It doesn’t matter how frequently you fly – we all have our favorite airports and ones we avoid at all costs. For those of you that travel constantly, you know that the airport experience can make or break your travel experience.
We’re sure that many of you frequent travelers have airport layovers down to a science. You offered different criteria for why you prefer certain airports, but a few constants stood out:
- Lounge access and quality
- Ease of making a connecting flight
- Airport congestion
- Food quality
And now, you’ve spoken on which airports you feel are best (and also your least favorite). If you didn’t receive the email asking for your input, register here to be in on the conversation. We weren’t shocked by the overall results, but some airports we wouldn’t have picked got love (ex: Charlotte).
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Without further ado, here are the airports that received the most votes:
- Zurich, Switzerland: The Swiss Air Lounge got lots of love, making Zurich a popular European pick.
- Dubai: The common themes? The amazing food and special resting zones make this a layover preference.
- Amsterdam: Schiphol has a little bit of everything including food, shopping, and an airport tour-bus to keep layovers interesting.
- Auckland: Efficient security and customs, good shopping, and fantastic lounges. Of particular note: the Strata lounge, part of the Priority Pass network. Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Platinum Card from American Express give you access.
- Lisbon: Security lines are generally frustrating, which is why Lisbon’s smart x-ray lines are a popular feature amongst many of you.
- Minneapolis−Saint Paul: Good old Midwestern charm gets MSP the friendliest service award in the eyes of many MC readers.
- Indianapolis: This new and improved airport is very clean and not too crowded, giving it a nice, laid-back atmosphere.
- John Wayne, Orange County: It may be quaint, but it’s a worthy alternative to LAX.
- Louisville, KY: We love a trustworthy friend, which is what this airport offers – service you can depend on.
- Charlotte: The recently added east terminal offers an upgraded experience for your enjoyment (hello in-seat power at every seat and Panera Bread).
Least Favorite Airports
Here are the airports that received the most votes for least favorite:
- London Heathrow: If you are flying out of LHR, you may need a detailed map to find your gate. The outdated amenities and long gate transfer times make Heathrow a layover to avoid if possible.
- Paris CDG: Crowded. Enough said.
- Newark: Set your expectations low. Newark-time is notoriously slow.
- Chicago Midway: Seriously Chicago, it’s time to remodel – this place is too run down to satisfy our high-standard readers.
- San Diego: Having to potentially go through security again just to make it to your connecting gate? Annoying and inefficient.
- Kathmandu: Is this an airport or the DMV? Slow lines, poor service, and delayed flights are the three constants in this airport.
MC’s Favorite Airport
You all wrote in with your favorites, and now it’s time to reveal ours. Drum roll please – the winner is…Singapore Changi Airport. Changi is a high-class airport experience without needing lounge access to experience it. From a rooftop pool and jacuzzi, to a butterfly garden (or the sunflower, cacti, orchid, water lily, and “enchanted” garden – just in case the butterflies weren’t enough for you), a movie theatre, and kinetic art display, a layover in Singapore is as entertaining as it gets.
And that’s before we get to the food. The airport boasts six enormous dining halls, including one that exclusively serves Singaporean street food – a culinary delight.
If you still aren’t convinced, there is a recently opened Yotelair hotel in the brand new entertainment and retail complex. This complex contains a hedge maze, and wait for it – the world’s largest waterfall. Singapore Changi has been voted the World’s Best Airport for seven consecutive years by Skytrax. As contrarian as we are, we can’t find fault with that.
What is your favorite, or least favorite, airport? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments and share this article – the debate is never over.