Kitts, and we had left Toronto early in the morning to arrive in Antigua for about 13:00. We then had to wait 6 hours for our connection to St Kitts in the sweltering heat on those hard fibreglass tub-type seats.

    Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. A skittish, youngish couple in exile. Not a great situation.

    Premier Icon jam bo

    Dakar. After dark, can’t remember how long, all I can remember is the smell…

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou

    Hong Kong, 6 days.

    Flying back from a friends wedding in NZ, and some inconsiderate prick in Iceland had decided to wake the volcano gods.

    2 days in the airport hotel until they put the rates up to £400 a night, then a further 4 nights in a crappy hotel on “Dried Fish Street” in Central HK.

    It smelled revolting, and seeing some of the massive shark fins in the shop windows made me sad.


    Plovdiv (8hrs)I think they ran out of de-icer.


    Ashgabat Turkmenistan

    Think 1980s backwoods UK train station.

    Metal bench

    No.bar or shop

    10pm till 3 am.

    Although it’ll be. A close call with the 6hrs in Charles Dr Gaulle next Thursday


    Saddam Hussein International Airport, Baghdad. We were flying back from Pakistan using Iraqi Air so it was the airline’s hub. Something like 8hrs, nothing at all to do in the transfer lounge. Worse was no loo paper in the bogs – which when you’ve got the s**ts isn’t ideal 😮

    Second worst was some refuelling stop in the Caribbean on the way to Lima – as with Saxonrider just had to wait in the bus shelter of a terminal until the plane was ready to go, probably a couple of hours.

    Premier Icon andy4d

    Another for Antigua here…..awful airport when I was there 15years ago.

    LAX on the way to Auckland – holding pen for hours – grim.
    Delhi on way to Thailand – really grim.

    10 hrs or something ridiculous at CDG. Where I was sitting/slumping overlooked a compound area and I was becoming quite an expert on the variety of aircraft tow bars by the time I left.


    Stanstead 2000 (i think) Coming back from snowboarding holiday. Plane was hijacked meant we missed our connecting flight to N.Ireland. Luggage didn’t arrive – slept on floor for several hours as the press had taken all the local digs. Skint and starving. Eventually got somewhere to stay about 30 miles away but arrived 5 minutes after they stopped serving food. Woke up in the middle of the night as the hotel was burgled. Got home to find my car was stolen. Good holiday all the same 😀


    I lost my passport in Croatia in June. By the time I got it back from the police I had missed my flight. I had to spend two days in Pula eating fish and drinking ice-cold beer in the sun before getting home.

    Two days I tell you, what an absolute nightmare.


    student trip to milan. plane over sold, so 10 of us slept in the airport to wait for the next flight. Milan BGY is tiny – pretty provinical. i think flights stopped at 10pm.

    high and low points include: midnight trolley racing. sleeping in a corridor on cardboard. being woken up by a sub machine gun toting guard. waking in the morning thinking i was spooning lucy – & fining out it it was tom!

    when we eventually got to fly back the next day the security guard attempted for me to remove my trousers at the security check – i told in to do one and he let me through!


    Jakarta, a proper dump. My plane dropped off the board at the terminal it was meant to be at, and nobody could tell me where it was arriving/leaving from.
    Lounges still had smoking areas and I’m sure that was where I finally got food poisoning from.

    After that the 7am arrivals into Sydney waiting for the 2pm flight out after 24hrs of travelling is grim even with a lounge to hide in.

    LAX for just being incompetent.


    Schiphol, just flown in from Maestricht waiting for the onward connection to London not knowing if there was going to be one. The date: 11th September 2001. Quietest airport I’ve ever been in.


    +1000 for Doha
    its a sh*t hole, also the bus transfer to the plane was so long I thought they were driving us to Manchester

    Early morning in Gatwick (naybe Stanstead…can’t remember), connecting flight was rescheduled so I arrived hours early, had about four hours to kill, was sat there reading at the gate alone, and then realised that someone had taken a massive dump on the floor.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    Early morning in Gatwick (naybe Stanstead…can’t remember)… and then realised that someone had taken a massive dump on the floor.

    Definitely sounds like Gatwick.


    Easter Island.

