The World Airport award results came out last week. The top three are fairly predictable:
- Incheon International Airport– last year was third,
- Singapore Changi Airport -my favourite airport
- Hong Kong International Airport – last year was first
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport comes in at fourth. Everyone raves about Schiphol but I am not a huge fan. Beijing’s vast Capital International Airport sits at fifth.
The airport inclusions that I found odd are:
11 London Heathrow Airport. If I was to create hell on earth, it would be London Heathrow. The new terminals are nice but already too small and have you tried to travel between terminals…a messy complicated nightmare. Half of your time at Heathrow is spent wandering through dim corridors following bright yellow signs or queuing at the hopelessly understaffed immigration lines. The small overpriced shops are not enticing. Transport to or from the airport is a choice between pricey taxi, the most expensive rail journey on earth (Heathrow Express), or a small crowded tube train which in rush hour with luggage is another version of hell on earth.
13. Auckland International Airport. The international terminal is very nice. Immigration is efficient but transferring between the international and domestic terminals is a hassle. The domestic terminal is quite run down and badly organised. And getting to Auckland airport is way better than it used to be but a pain. The freeway is often congested or under construction or both. There are airport buses from the downtown (which they keep changing the downtown stops for) and a nearby suburb but they are fiddly and slow.
18. Abu Dhabi International Airport. In my experience, this is a transfer airport to avoid. Crowded terminals with poor signage, very , very long lines and unfriendly staff. The best thing about it is the free bus transfer to Dubai.
20. Sydney Airport is the 20th best airport in the world ahead of Melbourne, San Francisco, Brisbane, Detroit and Dubai? Hamstrung by a curfew and complex noise abating flight paths, and surrounded by narrow crowded access roads and frustrating parking, this airport gets some ticks for the pretty nice domestic terminals but no way would I say its a good airport. Transferring between the terminals is awful though. Immigration, customs and visitor waiting at the International is and awful introduction to Australia. The airport train is good but expensive and suffers from erratic timetabling and time keeping. Shops are ordinary although restaurants are much better than they used to be.