Addis Ababa Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 141 reviews
3/10
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6/10

"suck it up for what it is"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | I have passed through Addis probably over a dozen times since 2016. I am by parts confused and shocked by some of the reviews here, which appear to expect Ethiopia to have a calming oasis of modernity in a rapidly developing country. Yes, the queues for security are long, but the staff (who are paid a pittance, remember) do their best. Simply suck it up and wait. We are all tired (including the staff) and you will eventually pass through security. If you are not used to airports in some developing countries, it's just how it is sometimes. Occasionally, yes, Addis is a complete nightmare, but on other ocassions, everything is smooth. I've had very quick transfers, and the Ethiopian staff have always been prepared for late connection arrivals etc. Never missed a connection here, even with a 20 minutes window. If you look, there a not only plenty of seats, but there are vast expanses of floor to lounge around on. There are at least 4 small shops which sell drinks and hot snacks for between $1-$5 so anyone thinking theres a $15 minimum charge is insane, and has not been to Addis. Its chaotic, yes, but hey, so what. Its appallingly organised, but such is life. Its difficult to navigate, and staff (but more often fellow passengers) are rude, but cest la vie. The concept of customer service is a very low priority here, so accept that and move on. Just because you are flying through an international airport, you shouldn't expect phenomenal standards in developing regions. Addis is crap, yes, but its certainly very bearable, and compared to some of the absolute hellholes I have been to, its positively divine. Stop moaning about it, and suck it up for what it is - a badly designed, appallingly resourced, ridiculously busy African hub, which is staffed by underpaid people who deal with thousands of privileged passengers daily. Has it got all the stuff you might need? Lets see: Toilets - yes (bad but they are there), Water - yes for $1 a bottle literally anywhere in the airport, Space - yes, to the left of the main departure security entry theres loads of chairs and space. Food - small shops, 2 restaurant/bars and 1 chinese restaurant where you can get noodles for next to nothing. There is plenty to eat for between $2-$5. Wifi - yep - its intermittent and bad but hey ho. Lounges - yes, several, all a bit poor, but so what. If you need anything more on a transit stopover, you need to organise yourself a bit better. Stop decrying Addis for utterly nonsensical and uber-privileged reasons!
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
3/10

"still a very unworthy hub"

(Oman)

Trip Verified | Addis Ababa airport is still a very unworthy hub for the otherwise decent Ethiopian Airlines. Terminal 2 is reasonably modern and clean but hopelessly overcrowded with endless lines everywhere. Not enough seating, too few security check and immigration counters, too few food and drink outlets, too few of everything. But this is still great against dirty old Terminal 1 which is put to shame by any random African bus station. There is construction work going for a new terminal. So maybe there is hope for improvement in the future.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"Do not use it for a layover"

(Mozambique)

Trip Verified | Very disappointing. The airport is modern and clean but not big enough to handle the volume going through it. Result is queues everywhere. The airport has poor internal signposting so you have to keep asking harassed staff where to go. Do not use it for a layover. First you queue for a hotel voucher. That queue is not too bad. Then you queue for immigration - since there are no transit hotels, you must enter Ethiopia to sleep. The immigration queues are /very/ slow - more than 40 minutes. I had heard good things about Ethiopian but I will be avoiding transit through Addis in future, if I can help it.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitOctober 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"Poor service and extremely rude security staff"

(Nepal)

Not Verified | This is one of the most unfriendly airports I've ever experienced. Poor service and extremely rude security staff. Going through security, they flagged my bag and removed some spices and tossed them in the bin without explanation and turned around and wouldn't acknowledge my question or even look at me. If the spices weren't allowed it's fine, but there was no sign posted and no explanation from the staff. Very pushy, and a terrible way to end an enjoyable trip around this lovely country.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"Every time it has been a nightmare"

(Namibia)

Trip Verified | At least 3 to 4 times a year I pass-through this airport. Every time it has been a nightmare. On 18 August in the evening it was a real nightmare: 1) Overcrowded airport with very few checking in gates. 2) Incompetent ushers/staff - with very little courtesy. I don't even think they know what being courteous is. 3) The few toilets that exist in the pre-departure lounge are extremely filthy. 4) I bought a plate of food, it never came on time - took almost an hour to come, just as my flight was being called, the lady turned up (did she expect me to gulp down the food, I wonder). 5) In one corner there is a filthy smelling smoking room that fills up the duty free area with stale smoke smell. This is a no no airport.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
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
4/10

