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Addis Ababa Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 81 reviews
3/10
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1/10

"lack of timely and reliable information"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | We transferred at Addis Ababa on both the outward and return journey and while we found Ethiopian Airlines to be fine, they are very much let down by the airport which for us matched the worst of reviews here. I would be scared of traveling this way again. The first thing we noticed was the lack of timely and reliable information - electronic or in person. We were pointed at first in the right direction but then found that our gate was not made clear for a long time (they were changing the gate), and there were very few staff around to speak with. We were thirsty as we had not brought any local currency or US dollars, and cards were not accepted for small water purchases. There was no drinking water once you pass through into the gate area, except for in a little cordoned-off 'VIP' zone downstairs near Gate 1 (which we weren't entitled to). I was only glad that our flight was not delayed. The return transfer was worse - it was at night, heavily raining, and the roof was leaking in many places with trays put down to catch the drips. There are power shortages, and we had cuts of the lights and fans every so often. Water, which we had bought in Cape Town airport behind security, was confiscated when we went through Gate 14. What really made it a bad experience however was the queueing and security process which was so slow and disorganised. Queueing at Gate 14 was very slow, there were very few places to sit while queueing, and I was among a couple of dozen passengers who were selected for extra security checks with no explanation of why or how long it would take. My passport and boarding pass were held to take notes. I wasn't allowed to have my documents back or move on for about 40 minutes (some of those passengers selected later than me were processed before me), at which point I was put through a full body scanner, frisked, and my bag dusted for explosives. Even for those that were not held for security reasons, it took a long time to get everyone through the gate. The time for boarding then came and went with no announcement of delay (it turned out we had an additional half an hour wait while the plane was being prepared). The risk of being stuck at this airport would definitely make me prefer other routes. Also do not send anyone confused or vulnerable via this route.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"This airport is simply terrible"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Addis Ababa airport is simply terrible. It seems to be the stop over for lots of long haul travellers and provides not nearly enough seats, so people sit and sleep on the floor! Worst of all is the glass 'cage' gates area where there is no provision whatsoever for food or drink. On our outbound journey we had to sit for three hours with no refreshments as we connected within the gates area. On our return journey we connected through the usual way, but hung around in the restaurants with all the sleeping people as we knew that if we went through security we would be without refreshments for a very long time. Furthermore, we were doubly annoyed by having to pass through security for a second time (even though we were connecting) and any water we had bought after security at the first airport (Harare) was taken away. Farcical. And if you are lucky enough to get a table in a restaurant and not have to sit on the floor, don't expect efficient service or the option of Visa, as half the machines don't work or the shops only want cash. Never again.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

"airport clearance very quick and customer friendly"

(United Kingdom)

Arrived from LHR, 0545, Feb 2nd 2017. Arrived 45 minutes early on overnight Ethiopian Airbus 350 flight from London. Flight took only 6 hrs 30 minutes, brilliant. Airport clearance very quick and customer friendly. Bussed in from stand to Terminal 2. Immigration was excellent with more than enough staff so queue was very short. Bags arrived quickly though I was at carousel before them. Customs no problem so was out in public arrivals area within 25 mins of landing. Only complaint - why has Yellow Spot Cafe been removed leaving no choice of cafes as only one remains in arrivals.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
yes
3/10

"amount of seats is nowhere near enough"

(Sweden)

Addis Ababa is an absolutely horrible airport. Overcrowded, the amount of seats is nowhere near enough, making many people stand / sit on the floor. Long layover times in general and very bad information about delayed flight. Toilet services were OK. I cannot rate food services as I did not use these.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
no
1/10

"difficult and unpleasant experience"

(United States)