    We were en-route from Christchurch to Santiago, and the plane made an emergency diversion due to an earthquake. The whole of the southern Pacific was on tsunami alert, so we weren’t allowed out of the airport because it was the only part of the island that was protected. Eventually, we were allowed to take off once the runway in Santiago had passed a safety check.

    So, I touched down in one of the most amazing places on the entire planet, and all I got to do was sit on the floor for a few hours.


    LAX is just one of the worst airports ever especially the international side. It’s worth entering the USA elsewhere and getting an internal flight to LAX to avoid the international terminal.


    Once in Tom Bradly it’s not that bad, all my problems were around Delta out of there – well mostly due to the Americans


    9hrs, Abu Dhabi, I was paranoid about DVT so marched round and round the ring donut shaped waiting areas for much of the time

    Waiting in Abu Dhabi is much improved if you have access to one of the Ethihad lounges. The Business Class one is nice.


    Ethihad lounges. The Business Class one is nice.

    The other one isn’t, one shower and full of east end ex pats.

    While I agree that LAX is awful, for some reason or other the last couple of times I’ve been through, I’ve been given the full VIP escort service through transfer.

    Which was nice. #rockstarpaperclips


    5 hours in Niamey after the plane broke down on route home from Burkina Faso after 6 weeks at work wasn’t particularly pleasant.


    Delhi on way to Thailand – really grim.

    I once spent 8 or 9 hours at Delhi airport waiting for a connection back to Gatwick.I didn’t find it that bad.

    akarta, a proper dump.

    Same as Delhi,I didn’t mind the place.
    The place that depress’s me the most is a place that lots of you have flown to & from…Geneva.
    Two years ago after a holiday in Les Arcs,I was stuck in Geneva airport for 10 or 11 hours.Utterly mind numbingly dull & expensive,& to make matters worse my mates were on the trails at Morzine until late afternoon..
    This year I did the Tour De Mont Blanc trek & ended up in the airport for 4 or 5 hours,at least this time I didn’t have to lug a mountain bike around with me.Oh & when they finally allowed us through to the gates it was chaos & despite arriving early ended up rushing to get the plane(which was late).
    God I struggle to find any enthusiasm for Geneva airport…

    LAX is utter bollocks. I can kind of forgive the sweltering sheds that pass for airports in Africa, but LAX can go **** itself.


    Addis Ababa is a horrible airport, I once spent 6 hours there and being at altitude it was freezing cold. While I was killing time a babble of shouting Arabic voices began to reach my ears, getting slowly louder until an ET official in a green jacket came into view, shuffling along holding a radio and a clipboard aloft and being mobbed by a crowd of about 100 Arabs of all shapes and sizes, all gobbing off loudly and gesticulating angrily. Slowly this flotilla moved away down the terminal and about half an hour later it came back, still the same long-suffering official in the middle of the same mob of enraged Arabs. It was a bizarre and slightly unsettling sight in the middle of the night.

    At Nairobi last year KQ cancelled their evening Dreamliner flight to Paris because they don’t have any pilots senior enough to be licenced to land in fog and the week before the plane had had to divert to London so they didn’t want to run the risk again. It took KQ a couple of hours to organise a bus to take PAX to an hotel but some French guys and I agreed the hotel would probably be horrible and we’d do better staying in the terminal. There’s a sleeping room in the business lounge but there was one massively obese African man asleep on the floor in there, snoring like a horse so people kept coming in, gasping in shock and walking out again. Eventually I also gave up and we all bedded down on the benches along the wall with blankets. I stuck my iPod plug in my exposed ear, put on some music and managed to sleep right through to 7 am when I awoke surrounded by serious Kenyan business people drinking coffee and working on their laptops, looking at me as if I was a tramp. When the other PAX made it back to the airport we were proved right as they’d had a lengthy bus ride followed by about 3 hours of sleep in a horrible hotel in a noisy street with windows that wouldn’t shut and mosquitos buzzing all around them.

    Lagos is a grim place to spend time, I stay at the Sheraton in Ikeja about 10 kms from the airport. Most European flights leave between 11.00 and 11.55 but you have to leave the hotel at 6 pm in case a truck has fallen over or heavy rain has flooded the airport road. That means you usually get through all the checks by about 7.30 and have hours to kill.