"food availability is poor"

(Brazil)

Trip Verified | Addis Ababa Airport is one of the worst airports I have been to. There are no seats for everyone to wait. The lines for X-Ray are not organized, so people heap and the security does nothing to organize. The lines for Visa are huge, also the immigration. The food availability is poor, about 3 options inside the airport. The toilets are not enough so they rent some chemical ones for people use. Ethiopian has big airplanes and most of them does not use the finger, so we have to board using buses. Very poor exeperience.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 2019
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
2/10

"the worst customer service experience"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Atrocious, disorganized with the worst customer service experience. Our Addis Ababa last impression is unfortunate due to a few frustrations stemming from our airport experience. 1) An airport police/military masochistically beckoned me when I was searching for an outlet to charge my electronics and patronizingly asked me whether I knew where I was going and whether I knew how to speak English. 2) On both times that I purchased samosas, the cashier short-changed me. Both times I had to remind them to provide me with proper change even though they very well knew the price as it was clearly stated on the receipt. When confronted and provided feedback they proceeded to speak in Amharic and make fun of me, little did they know that I understood the language. Unsettling experience and absolutely disappointing. The blatant and consistent short changing did not make them apologetic at all, in fact more defensive 3) Another restaurant personnel questioned me about an item I had purchased somewhere else. Quite insulting to be questioned even though she saw me come in already holding the item prior to asking her a question.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitAugust 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"succumbing to this extortion"

(Switzerland)

Trip Verified | We checked in 6 luggages, which we pre-weighed. We knew we could check in 5 kg extra on the account that my brother-in-law gave me a Sheba miles coupon. The clerk, a young man, insisted that I had 7 kg additional extra weight and need to give him $120 US. I told him that we had weighed all luggage and couldn’t have 7 kg extra, and I don’t have $US but Swiss Francs. He said, you either have to reduce by 7 kgs or pay 150 Swiss Francs. With my stressful situation, I succumbed to this scammer and said okay. He instructed me to give the cash to another clerk, who was standing nearby. He told him to accompany me, and the second clerk took me just away from the checking post and extended his hand. I handed over the money and the 1st clerk let my luggage pass. I feel terrible for succumbing to this extortion under stressful situation. I will try to do better next time. Nonetheless, I want to tell my experience even if it helps one more passenger avoid taken advantage of. In addition, I want to alert Ethiopian Airlines and Bole airport authorities about this type of extortion, which benefits few but leaves the reputation of the Airline, Bole airport and Ethiopia in tatters. I wish I was prepared or sage enough to take recording of this event or at least a picture of the clerk who swindled me.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitAugust 2019
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
1/10

"a disgrace to Ethiopia"

(France)

Trip Verified | This airport is just a disgrace to Ethiopia and its national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines. No decent shops, rather stalls which sell dirty items for crazy prices, and only one restaurant with absolutely indecent prices (nothing under 15 dollars), poor service, no possibility to pay by credit card and non-English speaking staff. The toilets are dirty and smelly. Ethiopian Airlines boasts about the newly opened expansion, but the design is the same as the old one, with no shops and chairs randomly scattered around the boarding area where each boarding process resembles a cattle ride. It is a real pity to have such a catastrophic infrastructure and I was hoping the expansion would help solve things, but it seems it's only emphasising them. Avoid at all costs - this is no Istanbul, Dubai or Doha.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
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 is just scary"

(Seychelles)

Not Verified | The most dodgy airport I’ve ever seen. Didn’t think it was possible for an airport to be so bad. It has so many destinations you’d think it would be at least mediocre. Random cables some power are coming out from everywhere and no one seems to care to keep them even tidy or cover. The buffet in the satellite cafe was extremely disorganised; cable’s running through the middle which power appliances, high tables with no chairs blocking the way, the buffet bar area having only one exit and entrance in a very tight space - it’s hilarious. And the food ! Old, cold, dry and stale. Nothing is clean, everything greasy, sticky or breaking. Seriously Ethiopia! Fix this. It’s a disgrace. The actual planes aren’t bad at all, but this airport is just scary.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 2019
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