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Top 10 International Airports in The World

  • Feb 12, 2010
They can be a sanctuary or they can be hell. For international travelers across the world, what translate to a great airport is all in one's experiences. I've compiled a list of airports which I thought is nice to spend a few hours in and look forward to returning.

(A Lunch Featured List)
Hong Kong International Airport
Great shopping, ease of checking in (esp. since one can simply check in the bags in town & then zoom all the way on Airport Express train) & free wifi make this the best airport in the world. Life is a breeze at the HKIA with lots of local flavor to snack on while you're awaiting for that plane of yours. The best as far as I'm concerned. It even provides frequent travelers (not necessary a citizen or resident; a visitor will do) the chance to apply for a frequent traveler status at this airport which will entitle you to a shorter lane for immigration purposes. Cool! That's efficiency at its best!
See the full review, "My favorite airport!".
Narita International Airport
As with HKIA, going through immigration into Tokyo itself can be a little hassle as queues may be long at times. However, once you're through that, the airport is a heaven for those who have a long layover. I love all the shops in Narita and the variety of local flavors. Restaurants are great too and personally I've my own favorite sushi restaurant at this airport. One can stay here for half a day and yet haven't gone through everything. Great place to be. There are also day showers and rooms available at this airport for a meagre sum. It is no. 2 instead of 1 simply because it doesn't provide free internet, unless you're in the airline lounges. Then again, you've enough to do here without even having to go online to kill boredom!
Singapore Changi Airport
I go through Singapore Changi Airport quite a bit. Although it's been voted many times as the #1 airport in the world, I didn't think it is because its terminals (3 + 1 budget terminal) are all quite far apart. Should you be in the wrong one, you'd be rushing for your life to try to catch your plane. Other than that, most shops in the airport are selling branded items. The souvenirs are a tad more expensive than those in town and getting wifi for free is a hassle here. There is however one thing that's great at Changi & that's free computer for passengers who don't have their laptops with them. 15 mins free access to the internet are available. At times, long queues though.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport)
The new airport in Bangkok is a huge improvement over the old. Plenty of shops and even Jim Thompson's over here. Love the massage oils that one can buy from this airport too. I don't think I've tried logging onto wifi here. Hehe... been busy shopping ;-) I do like this airport. There is actually a post office right before you go through immigration and if your baggages are over the limit, you can even post them home. I did once and it's very reasonable. So, shop to your heart's content ;-) Lots of snacks and art pieces to buy in Bangkok!
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Pudong I. Airport is really nothing fancy, except for its Maglev train which will transfer passengers from the airport into town in a mere 8 mins (421 km/h speed!). That's the first bullet train in China and it costs RMB 40 per trip. A road journey of 30 mins or more is being shortened to a mere 8 mins. I love taking this train. It's cool! As for the airport itself, a lot can be improved. There are some shops that sell nice silk lingerie and also one that carries the Finnish brand of laptop bags. Nice :)
Beijing Capital International Airport
This airport was built for the Olympics 2008. It's gigantic and modern. The new terminal, that is. Otherwise, the domestic terminals are a hassle, more like a train station with long queues and lots of people. There is free wifi though. Unfortunately, this airport is known for delays due to the increased traffics among its internal routes and also many a times, bad weather!
Zurich International Airport
I don't remember that much about it since it was long time ago & I've gone through hundreds of airports. It is however very efficient and has got good connections into town. Swiss precision :-)
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Foie Gras, what else? ;-) Nice airport, pretty new I reckon.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Not a bad airport as its quite new. The only thing is it can be quite empty too and that makes it one of the coldest airport around in Asia. A little too far from the city center although there is the Sky train to get you right into town. It's a hassle transferring from this airport to its budget terminal though. So beware if you need to change planes.
McCarran International Airport
The coolest airport in the U.S., lots of slot machines :D I'm not a fan but my sis is. Anyway, I like it for the fact it is very close to town. I hate going through many of the American airports simply because of the security measures and with an airport that's far from town, you do have to waste a lot of time just getting through the airports! This one is not the state of the art although it's pretty easy getting through it. Quite a unique airport and flying in is delightful. Make sure you get a window seat if you'd like to take good pix of Vegas from the air!

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February 12, 2010
When I saw the title of your list, I thought, "HKG better be at the top!", and it is! :D  It's like the world's most awesome mall with a decent food court and an airport ;)  I've been to 6 of the airports on the list.  Gotta check out the other ones! ;P
February 12, 2010
I personally prefer Narita but the only problem with it is it lacks connectivity. That's ok for tourists, not that great if you need the internet urgently. I'm not too fond of airports that has no free connectivity!
February 12, 2010
Oh, I know what you mean. So many airports charge for internet. I mean, we're already paying a ton of money to fly, so would it be so hard to give us a bit of that good wifi? :P HKG's free wifi can be slow, but at least it's there!
February 12, 2010
Right on! I do love Narita though. It has the best sushi restaurants and tons of fanciful stuff & souvenirs to buy! Only problem is getting into town is sooooo expensive!
February 12, 2010
where's San Francisco International?! hey, our airport is awesome. I also liked Seoul's airport...
February 12, 2010
The last time I was in SFO was many years ago. Unless you've a brand new airport, frankly, I don't recall SFO much other than it's a lot better than LAX!!!
February 12, 2010
Yup We have a brand new spiffy airport just for you!
February 12, 2010
Do you have a free ticket for me too? ;-) I'd love to fly over and check it out now!!!
February 12, 2010
I think you should be the one to give me a free ticket...since I've only been to 3 of those airports in your list. LOL!
February 12, 2010
My idea of a reviewer is one gets paid to review something ;-) We'll have to ask JR Johnson for those tickets!!!
About the list creator
Sharrie ()
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I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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