Saturday, April 21, 2018

Which airports do you love (or hate)?

Is there an airport you love? Or hate? What airports do you try to book flights to whenever possible—or avoid at all costs?
Playing the waiting game in airport terminal
We know that airports are typically busy. (Lounge access, if you have it, makes hanging out in an airport tolerable) Most travelers just want to get on a plane and get out of the airport, so the easiest thing to do is just use whatever airport is closest to our destination and then deal with any inconveniences.

Most passengers just want to get on their way.
But some airports do try to please travelers. Skytrax has surveyed millions of flyers to determine the best and worst airports in the world—and also rankings in the United States. Ratings are based on check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, immigration, and departures. Of course, not all of these criteria are important to everyone or every trip.
For 2018, Singapore Changi Airport has received honors as the best airport in the world. If you haven’t been there, perhaps a trip to Asia including this airport, which could be a destination itself,  should be planned.

Ease of collecting luggage is one criteria for airports.
Other notable airports include Incheon International (Seoul), Tokyo International (Haneda), Hong Kong International Airport, Doha Hamad international Airport, Munich Airport, and Chubu Centrair Nagoya. Did you notice that many of these are Asian airports? And that none of them are in the U.S.
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson is very busy, but it still
scored better than most U.S. airports.
It’s true--no U.S. airports made the top 10. The highest ranking is Denver, which is number 29 on the list. Others in the top 100 include Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (34), Houston George Bush (48), Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta (50), San Francisco (51) Dallas/Ft. Worth (56), Seattle-Tacoma (62), Los Angeles (72), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (79).

I’ve traveled through all of those airports except one, but rarely do more there than what the facility is built for—check in and board an airplane—so I can’t say one stands out in my memory over another. Since Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta (one I use frequently) is the world’s busiest airport, ranking #50 deserves kudos.
Local restaurants have a presence in the Austin airport.
Personally, I love Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (my home airport) because of its clearly local flavor. You won’t find chain restaurants or stores, only local favorites in this airport. You can get great barbeque and Mexican food from the original eateries in Austin. Music, including live music on weekends and holidays, entertains as you walk through the corridors. Since it’s a medium-sized airport, it’s easy to navigate and reasonably quick to enter or exit.

Amy's ice creams are an Austin tradition.
What are your favorite airports? Which airports do you actively try to avoid?
Photos by Beverly Burmeier and free sources.

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