I’m running through the airport, desperate to make my connecting flight home. I keep running faster but I can’t seem to get any closer to my gate. The scenario remains the same and suddenly I read a sign instructing me to take the escalator down and hop on a train to another terminal. I get to the terminal and suddenly all instructional signs disappear. It’s a recurring nightmare I have, but it’s also pretty close to the experience I’ve had passing through some airports. Here are my picks for the four worst airports to transit through:
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
That scenario I described above? Part of it is an exact retelling of my experiences transiting through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The airport is outdated (I once spent two hours by the gate during a delay which only had seating for a dozen people). Aside from that, some of the gates are so far apart that I’ve had several close calls.
Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)
What makes Dallas Fort Worth so awful? It’s massive, making it difficult to navigate. I once had a 6-hour layover at DFW and was completely sleep-deprived. Ideally, I would have stayed at an airport hotel and slept for 4.5 hours, but I knew that getting from the terminal to the hotel, checking in, and then trying to get back on time would take forever. So I opted for a nap at Minute-Suites instead. Other times, I’ve taken the Skyline light rail to my gate, sat around, then heard a last-minute announcement that my gate had changed. Not a huge deal if it was within walking distance, but every time this has happened, I’ve had to run back up the escalators, wait for the train, then fend off an anxiety attack while hoping to make it to the new gate on time. Transiting through Dallas is always a huge hassle and not an experience I look forward to.
London Heathrow (LHR)
London Heathrow looks fine on the surface. It’s a nice enough airport, with lots of great retail options and decent lounges. The problem? Getting from Point A to Point B takes forever. I don’t think there are as many rail transfers in all of Europe as there are when you’re trying to navigate between terminals at Heathrow. Whoever designed the place is not a friend to mankind.
Charles De Gaulle (CDG)
My first time transiting through Charles De Gaulle was like a marathon I wasn’t prepared for. I just remember running around endlessly, trying to figure out where to go when the signs dropped off and ending up with severe arm cramps from dragging my suitcase around for what felt like hours. Since that time, it hasn’t gotten easier. Charles De Gaulle is an awful airport, primarily because of its poor signage. Any time I’ve stopped to get help from an employee, they’ve either shrugged me off or sent me in the wrong direction.
One time the moving walkway broke down and there was no movement for almost an hour. I was stuck on this walkway with about a hundred other passengers. The worst part? They had blocked off the regular walking path so we couldn’t even hop over and be on our way. After almost an hour of standing around with no updates, the walkway turned on again.
Transiting through Charles De Gaulle airport is always a terrible experience that leaves me physically and mentally drained. Whether I’m catching another flight or taking the train, I know I’m in for a stressful and unpleasant experience.
What are your picks for the worst airports to transit through?
[Image Source: Getty]