Home Page


Islamabad Airport Passenger Reviews and Islamabad Airport Traveller Reports

  No Star Ranking applied

No Star Ranking Awarded


  Add your Islamabad Airport Review

  Islamabad Airport Ranking


Customer Review scoring : Islamabad Airport
4 out of 10  4 out of 10
24 reviews




ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  5 November 2014 by J Marshall    (UK)

Rating : 0/10





Without doubt ISB is the world's worst airport and recently had this status officially recognised. Use this airport every couple of months at the moment and always dread the experience. The rules and procedures fro negotiating the airport are all made up on the fly by individual members of staff. For some reason they are obsessed with stamping and checking a tag on your hand luggage. Seems to get checked at least 5 times. Staff are miserable and surly and there are always huge crowds of people at the airport regardless of the time of day and most of them are not passengers. Facilities are laughable. ISB sets itself very low standards and consistently fails to achieve them! Enjoy!

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  16 August 2014 by N Yahya    (UK)

Rating : 0/10





Truly awful airport. Aside from the actual facilities (not) on offer, it is the people who work here that make this airport perhaps the worst that I have experienced. The biggest offenders are probably the Security people at the various checkpoints inside and at the entrance to the airport. They seem to make up the rules based on their fancy at that moment. Inconsistent security screening I expect leads to higher security risk (not surprised that the European airlines no longer fly here). Do they not realise the first and last impression they are giving about Pakistan? Really is a disgrace at present.

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  10 July 2013 by Moeed Khan    (Pakistan)

Rating : 3/10





I visited the airport last year when I was leaving for Jeddah to perform Umra. We had to change our clothes and had to wear The Ahram. We were travelling in a B747 and the flight had 400+ passengers. For 400 passengers there were only ten changing rooms and all were dirty. It was very difficult for us to change. But the V.I.P lounge of the airport is good but still needs improvement. Overall the airport is too bad. Hope the new airport under construction turns out to be a good and well maintained airport.

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  20 February 2013 by Z Shah    (USA)

Rating : 5/10





Benazir Bhutto International Airport (previously Islamabad International Airport) has clearly outlived its usefulness, and one could have said the same thing 10 years ago. The airport is clearly obsolete with an undersized terminal building, undersized parking, and an undersized baggage collection area. It really can not receive more than one international flight at the same time. The only thing on the bright side is that new airport is under construction and should be opening next year.

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  20 November 2012 by Muhammad Khalid    (USA)

Rating : 1/10





My first time travelling to Islamabad. Upon arrival we had to use the buses to transport us from the plane to the airport building. Upon exiting the buses and entering the building one is greeted with long lines and chaos. Airport does have sections labelled (Pakistani citizens, Foreigners, and unaccompanied women), but everyone fails to adhere to these rules. There are two carousels, but there efficiency is ridiculous. When exiting the airport they have random checks, forcing people to place their luggage in scanners, afterwards they require you to hand over the baggage claim receipts. When departing from Islamabad airport the process is even more tedious and annoying. You have to present your ticket or a print out to enter the airport. Then you head straight towards narcotics check, instead of having scanners they make you open your luggage and create an appalling mess. Then its a series of scanners and checking, after which you finally reach check-in desks, immigration desks, further checking, random checking, stamping of carry-on luggage and finally transit lounge on the second floor. The duty free shops offer restricted merchandise, bathrooms are horrible (a daunting task to use them). Overall a horrible, unorganized, chaotic, below international standards airport.

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  15 May 2011 by M Mubark   (UK)

Customer Rating :  2/5

2 Star Rating   






I travel to Islamabad every after 4-5 months times and have noticed that its getting worse. As soon as you reach airport - the pain begins. Its such a horrible place to be. Custom officers greet you with such rudeness that puts you off and treat passengers as bad as possible. They open bags for checking and mess up every thing - leaving passengers to close bags in a messy situation - giving a very bad impression of Pakistan. There are no managers or any responsible personal.