Addis Ababa airport was an extremely brutal experience. The employees were very rude, disorganized and unhelpful. Going through customs was by far the worst experience I have ever had at any airport. Staff will not allow you to get your checked luggage without a Visa into the country, so I paid $50 just to get my bag and recheck it the first time I went through Addis. Coming back through this airport, they did not allow me to get my bag at all (even with a Visa). Many others had the exact same issue and were frustrated as well. I had a tour scheduled in Addis Ababa that I had already paid for and staff would not let me get my bag or go out of the airport to do my tour. Their answers to my questions were constantly changing and no one appeared to know what the real rules and regulations were. Also, the airport is under construction so there is no baggage storage anywhere. The airport is very crowded with no place to sit, the bathrooms are unclean, there is no wifi and my flights were delayed. It was a very difficult and unpleasant experience for me. In the future, I will try to avoid this airport at all costs.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
10/10

"no complaints or problems"

(Ethiopia)

Very smooth departure from Addis Ababa Airport. First baggage security check smooth and quick. Had checked in on line for ET710 to LHR, no problem. Bag drop quick and efficient as was immigration. This was 07.45 which is the morning rush hour. Departure area busy but comfortable, toilet fine. Second security check into newly renumbered Gate 14 quick but was then checked a second time inside gate area. Gate area empty. No complaints or problems.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitDecember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"airport is completely overcrowded"

(Kenya)

This airport is completely overcrowded, people sitting on the floors, terrible smoking facilities and exaggerated prices in some of the shops which don't give you a receipt after you purchase an item. Customer service almost non-existent, toilets are very dirty, monitors can read wrong information and wireless internet does not always work. Avoid long layovers here if possible.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"number of seats is laughably inadequate"

(Mozambique)

Verified Review | This is quite simply the worst airport I've ever been to. The number of seats is laughably inadequate, with half of the passengers sitting on the floor. There are not enough restaurants and ones that exist are ridiculously overcrowded. The bathrooms are disgusting, inadequate, and are situated in a makeshift building. Due to crowding and incompetence, the staff won't even let you pass through the security check when it's your boarding time. If you have to change your airline in order to avoid this airport, do it.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"the seating needs to be increased"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | I would not say much about the poor quality of the facilities at the airport but the seating needs to be increased. There are 3 times more passengers than the seats available at the lounge forcing many passengers to sit on the dirty floor. I don't think the security staff understand the reason passengers are not allowed to bring liquids over 100ml from "home". I bought a bottle of water and a perfume from Duty Free inside the airport and both were over 100ml. They got confiscated at the scanning queue before boarding the gates. The items were in a stapled duty free shop bag and I showed them the receipts as well but the officer just binned them with no explanations. Not only that, but I also had a tiny deodorant which was 35ml and that was binned as well. I explained to the officer that I passed Heathrow Airport with this 35ml deodarant as it is allowed on onboard and his response was "This is not Heathrow". Soon after finishing the scanning, we had to join another queue towards the gates where the boarding passes were being checked. While in the queue, every 1 person out of 5 in the queue is "randomly" picked and asked to sit at a corner and called for an intensive search. The hand luggage is overturned on a table where every private item in your hand luggage is visible to the public. You are then asked to go into a round glass door where they scan you. This kind of security is only on Gates 11-14 (Flights to US, Europe and Australia). If you are boarding to any other destinations, there is no such security and liquids are allowed onboard. So basically, if you are travelling to US, Europe or Australia, do not buy any liquids from the Duty Free Shops and make sure you do not have any liquids on your hand luggage even though you may have bought them in-flight on transit to Ethiopia.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"the system there does work"

(South Africa)

This is my second time using the airport and my expectations were not high. But I was pleasantly surprised. Don't expect much. But the system there does work, I found the Ethiopian Airlines staff very helpful in getting you onto planes or buses to go to planes. Immigration staff less so but lines through security were managed quickly. Facilities are limited especially if you are sent straight to the transit area which basically only has seating and toilets - no food or shops. And it can feel like a huge waiting room in some parts depending on the gate you are using. The airport is being extended and this should help improve the overcrowding that can happen at busy times. Don't expect a lot, you will transit easily in the main and benefit from the cheap deals you can get on Ethiopian Airlines if you are travelling on a budget.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
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