Travelers Say These Countries Have The Worst Airport Customs
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: franckreporter

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: franckreporter

Travelers Say These Countries Have The Worst Airport Customs

Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Jun 6, 2023

International travel is the wave right now in the tourism industry. People have grown tired of family vacations to Disney and baecations on Miami Beach. Instead, they’re venturing out to see the world.

Unfortunately, in order to explore abroad, you have to go through customs first. Customs agents at airports work to protect the respective country’s border you’re entering. They control the flow of goods in and out of the country as visitors arrive and depart. 

With hundreds of thousands of travelers flying each day worldwide, customs lines can get lengthy. While some countries have customs mapped out efficiently, others are unorganized and hard to navigate. Here are a few countries travelers say they’ve had their worst customs experiences.


Many travelers in online forums like Reddit and Quora said their worst airport customs experience happened in an Asian country. However, Japan takes the cake as having one of the worst airports customs. Traveler Dieter Mannekaert said in an online forum that when he visited Japan, the customs officers stopped and interviewed every passenger. He said that although customs patrol were nicer in China and Malaysia, they insisted their luggage be x-rayed. 


Vietnam also received many complaints throughout Reddit’s travel threads. The biggest issue with airport customs in the country is excessive waiting. One Reddit user said they waited for hours for their name to be called. Although the user described the Vietnamese officers as “scary in military uniforms,” another user pointed out that all customs officers look like this regardless of the country they represent. 


One Reddit user said her worst airport customs experience was in Tanzania. The woman said the patrol officers took everyone’s passports and made them stand in a small space. They had to wait for their name to be called, which took hours. Apparently, one traveler walked off with the wrong passport due to the disorganization of Tanzania’s customs patrol. 


Throughout online forums, a lot of travelers expressed how the airport customs in Germany aren’t very pleasant. One user described them as “not friendly.” Another traveler said that every time they visit the European country, they are flagged as a drug mule and removed from the customs line for questioning. Once pulled into the interview, the traveler says he is repeatedly talked down to and screamed at. The online user said this happens each time he goes through customs at a German airport. 


Australia made the list because its customs officers are working overtime to keep illness out of the country. Many Reddit users noted that Australia doesn’t have a lot of diseases found in other parts of the world. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry, Australia is free of animal diseases like foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza H5N1. Customs wants to keep these diseases from entering the country. As a result, some travelers have experienced more health screenings when visiting Australia especially if they show signs of sickness.

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