ISLAMABAD AIRPORT customer review :  23 April 2011 by Y Kadri   (USA)

Customer Rating :  1/5

1 Star Rating   






Islamabad was my last stop on a long journey through the Middle East and Pakistan and this was by far the worst airport I've been in. I arrived from KHI which wasn't that bad, the buses were waiting and took us to the arrivals hall for baggage collection. Departure from ISB was the worst as we had a flight at 3:25am to DXB and just to get into the airport there is a heavy queue to go through security (that people just cut anyhow), then once you're inside you have to go through Narcotics Control - fortunately they didn't feel a need to bother me so I didn't have to wait for them to check my bags, then they scan your bags and you go through a metal detector again then after, you can finally go to the check-in desks.. the check-in area is just terrible, dirty and extremely disorganized, bag scales broke midway to checking in for the flight so then everyone was shouting and making a scene (mind you this is 2:00am), finally after 30 minutes they fixed it and checked all the bags in, after that you go through passport control, then security again. The best is when you go to the "gate" which is just a door leading outside with multiple flight queues at the door. No PA system was used, some guy was just screaming flight numbers and we went out to the buses, then when we get to the aircraft it's not ready so we had to wait on the bus for about 30 minutes, a little kid passed out as it was so hot on the bus and the driver refused to open the door - all I can say is never again!

Islamabad Airport by M Baughman

26 January 2009   Customer Rating : 1 Star Rating

I have been traveling through ISB for three years now and I continue to marvel at the pain travelers have to endure to get on an airplane. It is not uncommon to find three or four B777’s of varying carriers arriving and leaving at the same time, meaning that every relative of each Pakistani passenger will be at the airport greeting or seeing off their loved ones. That is a big sea of humanity to wade through. There are several lines: first to get into terminal, and that can take up to an hour depending on how many people cut in front; then there is a narcotics task-force check, which is a guy who may or may not look at your passport and wave you to a bag check line; then there are 2 X-ray machines for all those people and all that luggage and no matter what there will be porters who push you out of the way just when you get to the X-ray machine belt to put tons of luggage that jams the screening machines; then you check in at your airline; then you get in one of the immigration lines, which are clearly laid out for foreign, native and women/family travelers but who reads signs? Then there is another passport check and handbag screening which gives arrogant travelers from around the world an opportunity to show how obnoxious they can be; then there is another check of the handbag to stamp it and the boarding pass, and you’re in the departure lounge. If you are in a hurry, pay a porter to push you through, divert your eyes and swallow your shame. Otherwise, cultivate patience.

Islamabad Airport by Komal Rasheed

17 July 2007   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

In the recent past Islamabad airport has improved in cleaning quality standards and a bit of attention. The toilets although at times are crowded but an attendent is there to clean it up. Announcements have improved from the past. Electronic check in has been introduced which avoids standing in queues and saves time. The cooling needs to be improved and space should be added to the existing loounges and car parking. Although the security was performing their job but that needs more effort to avoid bottle neck at the check in points. The floor of International Departure lounge at places was under rehabilitation which gives a smooth clean look. However, furniture needs refurbishment.

Islamabad Airport by Pamela Golder-Davis

4 July 2007   Customer Rating : 1 Star Rating

The Ladies' Toilet facilities were appalling and insufficient for the number of people. There was deafening noise from builders cutting and grinding inside the terminal, so that announcements could not be heard. The escalator made to carry passengers up one floor during check-in was not working. And there were other steps to be climbed as well. No good for passengers with difficulty in walking or with children and pushchairs. BA have recently introduced "Electronic Check In", in which you check-in on-line 24 hours before the flight, select your choice of seats, and print your own "Electronic Boarding Passes". These were happily accepted at the BA check-in desk. However, none of the many Airport Security staff conducting the various security checks had been briefed about this innovation. Our party was therefore subjected to much delay and inappropriate humiliation while passing through the checks -- even at the foot of the aircraft steps. There was much confusion in the departure lounge when the decision was made to allow two different Jumbo Jets to board simultaneously through one single gate. Surely this could have been done better. The transfer buses on the tarmac had dangerously steep steps: most unsuitable for the purpose. Indeed, why were they ever allowed into service when new? During arrival, the Immigration checks took much longer to pass through than the baggage took to arrive from the plane, so there was a strong risk of unwatched luggage being stolen from the carousel.

