Special Edition

For the Pleasure of Waiting

Airports are increasingly being designed or revamped to make waiting a memorable experience for passengers. From food to shopping to entertainment, they have it all covered. Explore international airports that have set new standards for providing exceptional experiences 

Photo: Shutterstock

Every person who has travelled on an aircraft knows what it is to wait at the airport for the flight. A growing number of airports worldwide are going beyond mere functionality, offering amenities and facilities that turn waiting into an enjoyable part of the journey. Here, we explore top seven airports worldwide, as per the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2023, a global benchmark of airport excellence. These airports have set new standards for providing exceptional experiences, ensuring that travellers have comfortable, entertaining and even rejuvenating waiting time.

Changi Airport, Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport consistently tops various lists and has been recognised as the world’s best airport for several years by Skytrax, an airport and airline rating platform. The Changi airport has an array of facilities, including a butterfly garden, a rooftop swimming pool, movie theatres, a four-storey slide and a sunflower garden. The Jewel Changi Terminal, a stunning indoor forest, houses shops, restaurants and the Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Singapore Changi Airport’s automated immigration clearance system takes less than 25 seconds on an average, ensuring efficient transit. With its impeccable cleanliness, friendly staff and extraordinary amenities, it provides an outstanding experience for travellers looking to make the most of their time between flights.

Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar

Doha Hamad International Airport has gained international acclaim for its state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional services. The airport has an indoor tropical garden, art installations and a 25-metre swimming pool. Travellers can also unwind in the luxurious lounges, indulge in high-end shopping or savour international cuisines at diverse restaurants. With its modern architecture and commitment to providing a seamless travel experience, Doha Hamad International Airport efficiently caters to passengers during their layovers.

Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan

Tokyo Haneda Airport is renowned for its efficiency, excellent services and convenient location near the city centre. The airport offers a variety of attractions and amenities to keep passengers entertained and relaxed during their wait. Travellers can enjoy at a traditional Japanese bathhouse, visit the Edo Koji marketplace to get the feel of  an old Japan street or explore the numerous shops and dining options. Tokyo Haneda Airport’s commitment to customer satisfaction, punctuality and cleanliness ensures a pleasant experience for passengers, making it an ideal airport to spend time between flights.

Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea

Seoul Incheon airport has consistently been ranked among the best airports worldwide. The airport offers an impressive range of amenities and services to enhance the waiting experience. Passengers can immerse themselves in the Korean culture through traditional performances and visit the Cultural Street that showcases local crafts. The airport also provides spa facilities, a casino, a golf course and a skating rink. With its dedication to passenger satisfaction, efficient operations and diverse offerings, the airport allows travellers to enjoy a memorable time at the airport

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, one of Europe’s busiest airports, has undergone significant improvements in recent years, elevating its status among the world’s best airports. The airport offers an array of amenities and services to cater to passengers’ needs. With an extensive selection of luxury boutiques, gourmet restaurants and art installations, the airport provides a taste of the city’s elegance and cultural richness. Additionally, it has implemented innovative technologies and streamlined processes to enhance efficiency and minimise transit times. The sophisticated and seamless travel experience that it provides to passengers has earned it a place among the top airports to spend time between flights.