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DHAKA ZIA INTL AIRPORT review : 23 January 2010 by I Chowdhury

This is by a long way the worst airport I have been in. On entering it is utter chaos, with touts sprinting behind your car so as to grab your luggage when you stop. It takes a raised voice to get them to go away usually. Some even pretend to be from your airline and say it is part of the service. They will then demand money when they have taken your bags in. The security is pretty woeful. The very old scanning machine is manned by totally disinterested looking staff who, to be frank, do not look like they know what they are looking for. It is also quite easy to walk around the metal detector when staff are not looking. Check in is ok. But there is a complete lack of information if your flight is delayed. Immigration is quite a slow process, as often there machines break down and details have to be hand written. The shops and restaurant facilities are absolutely miserable. The duty free guys will try to rip you off, especially if you try to pay Taka and not USD. The Sheraton bar upstairs is a bit more peaceful but hardly fantastic. Boarding the flight is chaos. As soon as there is a hint that boarding may begin there is a stampede to get to the front of the queue. I feel like reminding people that seats are allocated by ticket, this is not a Dhaka bus! Arriving I feel is even worse. The immigration officers are slow. There is no machine readable passport system so everything is written down, at a glacial speed. Friends who have asked for visa on arrival have been taken away to interview rooms and a bribe has been directly demanded. The luggage wait can be beyond belief. I have waited for well over an hour on occasions with no explanation of where the cases have been. Cases are also routinely tampered with. And as for exiting the airport and looking for a taxi- scary!