Sky-high stress: World’s most stressful airports

Sky-high stress: World's most stressful airports.

Sky-high stress: World's most stressful airports. Image: Andy Soloman /

In 2023, air travel faced various challenges, from strikes to system disruptions and adverse weather conditions.

For many passengers, the idea of holiday travel might bring feelings of apprehension.

While some factors contributing to air travel stress are beyond passengers’ control, they can choose airports wisely to improve their journey experience.

A study by VisaGuide.World surveyed 1,642 air passengers from 53 nationalities who took at least two international trips in 2023.

They were asked about aspects of air travel that caused them stress, such as high passenger volumes, crowded airports, frequent delays, and distance from the city centre.

Based on these factors, the study ranked the most stressful airports in the world.

London Gatwick, the UK’s second-largest airport, has been identified as the most stressful airport globally. Despite handling fewer passengers compared to other airports, Gatwick scored high in passenger density and annual delays.

Claiming second place is Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, which is Europe’s busiest airport with over 64 million passengers in 2022. Its vast size, spanning over 76 million square metres, often presents navigation challenges for travellers.

In third place is Germany’s Munich Airport, which handles half the passenger traffic of Istanbul Airport but is significantly smaller in size.

Denver International Airport in the United States ranks fourth, followed by Heathrow Airport, Europe’s second busiest airport, despite being smaller in size than Munich Airport.

Other airports in the top ten include Los Angeles International Airport, Rome–Fiumicino International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and O’Hare International Airport.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.


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