How can a city so revered for its aesthetic beauty and so dependent on tourism (Paris is the most visited city on Earth) have the worst airport it in the world? Perhaps it is for those very same reasons. An overabundance of attention spent on maintaining the city itself and the burden of having to accommodate the tens of millions of visitors every year have helped Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport earn the right to be named the worst airport in the world, at least according to CNN GO.
With its “[g]rimy washrooms with missing toilet seats . . . broken scanning machines and an overall lack of signage, gate information screens and Paris-worthy bars, restaurants or cafés,” the airport has been likened by more than one traveler as similar to spending time in a prison.
Other airports called out for their lack of function, size and accommodations include Los Angeles’s LAX Airport (“dramatically undersized and moribund”), London’s Heathrow (“a chronic inability to cope with people”) and Honduras’s Toncontín International (“uncomfortable gate chairs, dirty floors and lousy dining options”).
Living in New York I’ve learned that griping about the city’s airports is as celebrated a topic as rent prices and subway service. The Awl recently asked two travel experts to compare and contrast (but mostly to criticize) New York’s two main airports — JFK and La Guardia — the result being an agreement that perhaps the best airports in the world are the ones that, in their words, just get you on the plane the easiest: “No oyster bars, no chair massages, no swimming pools on the roof: Just touch my junk and strap me in.” Who could ask for anything more in life?
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