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Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai Ranked Among Worst In Asia, Airports Disagree

Both HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat and Hanoi’s Noi Bai were listed on the list of “Worst Airports in Asia 2014,” compiled by popular airport ranking site.

The rankings were based on a Sleeping In Airports reader survey with the following criteria (which was far from scientific):

"Those represented on this list show up because of their consistent uncleanliness, their counter-intuitive layout and absolute lack of amenities. Long queues, the solicitation of bribes and the lack of air-conditioning in tropical climates further upsets and enrages travelers in the region."

Here’s what they had to say about Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat which ranked #5 and #8, respectively:

“Hanoi’s international and domestic airport is frequently noted for being hot, chaotic and not especially clean. In spite of its tropical location, air conditioning seems to perpetually be a problem – and the constant crowds exacerbate overheating. Sweaty travelers are further frustrated by the poor signage and limited flight information displayed throughout. A number of basic facilities are lacking at this airport as well – including foreign exchange bureaus and sufficient numbers of chairs. That all said, if you do find yourself with a prolonged period here, make your way to the third floor food court. Here, you can find a small selection of padded chairs, and access to the internet through the vendors. Just before publication, the airport installed 14 sleep pods in its international terminal and now offers free Wi-Fi available to all. That alone offers a glimmer of hope for the future!”

“Ho Chi Minh’s primary airport is generally described to be functional and reasonable. Facilities are generally quite average, and cleanliness levels fluctuate.”

Other airports on the list included Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan; Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal; Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines; Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China and Phnom Penh International Airport, Cambodia.

If you're curious, here's the site's list of best airports in Asia.

After hearing about the rankings, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam released a statement rejecting their characterization of the two airports:

“As the poll result is merely determined by the members of the website, which is not a professional aviation assessment organization, it does not objectively reflect the service quality improvement at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports.

The Vietnamese civil aviation industry has extended efforts to improve its services over the past few years,” it said.

[Photo via Ngoc Quyen Nguyen]