What the Philippines can learn from the world’s best airports

Awarded worst airport in the world

Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA-1) has been ranked several times as the worst airport in the world and for good reason. The place is very dirty, the bathrooms reek, the signs don’t help travelers at all, there are very limited seats, and worst, the immigration officers prefer playing video games on their gadgets instead of assisting travelers.

Manila's nightmare airport is the worst airport in the world

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/gearism

After getting criticized heavily by the media around the world, the NAIA-1 terminal’s rehabilitation is still being delayed due to a lot of red tape. If the officials at NAIA-1 want the terminal to improve, they need to take cue from some of the best airports in the world.

Changi International Airport (SIN): a global role model

Changi International Airport in Singapore at baggage claim

The NAIA-1 airport should aim to be like Singapore’s Changi Airport. The world-class Singaporean airport has been deemed the best airport around the world for several times in a row by Skytrax. Changi is the complete opposite of the NAIA-1 terminal. The place is spotless, the toilets smell nice, the airport signs are very helpful to travelers, and the immigration officers are professional enough to help travelers who need assistance. These are very basic courtesies that any airport should provide travelers. If NAIA-1 can provide the same basic courtesies to their customers, they wouldn’t be named the worst airport in the world.

Apart from good facilities and services, Changi airport has a transit hotel that accommodates weary travelers without having to clear immigration. Hopefully, in the future, the NAIA-1 airport can offer something as comfortable as this to exhausted travelers who have a delayed or cancelled flight. It doesn’t need to be a five-star hotel; anything other than the old, and sometimes rusty, seats would do.

Read also: 6 Do’s and Dont’s in Singapore

Gatwick Airport (LGW): leader of efficient travel

London’s Gatwick airport accommodates more than 30 million passengers in a year, and is the tenth busiest airport in Europe. With an airport this hectic, one might think that it has become a cesspool of human germs over the years. However, this is hardly case.

Second biggest airport in United Kingdom: London Gatwick

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/aero_icarus

Gatwick, despite being busy establishment, has been in the midst of a major renovation over the years. Apart from its world-class facilities and convenient parking services, the airport has upgraded its program tools for a more efficient and worry-free service. Perhaps NAIA-1 is operating on a stone-age computer system, which reflects their level of efficiency when it comes to providing on-time flight services to the public. If NAIA-1 wants to change for the better, they should also take cue from Gatwick’s move. A newer system means a better and quicker way to help customers fly.

What makes airports world-class is their ability to provide a comfortable, seemless traveling experience and on-schedule flights. If NAIA-1 could implement just a few of these suggestions, Manila, gateway to the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, would get one step closer to becoming the next big tourist destination in Southeast Asia.


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