Islamabad Airport by Alan Gilmour

13 February 2007   Customer Rating : n/a

I've been travelling to ISB for several years now, and it is fair to say that some improvements have been made. They have better immigration systems now, so processing is quicker. Also, they don't seem to be scanning in-coming luggage any more. But you do need bucket loads of patience. The same applies when leaving, but a pleasant smile and co- operative attitude always seem to smooth the way. Make sure each piece of hand baggage has a tag attached. This will be stamped and checked countless times between check-in and plane, though I've never figured out what purpose this serves. There is a huge amount of seating and I've never been unable to find space. But the VIP lounge is a pleasanter place to pass the time (free to business/first pax, small cost to economy). And don't plan on buying duty free alcohol on departure - there isn't any.

Islamabad Airport by Raza Shah

24 July 2006

Travel to and from the Islamabad Airport is not as bad as many have mad it sound. The renovated terminal is not all that bad. The arrival lounges in particular have been done up very well and tastefully. The Rawal lounge in particular has always been a pleasant experience with its wooden floors, LCD TV screens and coffee shop.

Islamabad Airport by F Moghul

24 May 2006

Traveled through ISB 5 times last year and pray that I don't have to do it anytime in the near or distant future! Although it is expected, it never fails to amaze how ineffIcient and nightmarish it is. Everything is covered in a layer of dirt. Even on the inside! I saw a man one day come in with a long mop like instrument to clean up the dirt but he only succeeded in spreading it around. It is true that there is no concept of queuing - everyone just mobs the counter but helps to be a woman. Women get a bit of preferential treatment. After arriving and taking the bus over to passport control, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that the passport control officers will usher you to the front and stamp your passport so you can be on your way! Now, wouldn't it be nice if your luggage would be waiting for you so you can make your escape!? No, expect to wait at least 20-30 minutes before the bags will make an appearance on the belt - even if your traveling business! They have to cart everything over from the plane and if another plane arrived at the same time, it is utter and total confusion in 'baggage claim.' I only travel with carry on now. If you're leaving out of ISB you cannot have a tight connection. The flights never leave on time. All three of my departures last year were delayed - around about 30 min, the next 90 min and 3 hours! The staff are ridiculous. Most airlines have contracted employees and you get an air of corruption and disregard from the management and there is no such thing as customer service - even they want to get out of there. Expect sheer chaos but I've realized to take it lightly - everyone there does!

Islamabad Airport by Ken Wilkins

2 April 2006

Arrival at this airport was a fairly long and drawn out experience, queuing for painfully slow officialdom to take place. Coming back home very much the same, owing to Gulf Air flight delay had a five hour wait in a very uncomfortable lounge. A good tip though is to get in to the first class lounge next to the shop that sells the souvenirs. It costs about four quid, is dark, quiet and has lots of very comfy sofas to sleep on (it was 2am), flight info and even a cup of tea and some very nice cakes for breakfast. Other than that this airport is a total nightmare!

