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.
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!".
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!
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.
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 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 :)
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!
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.
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!