World's worst airport named

Manila - The Philippines' main Manila airport terminal has been named the world's worst for the second year in a row in a survey by an online travel website.

Officials on Friday brushed off the survey results, insisting conditions were being improved.

"The Guide to Sleeping in Airports" website said Manila's crowded Terminal 1 was ranked by travellers based on comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service to be the worst in the world.

Reviews for Manila's Terminal 1 posted on the site mentioned "dilapidated facilities", dishonest airport workers -- particularly taxi drivers -- long waiting times and rude officials.

"These are old issues," Manila airport Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta told AFP, adding that the problems were already being addressed by the government.

He conceded that the Manila airport, with a capacity of about 6.5 million passengers annually, was overstretched, handling 8.1 million travellers last year.

The terminal at the Italian airport of Bergamo was named the second-worst, where it said there were "people loafing around without T-shirt or without shoes as if they were in their homes and no one gives a hoot".

Its third-worst was Calcutta, just edging out Islamabad, ahead of Paris Beauvais.

The best rated airports were Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon, Amsterdam Schiphol, Hong Kong and Helsinki Vantaa.

Manila's Terminal 1, the oldest of its four passenger terminals, was built 32 years ago. The government has launched a 2.5-billion-peso ($58 million or R578 million at R9.98/$) renovation programme for the terminal.

It is also attempting to reduce congestion by moving at least three million passengers a year to a newer terminal.

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