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The Worst Airports in 2023 (Based On Delays and Cancellations)

Airports serve as gateways to adventure, connecting travelers to new destinations and experiences. However, not all airport experiences are created equal. While some airports are known for their efficiency, comfort, and excellent facilities, others have earned a reputation as nightmarish ordeals that can turn even the most seasoned travelers' journeys into nightmares.

The Worst Airports in 2023  (Based On Delays and Cancellations)

One of the primary reasons some airports gain a reputation for being the worst is due to their outdated and inadequate infrastructure: long lines, crowded terminals, insufficient seating, and subpar restroom facilities can lead to discomfort and frustration for passengers. Lack of proper signage, information, and directions can add to the confusion, making navigation within the airport a daunting task. But most of all, nothing tests a traveler's patience like frequent flight delays and sudden cancellations. Weather-related disruptions plague some airports, while others suffer from inefficient air traffic management systems or a lack of runway capacity. These delays can result in missed connections, lost baggage, and considerable inconvenience for passengers. And we all HATE IT!

Last year we felt despair, and we all were pretty sure that it wouldn't happen in 2023. Again. BUT. It's happening. Starting early spring and even now, we read articles about delays and notice blog posts on social media about how people missed their flights because of security checks, simply short layovers or strikes. Trust me; I was terrified after reading the morning news about how Bordeaux airport canceled 20% of flights (if the French go on strikes, they strike everywhere) on my way to the airport, thinking that there was a possibility that I was going to stay there longer. A month later, I got lucky again that somehow I managed to book my flights to & out of Portugal before and after their main airports & public transport were on strike for a few weeks. But someone didn't. And someone needed to change plans. 

The Most Chaotic Airports in 2023  (Based On Delays and Cancellations)

To shed light on the matter, AirHelp, a passenger rights company, analyzed the number of flight delays exceeding 15 minutes and cancellations that occurred in June at European airports handling 5,000 or more flights during that month.

As expected, London Gatwick Airport emerged as the most chaotic airport in Europe during the summer, with a staggering 54% of its flights experiencing disruptions. INSANE. That's more than half of its flight operations! A major contributing factor to this turbulence was the ongoing pay dispute leading some airport staff to walk out, necessitating careful scrutiny of departure and arrival dates for passengers planning to use this airport. Additionally, Manchester Airport, another UK airport, secured a place on the list, ranking at number eight.

Apart from the UK, both Turkey and Italy had two airports each that made it to the list of Europe's most chaotic airports. Notably, other airports in prominent European cities like Lisbon, Copenhagen, and Paris also found their way into this list.

For travelers seeking smooth and hassle-free journeys, being aware of the most disruptive airports in Europe this summer can be crucial. Careful planning and contingency measures may be required when flying from these airports to ensure a more enjoyable travel experience. Here are the airports that earned the name of being Europe's most chaotic, according to AirHelp's analysis:

  1. London Gatwick Airport, England 
  2. Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport, Portugal 
  3. Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, Denmark 
  4. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France
  5. Antalya Airport, Türkiye
  6. Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, Türkiye
  7. Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Italy 
  8. Manchester International Airport, England
  9. Milano Malpensa Airport, Italy 
  10. Frankfurt International Airport, Germany 

I’ll share my recommendations to prevent travel meltdowns. Nevertheless, some unexpected situations may occur, but so far, these tactics work: book early morning flights, travel on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and choose direct flights.

 Early morning flights are less susceptible to delays, as airlines are more likely to adhere to their schedules during these hours. This sets the tone for a seamless and stress-free start to your travel adventure. Opt for midweek days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays to avoid the rush and crowds that typically accompany weekends. These less busy days often offer more affordable ticket prices and fewer airport hassles, contributing to a more enjoyable trip. Finally, direct flights eliminate the risk of missed connections, lost baggage, and unnecessary delays.

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Jul 26, 2023

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