Islamabad Airport by N Ullah

13 January 2006

I recently visited Islamabad airport after almost three years. I was hoping that things should have been improved a little bit over the past few years, but I was disappointed to notice that nothing much has changed. Even we are in the 21century, and every time I landed ISB airport, I feel like I have travel back in time. Keeping in mind that ISB is the capital, one would expect a better standard of facilities and services. This is the main contact point for the country with the outside world, and the airport does not give a pretty picture for someone visiting the city airport for the first time. The airport building itself is so small, that it cannot handle more than two or three flights at a time. I landed ISB airport late night. There were already few other commercial flights on the ground, so I expected a rush inside the building. The minute we touch down the runway, almost everyone switched on their mobile phones, even the steward request clearly not to switch on the phones until plane is topped. As a result, the whole cabin sounds like a mobile shop, and customers testing their new toys. Eventually the plane stopped and we were taken to the terminal building in a bus. The bus drop you right outside the immigration lounge and everyone just run toward the door. I believe, the main reason is that public knows how long it would take them, should they decide to let everyone go first, and that is the mistake I made. I was last in the immigration queue. Immigration officers have started taking USA style pictures at the counters, before they stamp your passport and let you go into the next hurdle. I joined the existing queue, and it took almost an hour before I could reach the immigration counter. Then everyone just rush to collect their luggage. There are not more than four luggage conveyer belts in total, but only two were operational at that time. I managed to collect the baggage after half an hour, and then it needs to be scanned again by the customs. It does not matter whatever the size of your luggage or suitcase, they ask everyone to put their luggage on the scan belt. There seems to be no rules or regulations to follow, and no one seemed to be interested to differentiating between passengers with just one hand luggage and a passenger with five suitcases. It seems that the immigration officer are not capable to judge that it is rather impossible to carry a TV, stereo or any similar electronic item in a small bag. Eventually, I came out and faced by people who wanted to carry my luggage including porters in uniform as well as taxi drivers acting as porters. One of them even pushed my bags without even asking me, and expecting me that I would follow him to his taxi. Upon return to the airport, same people try to push my bags and force fully tries to take luggage to the airport terminal. They will not even ask you to where I am flying? They just push luggage and expect me to take the lead once in the airport building. Passing through the security was simple, but then I was welcomed, (or should I say challenged) by the customs. The custom officer wanted to see inside my luggage without even asking me any questions. Once I pass though that, then my luggage was put through the scanner, and again another custom officer asked me to open my luggage again. If only I knew what they were looking for, I could have told them. Then I get in the check-in queue. The facilities were not up to international standard at all, as one would expect adequate level of service at an international check in desk. The whole set up is of poor quality, as well as the building and surroundings are old and not very well maintained. Toilet facilities are not clean and up to international standards. People, including staff shouting at each other across the terminal building. Most of the signs are in English, keeping in mind that some of the passengers might not be able to read English. As a result, passengers asking each other to which check in desk to approach and queue? Eventually I checked in my luggage and was sent upstairs in the lounge after passing through the immigration. Duty free is non-existent as compared to other international airports. The shops are of old style and looks like small stalls stuffed with local ornaments due to the size of the shop. The goods are over priced as compared to outside in the market. In essence, there is no concept of duty free. There are waiters roaming on the floor asking passengers for tea, coffee or sandwiches etc. I do not even get to see where the restaurant is? So cannot tell who is cooking what? And whether anyone is monitoring any standard of cleanliness in the cooking area? All in all, it was an experience that I will remember for a while. Islamabad desperately needs another airport of international standard, as the current airport was mainly designed to handle a small number of passengers with domestic flights. The airport itself gives a poor impression to any new passengers arriving to the Capital city. I heard that the Civil Aviation Authority are planning to construct a new airport building, though I have also heard that works is yet to start!

Islamabad Airport by N Lazaredes

30 November 2005

This is one of the most irritating airports I have ever been for a capital city gateway. Arrivals on an emirates flight from Dubai was efficient, albeit using buses to the terminal, followed by a slow, sometimes torturous process of being checked through immigration. Each passenger seemed to take 3 minutes to process and there were over 100 people. The bag conveyer was extremely slow to progress to our bags, so we had to endure the double irritation of waiting with the passengers from the flight which arrived after us, until they had collected all of theirs. All of this at 2.30am. Customs was a matter of loading bags through ancient x-ray machines, but we were waved through to the green channel. Outside was bedlam but with people to greet us, we felt better for having survived the enduring entry process inside the airport. On Departures, first comes the security check as soon as you enter. These guys don't have much of a sense of humour. Then you are allowed to check in. After this you through 2 security checkpoints before you reach the transit lounge. Expect these checks to be intensive. The departure lounge is barren - a lonely shop sits in a corner, calling itself duty free, but has all sorts of odd bits and pieces inside, that it looks like more of a quaint village shop, or a stall at a school fete. Passengers are expected to sit for two hours in this dismal hall, but at least there is a tea and sandwich lady who comes around to sell you something to eat and drink. After this stint in the Islamabad isolation cell, passengers are herded once again onto badly air conditioned buses for the trip to the plane. You certainly know that you are alive again once you are on board - it was a different world.

Islamabad Airport by John Anstis

16 October  2005

Things must have got better since July 2005, certainly from a public relations point of view. I found the staff and my fellow passengers very friendly, there was little in the way of queue jumping and there weren't any mechanical faults with the luggage conveyors. I'd agree that the Rawal lounge is worth spending the little bit extra it costs to use , if only because it's the last call before you start your long journey proper and you may as well be comfortable as you face the seemingly inevitable delay in boarding times. The new airport will be a welcome addition to the city because this airport is tired and lacking in the sort of facilities that would normally be taken for granted in an airport of this size. All in all, not the prettiest airport I've ever been through but certainly not the most inefficient or unpleasant.

