Oh Wow: Travelers Share Their Stories From The 'Worst Airports' Around The World
Photo Credit: Hill Street Studios

Photo Credit: Hill Street Studios

Oh Wow: Travelers Share Their Stories From The 'Worst Airports' Around The World

chicago , los angeles , Cairo , Egypt , Paris , France
DeAnna Taylor
DeAnna Taylor Sep 14, 2021

Traveling can be a beautiful thing. But, that experience can instantly be ruined if you end up in what some call the ‘worst airports’ or you have a bad airport experience.

Several travelers in the popular Black Travel Movement Facebook group recently weighed in on some of their worst airport experiences, while calling out the worst airports in the process.

We rounded up a few to see if you have experienced something similar. If so, let us know in the comments your picks for the worst airports or your worst airport experience. We’ve all likely had at least one along the way. This is a safe space.

1. Tried to steal my Conch at Miami International

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Traveler Wilma R. shared an annoying experience as she was leaving Miami International.

I was flagged for my freshly-made conch fritter batter; it didn’t completely solidify, so TSA moved it to the inspection lane!

After they sniffed and fondled my conch chunks, they handed it back to me, but I knew I was going to toss it once I got home with it! Those Miami agents were hoping I would just leave it, but I would not give them the satisfaction of frying up my fritters at five! “

2. Messy Monday in Houston's aiport

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Whew?! This one is a bit much, but as traveler Kelley W. pointed out, people should be required to wear more than just face masks.

“Came back home on a Monday to IAH, a lady with a diaper on sh!tted all over the handicapped bathroom. Sh!t all on the stall and walls. Washed herself in the public bathroom where people had to wash their hands, I was done!!! Over it!!!!”

3. Zurich's airport security doing the most

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We all hate those random screenings, especially on international flights. But, Robert R. really went through it in Zurich:

“They did a person by person security check as we were exiting the plane. We went through another screening just going into the airport. There was nothing to eat except Starbucks. Apparently food was in the other section which required a train ride.

When I got to the other side, there was a line to go through security. I turned around and just went back. When it was time to board my next flight, I was “randomly chosen” for additional screening. After asking me a bunch of nonsensical questions, I was told to wait. As the plane is boarding, I am taken behind a screened area and my entire backpack is searched. My hands are tested for residue.

Finally, when they decided I was clear, a security agent carried my backpack and ESCORTED me to the gate, only giving it back once I was about to enter the jetway.

I won’t even connect through Switzerland now.”

4. Just.. eww in Manila, Philippines

Juan Pablo Mascanfroni

The bottom line, everyone’s definition of clean may not always be the same. Case in point from traveler Antonio S.

“We had to literally pick our bags up off the floor to prevent the infestation of roaches in the waiting room from crawling into them. Plus, the airport looked and felt like a cheesy DMV.”

5. Oh, no ma'am...

Max Muselmann

As many travelers pointed out, this one may top the entire thread.

“The one time the lady brought her bloody animal packaged in her luggage. It leaked all over everyone’s luggage and trails of blood in the airport,” Amma K. “it stank so bad.”

6. They called the bomb squad at BWI for what?!

Spencer Platt

Yemi S. alerts the thread to be careful of what you pack in your carry-on, because you can end up in this same situation.

Somehow, my hands set off the bomb materials detector. And then they decided to test my clothes. Positive. Then they swiped the outside of my carry on. Positive. Then they went through my carry on and started swiping items in my carry on. Positive.

Then they called the special bomb squad from deep inside BWI.
Did you know there’s a whole bomb squad inside BWI?
Then they took me to a special room and detained me. I had to sit in the room with Shanika and Karen, who then said they needed me to start removing clothing items.
At that point, I told them I would do no such thing.
Just as I was getting more agitated, the bomb squad supervisor knocked and said my carry on was clear.
What set off the bomb materials machine: the gluten-free pie crust mix I had packed in my carry on.
So, don’t put gluten-free pie crust in your carry on and expect to pass through TSA at BWI without getting to know the bomb squad.”

7. "I shut down Paris' airport"

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Now, having guns drawn on you in a foreign airport is definitely not something we ever want to experience. Sadly, Paul B. did:

“I shut down” Charles de Gaulle Airport for a while because they thought I was a “terrorist.” Somehow after checking in, 1 bag was left on the side of the conveyor belt… 2 bags made it through after all bags were taken.

I had hella computer equipment in the bag that was somehow abandoned. Hella guns pointed at me, dogs growling, airport shut down, missed my flight, the person who checked me in disappeared. (They couldn’t even find their own staff)

I had to pay extra for a new flight for the next day, rude a*s Air France people making jokes as I pay for their mistake, did me in and when I filed a complaint they said it was their fault but did not pay me for rebooking a flight or staying at a hotel an extra night! I should find the emails. Y’all just pissed me off again!”

8. Looks can be...deceiving in Dallas

Hartsfield-jackson airport
ANTHONY WALLACE

For Jimieko T., apparently her face card matched that of someone else:

“I got pulled in by us customs because they thought I “looked” like a drug mule.

9. A fan tried to take me out in Chicago

Sierra Warmoeskerken

We don’t mean to laugh, but the way Tiffany C. recapped this O’Hare experience:

“Got my scarf caught in a floor fan. That goofy TSA fool stood there questioning me about some oversized lotion in my bag instead of stopping the fan. 2 random strangers had to break the front off the fan and stop the blades with their bare hands, so I wouldn’t choke. TSA was mad cause we broke the fan. I shut that sh*t down!!! Fell out and demanded the ambulance.”

10. Being early is frowned upon at LAX

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They say get there early to avoid missing your flight. But as Tamika M. points out, getting there too early is a problem, too:

“Got to the airport early cuz of others in my party, and I was made to sit outside of TSA for 5 hours cuz they said you couldn’t enter till 4 hours before my flight. So make sure you don’t get there too early.”

11. We don't believe you, you need more people in Cairo

Photo by AaronAmat

When your passport ain’t enough. That was the case for traveler Tasha W. in Cairo, Egypt:

“They tried to tell me my passport pic wasn’t me and held me for 30 mins. I had to pull out all kinds of IDs to prove myself. Will never travel to Egypt again after that experience.”

12. Plenty more

If you want to read more of these stories, you can check out the thread here.