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Readers of online travel site “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” voted Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA-1) the worst airport in Asia for 2012.
This year’s survey garnered 18,190 responses, the biggest in 16 years since the travel site put up its survey.
“With its collapsing ceilings, overcrowding, rampant bribery, and taxi drivers scamming travelers on fares, its easy to understand why ‘disappointed’ and ‘unbelievable’ are just a few of the words travelers use to describe Manila's Terminal 1,” the site said.
The Guide said low-budget travelers who cast their votes were the ones who didn't like spending long delays inside the terminal because there are no sleeping facilities inside.
In summing up the review, however, the site recommended that travelers “use Terminals 2 and 3 when possible.”
Last year’s survey ranked NAIA-1 as the world’s worst airport. This year, the site did a regional breakdown of airports because “there were just too many to choose from.”
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) tried to address the issues and started a major rehabilitation this year but bloggers noted the improvements were not good enough.
"That's their opinion," said MIAA media affairs chief Consuelo Bungag. “From our end, we know we are doing our best to improve both the facilities and services here at the airport."
MIAA, backed by the Department of Transportation and Communication, started a major refurbishment of NAIA-1 in January. The program included all comfort rooms, the expansion of both the departure and arrival lobbies, the widening of passenger areas, the construction of additional Immigration counters, and the installation of a new Flight Information Display System.
The makeover was expected to take 18 months to complete, but apparently not soon enough for readers of The Guide.
“Judging by the thousands of people who sent us their feedback and voted in the polls, these improvements can't be finished fast enough,” the site said.
Bungag said the issues raised by The Guide are old and rehashed.
In October last year, the site also gave NAIA-1 its poorest marks for airport facilities, bribery, and theft.
A month after that, CNN’s travel site CNNGo.com listed NAIA as one of the “most hated airports” for its "filthy restrooms, seat shortages at gates... and an Amazing Race-style check-in routine spiked with bureaucracy."
In January, renowned travel guide Frommer’s ranked NAIA as the second worst airport in the world. — VS, GMA News