Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has been ranked 6th in a list compiled by CNN of the World’s Most Hated Airports.
“As African airports go, it’s not that bad — but as an international hub, it may be one of the worst out there.”
This is the common refrain among travelers through JKIA, who either don’t have the heart or the expectations to give this dated aviation facility the kind of pounding reserved for the JFKs and Charles de Gaulles of the world.
Saddled with a 1958 blueprint designed for 2.5 million passengers, JKIA receives close to twice that many. Hence the airport’s 2005, Three Phase, US$100 million expansion project which has seen long delays (something about the rain) and has been spinning its tires somewhere in Phase Two for the last few years.
For now, that means business as usual: cramped spaces; long lines; inadequate seating; frequent power outages; tiny washrooms hiding up several flights of stairs; shabby duty free shops; overpriced food outlets; and business class lounges worthy of a shelter in mid-city Los Angeles.
Sure, it’s a breeze compared to Lagos. But it could be so much better. The confusing result: grateful disappointment?
Here is the complete list
1. Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France
2. Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, United States
3. London Heathrow, London, England
4. Toncontín International, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
5. Ninoy Aquino International, Manila, Philippines
6. Jomo Kenyatta International, Nairobi, Kenya
7. John F. Kennedy International, New York, United States
8. Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu, Nepal
9. Perth Airport, Perth, Australia
10. São Paulo-Guarulhos International, São Paulo, Brazil