Seasoned travellers know unpleasant journeys are not the fault of bad airlines alone – avoiding terrible airports is just as important.

An annual survey by "Sleeping at Airports" has revealed the world's worst airports as voted by the travellers who pass through them. Many European airports make the list, suffering from poor organisation and rude staff. Some airports, situated in developing or war-torn countries that struggle with poor investment and facilities, also feature.

The survey measured criteria such as cleanliness, security and organisation. Airports languishing on this list have "have the capacity to truly offend", according to the site.

Earning the dubious distinction of being the worst in the world is South Sudan's Juba International Airport. The airport doesn't have a terminal as such – rather it uses tents that spring leaks during the rainy season and overheat in the summer months. Travellers complained that a lack of flooring means they're forced to walk across mud to check in to their flights.

Four Greek airports make the worst in the world: Crete Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes and Santorini. Respondents cited that the airports were woefully disorganised, especially during the busy holiday months. One respondent wrote: "Awful in most every way. The airport terminal should be erased and a new one erected."

Beauvais-Tille, situated 80kms north of Paris, is also subject to passenger ire. Placed at 9th, it came just ahead of Tashkent International Airport in Uzbekistan and Caracas Simón Bolívar International Airport, Venezuela. Travellers were particularly angered that it closed at midnight, meaning those waiting for morning flights were forced to wait outside in the cold.

The UK's worst airport was Luton, which came in at number 12. Long considered the ugly duckling of London's more modern airports, the budget airline hub has been undergoing a makeover in recent months, adding to the sense of general disorganisation.

North America has one entry with La Guardia airport. The New York hub has been plagued by chronic delays and deteriorating terminal building conditions over recent years.

The 20 worst airports in the world

  1. Juba International Airport, South Sudan (JUB)
  2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia (JED)
  3. Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria (PHC)
  4. Crete Heraklion International Airport, Greece (HER)
  5. Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Nigeria (LOS)
  6. Santorini Thira National Airport, Greece (JTR)
  7. Dar es Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania (DAR)
  8. Rhodes International Airport, Greece (RHO)
  9. Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport, France (BVA)
  10. Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan (TAS)
  11. London Luton International Airport, England (LTN)
  12. Rome Ciampino International Airport, Italy (CIA)
  13. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM)
  14. New York City LaGuardia, USA (LGA)
  15. Chania International Airport, Greece (CHQ)
  16. Caracas Simón Bolívar International Airport, Venezuela (CCS)
  17. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China (CAN)
  18. Cluj International Airport, Romania (CLJ)
  19. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan (ISB)
  20. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia (ADD)
Passengers wait in queues following the cancellation of flights, at Faro airport April 15, 2010 REUTERS