Islamabad Airport by D Noor

14 July 2005

If you research inefficiency, you can conduct the majority of your field research at ISB. Airline staff are frequently rude and non- caring, good luck getting your frequent flier mileage credited (always check at your onward airport to ensure mileage credit when flying from ISB). Immigration and Customs have been good to me. Pakistanis seem to have no concept of a queue, so it is often a mad rush to board and exit aircraft. Spend the extra to use the Rawal Lounge, it is well worth the expense.

Islamabad Airport by Mohammad Abrar

29 June 2005

I have used Islamabad airport on numerous occasions and it is never fun. On arrival from abroad, I find the immigration staff reasonably efficient. It is downhill from there. The luggage belts do not have the capacity to handle all the luggage from a full international flight. I have seen baggage falling off and the belt jamming. And of course every passenger just has to push anybody in the way. Having retrieved your baggage, Pakistani passengers find that the Green channel is purely for "foreigners", i.e., those who appearance does not indicate Pakistani roots. I have never been able to go through without being stopped and asked to take the other route - where everything is scanned, just in case you decided to bring a television or airconditioner in your suitcase. No one has ever checked my luggage tags to see if they match the luggage. You exist to be hustled by people eager to help you take your luggage to your car. I don't actualy mind this too much as they are poor. When leaving the city, there are the inevitable customs checks whose primary aim appears to be cash generation. The check in queues are staff by the genetically slow (I have taken 2.5 hours to check in). One reason for this is that several international flights are scheduled within a few hours. This saves on the time that ground staff have to be paid but results in utter chaos for passengers. Even worse than the waiting is the tendancy for check in staff to let friends, relatives and payers jump the queues. Complaining about this to a more senior person results in a piece of set drama where the counter staff is told off. Nothing actually changes though. Immigration and security are usually quite professional and the lounge is fine. In summary, it is not so much the airport facilities that are the problem; it is the unnacountable staff. A new airport may help but will not cure the disease. 

Islamabad Airport by Martin Novak

26 October 2004

I couldn't agree more with Mr Azhar. I spent more than two hours in the queue in the early morning after the flight from Dubai. The airport is messy and too small, including the parking lot. One of the worst airport I have ever seen.

Islamabad Airport by G Hastanos

18 September 2004

The Rawal Lounge is really nice. Its cosy and tastefully decorated. I would definitely recommend it to passengers who have to check in 3 to 4 hours before their flight.

Islamabad Airport by Azhar Munir

14 June 2004

At least once every three months I end up at Islamabad Airport as an international passenger. It is simply a night mare going through this airport. The size is not the problem, it’s the people working and hanging around the airport. The new bigger airport will be bigger problem for the passengers. With correct education and management the current airport is sufficient. An immigration officer to stamp an entry stamp on Pakistani passport takes 1 hour to deal with 7 to 10 passengers as he/she is forced to use some sort of database. Their typing speed is about 1 character per 40 sec provided they are undistracted by relatives arriving same day. While departing, for each passenger there is change over of 10 counter staff before you are issued with boarding pass. In simple words, no point of building a new airport.

Islamabad Airport by Martin Hathaway

4 April 2004

The worst airport terminal I've experienced! and this is the nations capital! I was going on to Manchester, UK and PIA had quoted me a four hour check-in and others 5 hours. From arriving to entering the departure lounge took 1 1/2 hours. Is it really going to be four or five years before the new terminal is complete?

Islamabad Airport by Adnan Anwar

14 February 2004

Present Islamabad Airport although a very old building has reached a point where it cannot be expanded anymore. However new Airport is in works at a new site far away from present location. Present airport just cannot handle more than one international flight easily because every time I have gone to Islamabad as a international arrival the place looked like a fish market. The airport staff was courteous and polite. I just hope that all problems are solved when the new airport is built by 2008-2009.




If you experience any problems submitting comments on the above link, please use our general   Feedback Page



back to top

Islamabad Airport Reviews Islamabad Airport Passenger Opinions Islamabad Airport standards

| Home | Airline Opinions | Legal Notice | Airline Ranking | Airport Ranking | Advertise | Passenger's Choice Awards | Site Map | Contact Us | Links |

1999-2012  Copyright Skytrax