And the winner is…..  _ _ _ _ _ _.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably spent your fair share of time in airports and as a savvy traveler, know the good from the bad. But when it comes to ranking the finest of them all, what really counts? Skytrax, the consumer aviation website, has put together a list of the world’s best airports measuring 39 separate topics, including public transport options, friendliness of staff, WiFi service, baggage delivery times and much more. With 13.73 million questionnaires taken by over 100 different nationalities for 550 airports, the results are in. Do you agree with them?

12. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, AMS

Just a breezy 20 minutes from beautiful Amsterdam by train, airport shuttle or taxi, with fantastic non stop connectivity to Europe and the rest of the world, Schipol is an excellent airport. Smart technology is being deployed at every point of your juncture to speed things up, and passengers are beginning to notice.

11. Tokyo Narita International Airport, NRT

It may not be the closest airport to Tokyo, at roughly 1.5 hours train or drive from the city – but the airport runs like a well oiled machine. On time performance is outstanding, bag delivery is prompt and friendly facilities such as arrival shower lounges do not go unnoticed!

10. Frankfurt Airport, FRA

Frankfurt Airport operates with passengers in mind, which is shockingly rare. The airport offers free wifi, paid nap rooms, food worth eating, $8 showers and spacious, airy terminals. It’s also home to some of the best airport lounges in the world, thanks to Lufthansa.

9. Zurich Airport, ZRH

Zurich Airport has modernized with an efficiency only found in Switzerland. Both land side and airside there are more than 75 shops, which make this airport experience feel more like a brilliant day at the mall. Couple that with expansive, modern security lanes and high ceilings and this is a fantastic place to travel. Just watch out for the fog.

8. London Heathrow Airport, LHR

Heathrow is far more than incredible duty free booze prices and Fortnum & Mason. The airport is a pioneer in biometric boarding and tech based passenger solutions. Heathrow’s Terminal 3 now offers arguably the very best collection of airport lounges in the entire world, while Terminal 5 offers two of the best airport restaurants.

7. Nagoya Chubu Centrair, NGO

The second cleanest airport in the world, it’s may even be the scene of the video where an airport worker was filmed polishing luggage! Nagoya is one of the busiest regional airports in the world and from on time performance to cleanliness and amenities, it’s five star all the way. Look for this airport to continue to rise as regional travel booms in Japan.

6. Munich Airport, MUC

Leave it to Germany to offer Airbräu the world’s first airport brewery, located between terminals 1 and 2. Munich Airport has long offered one of the best passenger experience in the world, even offering an ice skating rink and Christmas market during the winter. Couple that with phenomenal connectivity, world class airport hotels and a refined frequent flyer experience and you”ve got a winner.

5. Doha Hamad International Airport, DOH

Just Two minutes in Hamad Airport experience will leave you astonished. The wood grain, the architecture, the modern transit vehicles, the over the top large lounges. Unlike stuffy old airports of the past, this airport is a modern marvel of the future. With luxury boutiques, fine dining options and extremely efficient transit between terminals this redefines the airport.

4. Hong Kong International Airport, HKG

It may not be the beloved Kai Tak, but Hong Kong International airport is stunning. Local favorite Cathay Pacific has added touches of brilliance to virtually all available spaces, with lounges that rival the finest hotels and viewpoint are wonderful. The airport does an excellent job managing traffic flow, keeping inconvenience to a minimum.

3. Tokyo Haneda Airport, HND

In a word, Haneda Airport is breezy, and that’s not just on account of its seaside position. Haneda Airport was ranked by SkyTrax as the cleanest in the world (no telling how they came up with that stat) and is a mere 30 minute maximum ride into the bustling city. Check in areas are well marked, security is incredibly precise and views from perches such as the JAL First Class lounge are phenomenal.

2. Incheon International Airport, ICN

A brand spanking new terminal and state of the art high speed rail station have bumped this world class airport from number three to number two. Immense popularity for the nearby Jeju Islands has increased output year over year, yet the airport operates better than ever. Travelers can find authentic Korean food stalls

1. Singapore Changi Airport, SIN

Is it any surprise that Changi is sitting at the top? And for the sixth year in a row too! The clean and efficient airport is beautifully designed, with excellent options for food and shopping; as well as its own movie theatre, spa, transit hotel and butterfly garden. Yes, we said butterfly garden.

Asian and European airports once again dominate the top spots. Vancouver International Airport  (YVR) is the only North American airport to crack it into the top 15, sitting at a very respectable number 14. Meanwhile, Denver International Airport was the only US airport to crack the top 30, sitting at 29. We all know US airports need to up their game, now there’s proof!

What’s your favorite airport?

Featured image courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t agree with this list. How Heathrow gets to be above Zurich or Frankfurt I can’t comprehend. Yes T3 has some nice lounges, (dunno what restaurants T5 has I haven’t been in, but nothing great), the Terminals are filthy (especially non lounge toilets), zero smoking areas (except for T4) – and Champagne is actually cheaper in Tesco than ‘duty free’ so WTF!?!

  2. FRA is not a terrible airport but it is set up for efficiency at the expense of traveler comfort. Gates at FRA require boarding pax walk down a flight of steps at the gate. Requests to use an elevator were refused since the reservation did not indicate a disability. There was an escalator but we were told it was turned off for safety due to the many people boarding at the same time. Passengers above age 45 should consider that some gates, especially Z gates are a 35 minute walk past security.

  3. Hong Kong does it for me. Clean, spacious, efficient and with a superb rail interchange. For shopping, a good range of stores although they tend to be on the expensive side even though they’re supposed to be ‘duty-free’.
    Flew back to LHR recently from there and was appalled at the filth, lack of facilities, lifts / escalators not working within T3.

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