7 Super Airports across the Globe
When you travel a lot, getting stuck in an airport due to a flight delay can be very frustrating. However, these days there are a number of airports around the world that are making it much easier for stranded passengers to enjoy their time spent waiting for flights. To help analyze the nicest locations to get stuck in, more than 10 million travelers vote each year in the annual Skytrax awards for the world’s best airports. Read on for seven top landing spots that are regarded as being the best around the globe, year after year.
Singapore’s Changi Airport
Changi Airport in Singapore was awarded the top honors again this year. Having won more than 400 awards over the years, the airport received high marks in this year’s Skytrax poll for areas such as leisure, cleanliness, security, and immigration processing.
For those travelers looking for plenty to keep them occupied during wait time at the airport, there is plenty to choose from. Leisure amenities include a synthetic ice rink, more than 300 different retail outlets,a rooftop swimming pool that’s set up in a Balinese-theme, wellness centers for down time; free movies, and the tallest water slide in the country.
Fussy travelers looking for a way to get back to nature, even inside a massive building, can pay a visit to the live butterfly garden on-site. The garden features over 1000 butterflies, as well as numerous plant species and even a waterfall.
Incheon International Airport in South Korea
Incheon International Airport in South Korea has been a mainstay on the Top 10 list in the Skytrax awards over the years and came in at number two in 2014. The airport (the largest in the country) often receives awards for high-level staff service in Asia, and is one of only three airlines to have received an overall five-star rating from Skytrax. The relatively new airport opened in 2001 and received high scores for its cleanliness, variety of food options, internet access, rest areas, and views.
When it comes to spending time in Incheon, travelers can enjoy checking out the on-site museum or observation deck, practice their swing in the driving range, enjoy complimentary movies and interactive cultural activities, and chill out in one of five gardens. If time is not limited, visitors can also sign up to one of the many tours run by the airport that have a focus on areas such as shopping, culture, and temples.
Coming in at number three on this year’s Top 10 list in the Skytrax awards is Munich Airport in Germany. The airport was also named as the best in Europe, and received top marks for its shopping and dining facilities in particular. Lovers of good design are sure to be impressed by Munich Airport’s ultra-modern Terminal 2. The space features huge viewing windows over the runway and many of the walls and ceilings are made from glass, providing an open and airy feel. Beer aficionados will want to spend their time in the Bavarian-style tavern, Airbrau, which is the only in-airport brewery in all of Europe. For families, Munich Airport provides an activity center called Kinderland that features building blocks, art and craft stations, and movies. On the sporting side of things, there is also a miniature golf course and a portable wave pool to try out.
Hong Kong International Airport
If you like your airports with a side of sustainability, you’ll be impressed with Hong Kong International Airport. This airport is made mostly from recycled materials, and also utilizes a lot of natural light. Sitting on its own man-made island, the Hong Kong facility features over 250 retail stores, an Aviation Discovery Center, an IMAX Theater for film buffs, an education park, and a nine-hole golf course. Sports lovers are well catered to in the iSports simulator, where they can practice their skills in sports such as soccer, basketball, and car racing.
London’s Heathrow Airport
After being rejuvenated a couple of years ago with a pricey $8.6 billion renovation, busy Heathrow Airport also made it into Skytrax’s annual Top 10 list. The London airport is home to a restaurant by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, as well as a huge, 1000-square-meter Harrods store, and numerous top-shelf boutiques like Cartier and Gucci so shoppers can spend big. The facility also houses a number of bars, a variety of day spas, and a four-hour hotel option for those who need some shut-eye or some time to catch up on emails. Kids are kept busy with free coloring books and crayons that can be picked up from the airport’s information desk.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport
If you’re passionate about art then you’ll love spending some time at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where the world’s first museum to be annexed in an airport is located. The Rijksmuseum (an off-shoot of the well-known museum found in the city) contains a permanent collection of ten works from Dutch masters and is free to visit, and open on a daily basis. Travelers needing to rest and recharge can head to the airport’s library for some peace and quiet or sit back and relax at one of the wellness centers found at the facility.
Vancouver International Airport
Regularly voted the best airport in North America, the Vancouver International Airport has a maritime theme and is home to an impressive 114,000-liter aquarium that houses over 800 sea creatures. The airport also boasts native art, an indoor creek, a revolving sushi bar, variety of plush bars and other restaurants, a number of day spas, and many shopping outlets.