In a move that faced fierce objection from Vietnamese aviation officials, the survey site The Guide to Sleeping in Airports has listed Vietnam’s two biggest international airports as one of the worst in Asia.
Ranked fifth on the list, Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport was frequently described by the survey's respondents as 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,” the site concluded, adding that sweaty travelers are further frustrated by the poor signage and limited flight information displayed throughout.
Also, a number of basic facilities are lacking at this airport as well – including foreign exchange bureaus and sufficient numbers of chairs, according to the survey.
But it also said that just before publication, the airport had installed 14 sleep pods in its international terminal and now offers free Wifi.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport (ranked eighth on the list) was generally described as functional and reasonable.
Facilities are generally average, and cleanliness levels fluctuate, according to the survey.
Vietnamese airport authorities have dismissed the findings of the survey as failing to reflect accurately and objectively the services at both Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat.
A representative of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying that the sector has taken strides in improving the service quality at those two major airports. Agencies concerned and businesses have also invested in upgrading infrastructure and facilities and raised the bar for the behavior of their staffs.
However, the CAAV would also factor in the findings of the survey to mull better ways to ameliorate its services at all airports across the country, the representative told VnExpress.
When submitting votes for "worst" airport, travelers were asked to consider just how limited they thought four C’s of airport travel, including comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
Topping the list of worst airport was Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Pakistan, followed by Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal and Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines.
The Guide to Sleeping in Airports also listed the best airports in Asia, which consistently surpass expectations surrounding the four C’s and are resplendent with movie theaters, koi ponds, elaborate spas, shopping emporiums, cultural experiences, national museums, indoor gardens and pet hotels.
Accordingly, Asia's best airports, respectively, include Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan Taoyuan, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Kansai, Tokyo Narita, New Delhi Indira Gandhi and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.