Travel guide ranks best, worst airport terminals

January 19, 2012 | By

For many travelers, an airport terminal provides the first impression — and the final word — about a destination. It’s also a place where travelers spend a lot of time, waiting for departing or connecting flights.

The world’s best, according to Frommers.com, is Hajj Terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It covers 120 acres and is only open during the six-week Hajj, when millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Two years ago, the terminal received an American Institute of Architects award for an architectural design “that has stood the test of time for 25 years,” the institute says.

“The most stunning feature,” Frommers.com says, “is that the terminal consists of 210 white fiberglass tents that create a chimney effect cooling the hot desert air.”

Only one airport terminal in the USA — JetBlue Airways’ Terminal 5 at New York‘s JFK airport — finished in the top 10.


As ranked by Frommers.com.


1. Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) Hajj Terminal

2. Leifur Eriksson Air Terminal, Keflavik, Iceland

3. Seoul (South Korea) Incheon Airport

4. Wellington (New Zealand) “Rock” Terminal

5. New York JFK Airport Terminal 5

6. Singapore Changi International Airport Terminal 3

7. Marrakech (Morocco) Menara Airport Terminal 1

8. Madrid (Spain) Barajas Terminal 4

9. Carrasco International Airport, Montevideo, Uruguay

10. Bilbao (Spain) Airport Main Terminal


1. New York JFK Airport Terminal 3

2. Manila (Philippines) Airport Terminal 1

3. Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal B/C

5. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 3

6. Amman (Jordan) Queen Alia Airport

7. New York LaGuardia Airport Terminal 5

8. Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport

9. Paris’ Beauvais Airport

10. Chicago Midway Airport