    Premier Icon slowoldgit

    Just a refuel in Bogota in the early hours. Half the lights were out, there was nothing open, not even for coffee. The duty-free displays of emeralds behind thick glass were protected by armed guards who made threatening gestures with their guns if anyon went close for a look.

    Another refuel in Ougandougou, this time under hot midday sun, here we stayed on the plane. At the engine restart there was a local employee clutching a fire extiguisher and looking nervously at the engine. I thought if anything adverse happened he’d drop the extinguisher and run, for I could see how white his knuckles were.


    4 hour stopover in Madrid.
    Trying to spend the £180, that we saved by not flying to Tenerife directly, on beer.
    It was terrible.


    I’ve slept on a Red Cross cot in Lyon airport, after being diverted from Chambery because of a snowstorm, sitting on the runway for five hours before finally being let off the plane.

    Wasn’t too bad to be honest, my mate had bought a bottle of Highland Park from duty free on the way out 🙂


    We went to Kenya over the 1989/1990 new year period flying with Ethiopian Airlines. On the return journey the flight was delayed leaving Nairobi and given that there was only an hour’s transfer time in Addis Ababa I asked one of the stewardesses if we’d make the connection. “Yes, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

    Of course when we get to AA, the flight to London (1200 every day) has left. We knew this because the same stewardess went on the intercom to inform us. We therefore had to spend 24hrs in AA and so had to go through customs/immigration.

    The chap at the immigration desk looks at us and says “You can’t enter Ethiopia on a temporary visa unless I know what time your flight out is”, “It’s 1200 tomorrow, the London Heathrow flight”, “I’m unable to confirm that. Go and ask at that desk over there for official flight times”. That desk “over there” was on the Ethiopian side of the immigration desk so we trot across the terminal building to ask the same stewardess as before what time is the next flight to London. “1200 tomorrow”. Armed with this important detail we walk back out of Ethiopia and offer this new bit of information to the immigration chap. “OK. And what’s the flight number?” Cue the Brits trotting across the terminal to ask the same stewardess … At this point I handed my passport to one of my friends and sat down leaning against a wall (actually in Ethiopia) and watched this group of Brits wander backwards and forwards across the terminal gathering pieces of information one at a time to be allowed into the country.

    Once all that was done we spent the day and night in a hotel used by Haile Selassie for his guests when he was in power before heading back to the airport to have five stamps officiously entered into our passports and we left the country.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    So, I touched down in one of the most amazing places on the entire planet, and all I got to do was sit on the floor for a few hours.

    If that’s the measure of “worst airport stop over” I’ll see your Easter Island, but raise you Fiji and Santiago on the same trip. All 3 were stopovers of various lengths on the way to La Paz. Not one of them saw me leaving the airport. The Santiago enforced camping out on airport benches was because English people were advised they may not be very welcome in Chile at the time due to Pinochet’s recent UK arrest.


    the 14 hours I spent in Bangkok airport in 1995. Of the 14 hours I probably spent 10 of them in the toilets courtesy of some dodgy rice I had on Koh Samui. All I drank was rehydration fluids, I am sure the security thought I was up to something dodgy, or perhaps on reflection they had seen it all before.


    LAX. So disappointing, it’s Hollywood ffs, how can the airport be so low-rent?!

    Dakar, 10 hours either swatting flies from my nether regions in the toilets, or watching some bloke in a nappy painting the white line down the centre of the runway between landings.

    Jimw – did you see me being propositioned by a male security guard – asking if I wanted to go back to his after his shift finished? If I didn’t there may be an issue with my luggage? Managed to hide in the loo for 4 hours until my flight…. I’m sure that must have been you in the adjacent trap!!!


    If it was me I would have been feeling far too sorry for myself to notice i’m afraid. I was more worried about being accused of preying on others tbh

    Dubai, 17 hrs 20 mins.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    Delays were due to fog. Fair enough, nothing anyone can do about that.

    But the service we received from Emirates was truly atrocious, with some bordering-on-frightening moments at the airport (crowds, crushes, lack of information, misleading information, staff disappearing for hours on end…)

    Then when we got to our destination (Cochin), they told us our bags were in Paris, and disappeared, again.

    We’re never flying Emirates again. 👿

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