Airports need not be a difficult means to an end, an experience that has to be endured rather than enjoyed. Sure, check-in, security, and immigration don’t hold a lot of enjoyment for the average traveller, but an airport’s leisure services can more than make up for that. So which are the airports that really tick the right boxes when it comes to eating, entertainment and shopping?
According to the results of the recent World Airport Awards, the airports that offer the best dining experiences are Hong Kong, Singapore Changi and Tokyo Narita, followed by Seoul Incheon, Doha Hamad and Kansai Osaka. Clearly, travellers have a taste for noodles and dumplings.
Asian hubs also rule the roost when it comes to entertaining passenger traffic, with Changi, Incheon and Hamad topping the award for best leisure amenities and facilities, and three more Asian airports - Haneda, Centrair Nagoya, and Taiwan Taoyuan - also featuring prominently. European hubs Munich, Amsterdam Schiphol, Zurich and Paris CDG also scored well for entertainment.
In a region that certainly loves to shop, airports in the Far East also did well in the retail stakes, with Incheon, Hong Kong and Changi placing highly in this category. But winning the world’s best airport shopping award was London Heathrow, which, despite its critics, also scored well in a number of other categories including dining. Hamad, Dubai, Schiphol, CDG, Frankfurt and Zurich were also rated great hubs for splurging.
Overall, Changi Singapore was named World’s Best Airport for a remarkable fifth consecutive year, followed by Tokyo Haneda, Seoul Incheon, Munich and HK International.
“Changi Airport continues to innovate product and service facilities for customers, and is making the travel experience at the airport enjoyable and relaxing,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax which presents the annual awards.
Closer to home, Brisbane Airport was revealed as the best airport in the Australia/Pacific region for the second year in a row (17th globally), edging Auckland (22nd), Sydney (23rd) and Melbourne (30th), while Gold Coast Airport picked up the award for best regional airport in Australia/Pacific.
Held this year at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the Skytrax World Airport Awards are voted by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey.
Which are your favourite airports?
The World's Top 100 Airports - 2017
1 Singapore Changi
2 Tokyo Intl Haneda
3 Incheon Intl Airport
4 Munich Airport
5 Hong Kong Intl Airport
6 Hamad Intl Airport
7 Centrair Nagoya
8 Zurich Airport
9 Heathrow Airport
10 Frankfurt Airport
11 Amsterdam Schiphol
12 Kansai Intl Airport
13 Vancouver Airport
14 Narita Airport
15 Copenhagen Airport
16 Brisbane Airport
17 Helsinki Airport
18 Shanghai Hongqiao
19 Cape Town Airport
20 Dubai Airport
Best Airports in Australia/Pacific
5 Gold Coast