American Aiports described as Third World.

10 replies


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Did anyone hear Donald Trump describe all American Airports as 'Third World' in his round 1 Presidential debate yesterday.  I couldn't agree more.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 456

By virtue of the fact it came out of his mouth...I have to disagree! 

Honestly, its a mixed bag...TBIT at LAX is now world class, SFO is pretty much world class, Portland, OR is pretty good. Atlanta - meh! O'Hare - barely standard; Las Vegas - meh (but then again, any terminal that allows slot machines in the terminal is always going to be disliked by me!)

Lets look closer to home...Auckland domestic - third world; Newcastle - sub standard; Gold Coast - third world... 


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Did anyone hear Donald Trump describe all American Airports as 'Third World' in his round 1 Presidential debate yesterday.  I couldn't agree more.

I've been to airports in the third world and the US. I can confirm that that idiot (Trump) is talking out of his arse. Period.

Last editedby TheRealBabushka at Sep 28, 2016, 02:03 PM.

Stuart Jackson

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Mar 2015

Total posts 84

If you put the comment in context and remember he was comparing US to ME3 facilities I think he was right

John C

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 08 Aug 2014

Total posts 3

YES! re Auckland domestic being Third-World. God, what an old shocker it is with its creaky floors and painted ply walls. I remember it from when it started out as a former cargo shed in the late 1960s that was turned into the international terminal (that's how old that building is!). The cheapskate airport company just won't provide a better domestic terminal. And am I alone in not really like the AKL international terminal either? It has always looked cheap-jack to me - a little warren that you scurry through.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

Member since 01 Sep 2011

Total posts 96

Maybe not 3rd World but I feel so many of them are 2nd World. The new TBIT is very nice once through security but majority of other T's at LAX are ho hum.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 26 May 2014

Total posts 320

Many US airports have not coped well with the extra space taken by security since 2001.  Orlando come to mind.  At the same time I have been impressed by the facilities in smaller cities such as Melbourne FL, which has less traffic than a Port Hedland, but is fully equipped with aero-bridges. Meanwhile, Perth still has passengers out in the rain on open stairs.  


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 412

Trump was simply 'channelling' US  Vice President Joe Biden, but as usual Trump got the quote wrong. It was Joe Biden that - correctly - stated publicly that "LGA (LaGuardia) New York is akin to a 3rd world airport." Biden made the public and widely reported quote a number of months ago - coincidentally prior to the PANYNJ (Port Authority Of New York/New Jersey) unveiling the first major terminal upgrade works.

Mr Trump seems to excel at embellishment. So now, rather than LGA - it is all US airports. Of course, if the USA tempered it's love of TSA operations and reduced their terminal space, US airports may not be so cramped. But then, who would catch the 'bad guys'? That wouldn't aid Donald's agenda, would it?

As others have mentioned, TBIT/LAX, SFO, JFK are all fine airports. Also add the International Terminal at Dallas, TX. Miami is functional and pleasant, but overcrowded - as is Charlotte NC. But in the main, most 2nd tier international airports in the USA (think TPA, SEA, HNL, ORD, MCO, IAD, IAH) are passable and not what I would consider 3rd world. They may not be the height of luxury or indulgence ie: SIN, HKG, BKK, DXB, MUC etc .. but they are generally clean, reasonably modern and relatively efficient.
Perhaps 'the Donald' might be 'eyeing' life after the election in case he doesn't win - and is preparing to pitch for the redevelopment of airports across the USA? 

Last editedby kimshep at Sep 29, 2016, 12:48 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 May 2012

Total posts 106

Most US Airports are pretty ordinary - especially when comparing the business lounges of United, AA and Delta against the likes of Qantas or Virgin lounges in Australia. Interestingly, Minot in ND has a brand new airport - all thanks to the royalties coming from Fracking in North Dakota.

anthony watts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Mar 2015

Total posts 15

 I am tempted to agree with others: if Trump said it, I'd disagree. However in this instance there is some truth. While TBIT after security is improved LAX as a whole is a hole. SFO and DFW, are good. Washington Reagan is interesting. LGA is passable as is JFK. But with these few exceptions Australian airports are streets ahead. ME airports are in a different league and so comparison with them is always going to be disappointing.

In Canada I have always liked YVR and YOW is good for a capital city airport. YYZ is good in parts, Montreal , well lets say they are trying! YYC and YWG are both excellent mid sized airports.

So while NA airports are definately, in general, not 3rd world, like a lot of infrastructure in the US, its always the bare minimum to get the job done. Somehow I think the general feeling is that they should do better.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Jul 2015

Total posts 56

From searching online, I believe the whole quote for context was:

“Our airports are like from a Third World country,” Trump said. â€œYou land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible ― you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land ― we’ve become a Third World country.”

As with most Trump comments, it does come with a large slice of exaggeration. It seems most commenters agree with the core comparison however, that US airports are not 'as good' as the airports of the Middle East.

If you take the first part of the quote literally, I don't think many would say LAX is worse than an airport in a genuinely classified third world country.

All things considered, if this kicks off discussions in to improving some troubled US airports, I'm all for it.

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