Airline of the Year  

Addis Ababa Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 89 reviews
3/10
No Skytrax Rating
Sort Reviews by :
Show
1/10

"avoid transiting through here at all costs"

(France)

Verified Review | You will never find a worse airport in the world. Addis Ababa is horrible from A to Z. Way too small for the number of people it handles, it is crowded and completely disorganised. Because of poor maintenance, its roof often leaks, flooding parts of the terminal, and escalators and internet do not work (even in the lounges). The lights are gloomy, similar to those of a hospital, and there is permanent electrical "grilling" noise around. The toilets are only slightly better than those found in rural Ethiopia despite the seemingly large number of cleaners walking and chatting around. The restaurant and drinks offer is abysmally poor: there is one disgusting "international" restaurant and one even more disgusting "Chinese" restaurant. Both are always overcrowded, with non-English speaking staff, disorganised and incredibly expensive and dirty. The "London Satellite Café" should simply be destroyed and replaced with international food chains or nice restaurants like the ones found in downtown Addis Ababa. Forget about Ethiopian Airlines lounges: if you can ever find a seat available (they are overcrowded), they offer bad food, are not clean and Internet works 1% of the time. Duty free shops look more like street stalls than anything else and staff do not hesitate to haggle over prices. Forget about using credit cards: out of the 20+ times I've transited through this airport, their machines have never worked. Despite them not working, you will find staff assigned to handling the credit card machines only, separate from the cashier, showing how irrational everything is in this airport. Staff hardly ever speak English, do not wear uniforms (hence are hard to identify) and are rude and aggressive, shouting at passengers all the time. I speak Amharic and have heard some of the staff make inappropriate comments about foreigners who were not "quick enough" through security. The Chinese are renovating and expanding the airport, but I strongly doubt it can be brought to international standards given where it is now. Simple steps such as cleaning it, putting international standard restaurants, cafés and a nice traditional Ethiopian restaurant, fixing escalators, putting better lights, closing the smoking areas, replacing some of the current staff and making the internet work would go a long a way into fixing the issues. Avoid transiting through here at all costs if you have a choice when travelling to Africa.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"most backward airport in the world"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | This is by far the worst and most backward airport in the world, where the "Regime" running the airport seem to think it is OK to be rude, surly and unhelpful to passengers. Knowing the level and culture of maintenance in Ethiopia as a whole, I was not happy being subjected to a mobile scanner with no name, when I enquired, I was subjected to abuse by the operators who spoke little to no English. I will never fly via/from/to Addis Ababa airport again!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2017
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

"jammed and slow security lines"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | I have never ever been to a worse airport than Addis Ababa. It's like a street market in a building with airplanes parked outside. Toilets are disgusting beyond belief, shops are full of either local craft not befitting the standard of Ethiopian artists, or tired and old consumer goods radically overpriced. Restaurant (if you could call them that) prices are above that of prices in most decent city establishments, and the whole airport is a run down dump with worn chairs, dirty corridors and haphazard arrangements. Worse however are the jammed and slow security lines, and despite all the rigmarole of shoes off etc, I'm not sure why they bother as I saw at least 10 passengers go through and out the other side with various bottles of water, opened and unopened, which is completely in opposition to the 100ml sealed liquids rules. I hope I never ever have to experience this dismal place again, and even though they say the airport is being upgraded, I think it will end up with the same content and poor regulations in a new or refurbished space, so not much is likely to change.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 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
1/10

"airport keeps getting worse"

(Kenya)

Verified Review | Addis Ababa airport keeps getting worse as traffic increases. It is dirty, smelly and overcrowded, especially in the morning and evening hours. The international terminal is a poorly maintained building, with water regularly leaking from the roofs. The whole terminal smells like cigarettes as the smoking areas are not properly closed. Duty free shops are unique among large hub airports: dirty, disorganised, with non-English speaking staff, they look more like informal street markets in downtown Addis than normal airport shops. I have had to haggle prices several times before abandoning, realising how ridiculous the situation was. Credit card machines hardly ever work. There is only one restaurant in the whole terminal - you can imagine what it's like at peak hours. Ethiopian Airlines lounges are equally dirty and overcrowded, with very dubious decoration taste. No wifi service or desktop Internet access, of course. The airport is being expanded but Ethiopian authorities need to re-think the customer service delivery to turn it into a truly modern hub - not only the raw infrastructure.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"security is woefully slow"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | The previous reviews of ADD give an accurate flavour, this is a 1980s airport trying to survive in modern world. Banners state that it is being modernised but I fear its the people and procedures that will remain that will shackle it. Insufficient seating means people on the floor, security is woefully slow so much it caused an hour delay on flight to lhr which must have lost Ethiopian Airlines £10+k's in extra fees at LHR. The duty free shops are overpriced and unfriendly, the whole place grubby and 2/3rd of the place stank of chinese cigarettes. Only EA have a business lounge and they dont accept Priority Pass so all this taken into account would make me choose another route if travelling with my young family, only using this because of being a solo traveller. EA seriously need to kick the airport company as it will undo all their efforts.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"absolutely awful airport"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Absolutely awful airport, although it has improved slightly since they contained smoking to the smoking lounges (and surrounding area). Was raining on my last visit and the roof was leaking which is normal. Toilets have a pleasant aroma to them, and they have stuck some more portacabins full of toilets in to increase the number. Staff surly, and not in the least bit helpful. Beware of random gate changes, or multiple flight assignments to the same gate number, especially on intra-African flights. This seems to happen all the time, and then chaos ensues as people are yelled at for being in the wrong line (although the display is telling them to be there).
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"the most disgusting airport "

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Addis Ababa Airport is the most disgusting airport I have ever been to. We had a 9 hr stay there which was ment to be 6 hours, but flight was delayed. No explanation as to why it was delayed until we boarded plane. The male staff going through security were very rude and miserable. No one knows what they are doing, not enough seating area and not very clean. In departure lounge no toilet facility which we though very odd, as having plane delayed we then had to go out of departure lounge to go to toilet then got through all security again so disorganised.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitFebruary 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
1/10

"the staff need to go on a smiling course"

(United Kingdom)

Well, what a disgusting airport. By using Ethopian Airlines, it was half the price of a British Airways flight for a small 2 hour stop over - so I could not see a reason to spend double. Every minute I stayed in this airport, standing as there is no where to sit and I did not trust the cleanliness of the floor, I wished I had bought the straight through flight from Heathrow to Cape Town. The toilets, after what looks like years of being moaned about on this site, still have never changed. No toilet paper or soap and fear of catching something. The shops have the most miserable workers in them who wouldn't help you at all and just point to someone else to serve you! Remarkable really the level of customer service in what looks to be a massive transit airport. The worst however is the ridiculousness of the security after duty free! No warning of this whatsoever and after buying duty free at Cape Town and Ethopian Airlines allowing me on the first plane with my wine, it now gets removed in "Adis Ababa as a security breach"! After what seems like an hour to get through security, there are absolutely no rules anywhere about this "breach" and looking at other posts they seem to just make it up from each day to the next. I'm never using this airport ever again. The smell of smoke is still in my clothes and all the staff need to go on a smiling course.
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
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
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
1 to 10 of 77 Reviews