There are numerous criteria after which we judge the entire passenger experience in an airport and the worst thing to do is reducing it at the processes and believing it isn’t interdependent with the entire journey of the traveler. The following top is made by the passengers exclusively, so it should indicate the social view, as opposed to the traditional corporate, professional one. If you happen to travel somewhere near and you were undecided what flights to take and where, here’s a list of the airports which best identified the people’s needs in 2014 so far.
10. Heathrow, London
London’s mayor is known for declaring many times that the airport should leave an awful impression of UK to the passengers, but despite his fears, it’s made it to the social top of the best airports of the year so far. Indeed, the most outstanding disadvantage of Heathrow is that it’s always overcrowded. There have been many temporary solutions of this problem, but none of them has managed to be long-term implemented.
Despite this, its position on the Skytrax’s top because of the ease of use and the very intuitive way of the design, the flight information which is always updated and clearly presented, the public transport, the security staff efficiency (one of the airports with the lowest crime rates in the world) etc. But this is not the first time when the airport gets to be considered as a top one. In 2011 it was the world’s third busiest, and got the award for the Best Airport Shopping and Best Airport Terminal, for Terminal 5 – which up until today remained one of the UK’s best terminals with 5 stars.
9. Vancouver International Airport
With a number of 18 million passengers annually, this is the least busy airport in this top ten and the reason for which all the customers prefer it. It gives the impression of a ventilated, spacious place where the customer care is one of the main attributions of the staff. Last year it got the title of the Best Airport in North America for the fourth year consecutively, because of the same reasons.
Turns out, after the general preferences, that the almost $1.5 billion spent on the last expansion was actually well invested money. As about the social implications, the volunteers called green coat ambassadors, help their travelers on the way towards their flights, showing a great sense of hospitality and blurring some of the cultural barriers.
8. Zurich Airport
A total number of almost 25 million passengers a year is the figure that best describes this airport’s activity. Skymetro is what’s truly revolutionary about this airport. The fact that it’s the biggest in Switzerland is nothing compared to an underground train meant to serve the customers’ interests best.
The airport position is only 12 km north of the Zurich’s city center, and the fact that it had invested in a massive expansion back in 2003 helped a lot on the current traveling conditions. For a small fee anyone can pay to have their luggage transported – picked up and delivered to the final destinations. Besides airport security processing, dining and immigration are other two preferred services which assured it a place on this top.
7. Beijing Capital International Airport
It’s the busiest airport in Asia and the world’s second busiest and the figures are easily understandable given that it hosts almost 79 million people a year. Capital’s tallest building is Terminal 3, occupying the eighth place on the Best Airport Terminal section.
Langham Place Beijing was named the world’s second-best airport hotel; and because the Capital is beyond its 78 million people capacity, the city is currently working on building another airport, one bigger than JFK’s Newark and La Guardia’s together.
6. Haneda Airport
Its official name is Tokyo International Airport and while its annual number of passengers barely gets over 60 million, its capacity can accommodate over 90 passengers every year without problem. And it’s not all, given the Japanese desire of perfection, the airport was even more developed: a new terminal with eight more gates, more parking and a hotel were inaugurated in March.
The World’s Best Domestic airport, as it was awarded, has top cleanliness, security processing and shopping services. A third international terminal was opened in 2010 and since then continuous work has made it evolve even more as one of the best traveling services on the world-wide market.
5. Amsterdam Schiphol
What started back in 1916 as a military airfield grew to be one of the world’s busiest airports with a number of almost 50 million passengers annually. All kinds of conditions for all the traveler categories that could ever exist are truly satisfied here, from airport library to casinos and massage saloons.
Dining, shopping and leisure options represent the main differentiators between this airport and any other in Europe and even worldwide. The busiest and most popular airport in Netherlands is only 14 km outside Amsterdam, which makes it accessible for all the travelers.
4. Hong Kong International
Besides everything else, the geographical position says a lot of this airport – it’s placed on less than half flying hours from half of th world’s population. As about its services, it’s the best for dining and baggage delivery. Cleanliness and shopping are other special services that you won’t complain about once you’re here.
Its popularity significantly increased in 2012 when it added a third runaway. Speaking of creative marketing teams, a reason why I would personally like to wait for my flight there is the nine-hole golf course where you can definitely have a great time while waiting for your plane – the kind of place where not even delays can put you in a bad mood.
3. Munich Airport
Gorgeous terminals, which the top describes as ‘aesthetically pleasing’, but we assure you they’re more than this. Large glass surfaces give it a very spatial and airy sensation, help the design as well as the passenger who isn’t likely to feel any more pressure in such a large and open environment.
Only 45 minutes of a train ride separate the airport from the old city center, which makes highly accessible and comfortably positioned. The airport was named the best in Europe.
2. Incheon International
It’s not only the largest airport in South Korea, but it also has contracts with over 70 different airlines. The amazing thing about it is that it’s one of the three to have received an over all 5-star rating. Airports Council International rated it as the world’s best airport from 2005 to 2012.
Since in a previous article we were militating for the integration of the cultural background in an airport design, this one hosts a museum of Korean culture. Rest areas, Internet access, local-food choices are just some of its top services.
1. Changi Airport
Singapore’s leader has an estimated number of 46.5 million passengers a year and what makes it the best is that it’s designed to make the traveler forget about the stress caused by flying and busy schedules and relax instead. Movie theaters, spas, showers and a four-story slide is what can keep you distracted from the stressed times you’re having traveling a lot. For those who prefer to stay outside, a huge butterfly garden and a peaceful atmosphere is what they’re going to get here.
Immigration processing, security, cleanliness and – of course – leisure options – are the main areas that make it top of the list this year.