The 10 Best Airports In The World: 2014

10.  London’s Heathrow Airport

London's Heathrow Airport
London’s Heathrow Airport

Yearly passengers: 69.4 million

Why it’s awesome:

  • Despite London Mayor Boris Johnson’s concern that Heathrow gives visitors “a terrible impression of the U.K.,” the overcrowded airport made it into Skytrax’s top 10.
  • The third-busiest airport in the world in 2011, it took home the awards for Best Airport Shopping and Best Airport Terminal, for T5, which opened in 2008 after a $6.2 billion, 19-year design and construction process.
  • Heathrow’s Skytrax review includes four or five out of five-star rankings for ease of use, flight information, public transport, security staff efficiency, and more.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

9. Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport


Yearly passengers: 
18 million

Why it’s awesome

  • The least busy airport in Skytrax’s top 10, Vancouver International offers visitors a large collection of Pacific Northwest native art.
  • Skytrax named Vancouver International the Best Airport in North America for the fourth year in a row in 2013, a streak that justifies the $1.4 billion that the airport spent on a recent expansion. It also ranked top for staff.
  • Volunteers, known as green coat ambassadors, help travelers get to where they’re going.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figures provided by Vancouver International Airport.

8. Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport

Yearly passengers: 24.8 million

Why it’s awesome

  • The largest international airport in Switzerland, Zurich Airport was significantly expanded in 2003 with a new terminal and an underground automated train called the Skymetro, which shuttles travelers.
  • Located seven miles north of Zurich’s city center, this airport also ranked highly in Skytrax’s airport security processing, immigration, and dining categories.
  • The airport offers a porter service for which travelers pay a fee to have their bag picked up from anywhere in the airport and delivered to their final destination.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figures provided by Zurich Airport.

7. Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport

Yearly passengers: 78.7 million

Why it’s awesome

  • Already beyond its 78-million-passenger annual capacity, Beijing Capital is the busiest airport in Asia and the second busiest in the world, trailing only Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson.
  • That’s why the city is building another airport, one that will be bigger than New York’s JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports combined.
  • Capital’s tallest building, Terminal 3, came in eighth for Best Airport Terminal. It opened in 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympics.
  • Its Langham Place Beijing hotel was named the second-best airport hotel in the world.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

6Tokyo International Airport — aka Haneda Airport

Tokyo International Airport — aka Haneda Airport
Tokyo International Airport — aka Haneda Airport

 

Yearly passengers: 62.6 million

Why it’s awesome

  • With a third international terminal opened in 2010, Haneda can accommodate 90 million passengers annually.
  • More construction is in the works. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced plans to expand the new terminal with eight more gates, more parking, and a hotel by March 2014.
  • The airport won Skytrax’s award for World’s Best Domestic Airport, and was commended for shopping, security processing, and cleanliness.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

5. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Yearly passengers: 49.8 million

Why it’s awesome

  • Schiphol opened in 1916 as a military airfield and has transformed into one of the busiest airports in the world.
  • While travelers wait for departure, they can enjoy a massage, play a game of poker at the casino, and catch up on some reading in the airport library.
  • According to Skytrax, Schiphol also has excellent dining, shopping, and leisure options.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

4. Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport

Yearly passengers: 53.3 million

Why it’s awesome

  • Located less than five flying hours from half of the world’s population, Hong Kong’s airport is one of the busiest.
  • It was named the best airport for dining and baggage delivery, and ranked among the top airports for cleanliness and shopping.
  • In March 2012, the airport added a third runway to increase its capacity.
  • Hong Kong International offers a nine-hole golf course — a great place for travelers to spend long layovers.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

3. Munich Airport

Munich Airport
Munich Airport

Yearly passengers: 37.8 million

Why it’s awesome: 

  • Germany’s second-busiest airport features aesthetically pleasing terminals on the walk to the gates. Many of the walls and ceilings are made of glass, making the airport feel large and open.
  • The airport, a 45-minute train ride from Munich’s city center, was named the best in Europe and commended for its dining and shopping options.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

 

2. Incheon International Airport

Seoul Incheon International Airport
Seoul Incheon International Airport

Yearly passengers: 39.2 million

Why it’s awesome:

  • Incheon, the largest airport in South Korea, serves passengers on more than 70 airlines, and is one of three airports to receive a five-star overall rating from Skytrax.
  • Every year from 2005 to 2012 it was rated the world’s top airport by Airports Council International.
  • The young airport — it opened in March 2001 — is home to a museum of Korean culture, and has excellent rankings for cleanliness, external views, rest areas, Internet access, and local-food choices.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.

 

1. Singapore’s Changi Airport

Singapore's Changi Airport
Singapore’s Changi Airport

Yearly passengers: 46.5 million

Why it’s awesome

  • Changi is designed to alleviate the stress of travel, and it offers passengers the opportunity to enjoy lots of greenery, an outdoor pool, and a butterfly garden.
  • For those who prefer to stay inside, it houses movie theaters, spas, showers, and a four-story slide.
  • Business Insider editor Jennifer Polland visited last month and wrote: “I recently spent several hours in the airport during a trip to Singapore. The bottom line: This is a place where you’ll actually enjoy having a long layover.”
  • This year, it won high marks for security, immigration processing, leisure options, and cleanliness.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2011, provided by Airports Council International.