World's 10 Best Airports? Maybe...

Skytrax has released its annual list of the world's best airports, based on surveys it distributed. Almost all of last year's winners are on the list again, and the only one in North America is Vancouver. But (IMHO) there's reason to question a list that includes Heathrow in the top 10!

 

There's also a list of the ten best terminals, and incredibly, Heathrow T5 is #1 on that list. Here are the lists.

 

Sparing us all my rant about Heathrow (unless you ask)...but have you noticed over the past few years the incredible increase in walking time from check-in to gate in many airports? Half a mile is not unusual anymore, and some of the airports that made the list (Schiphol, Madrid Barajas) are among the bad examples.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I totally disagree with the list. It's partly because I'm more budget focused  and partly because it takes less time and hassle at the smaller airports.My favorite airports are small ones where security is reasonable and you dont need to be there hours in advance.

 

My tops would include John Lennon( Liverpool) Sanford near (Orlando) and Marseilles, France

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

These are all important international hubs, but I'm inclined to agree with TravelRob.

 

Most of these airports are massive and far from user friendly.  Maybe they have a large assortment of restaurants from which to choose, etc.  But I like short lines, a quick security screen and a reasonable walk to the gate not requiring a bus or train to get there.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

I don't want Restaurants or a shopping experience at my airport.

I want to check in and go as soon as possible.

I don't like being overcharged for something I don't want by an airport that insists on holding me hostage for 3 or 4 hours.

My worst experience was JFK for 3 days when my flight was cancelled.

Like Rob, if you get me away in under an hour of arrival I'm happy.

Liverpool has destinations all over Europe.

 

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I think the comments, and mine are all hitting on the same point: better airport is not more amenities for while you're trapped there...better airport is not trapping you there.

 

I get disbelieving stares when I tell people that Laguardia is my favorite. But, while it looks a bit dated, its size means you don't have ridiculous hikes, and it's easy to get in and get out.

 

Heathrow T5, on the other hand...especially if you are transferring from T3...is an experience that makes you feel like you're on a punishment tour. Endless up-and-down, queues for buses, queues for elevators, no airside secure connection so multiple security, and more. Schiphol is more pleasant in tone, but requires long forced marches. Even Madrid, pleasant as an alternate transfer instead of Heathrow, has some distances so long that even we who don't like to use the moving walkways instead of walking, walk on them.

 

I've sometimes wondered why the concept pioneered at Washington Dulles in the 60s didn't work out: A central terminal with a lounge for each gate that was actually a huge "room on wheels" that drove to the plane. Kept the terminal compact.

 

End of rant...for now...

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Dulles airport was unique. A bus on "scissors" rose up to the planes exit door and we all walked into the carriage. It drove back to the main terminal, Then the announcement.

Because of a backlog of passengers we would have to stay on the shuttle bus.

We were packed in tight. Standing shoulder to shoulder. No seats.

We stood in it for two and a half hours. Sweltering under a July sun. No AirCon. No water. We weren't allowed to open the doors "for security reasons". Temperatures soon rose above 100'f and we were cooking. Many of us climbed out and opened the Emergency Exits. We refused to close them. Absolute disgrace.

 

Well, there you have it literally: the road to hell, paved with good intentions. But something does need to change...the airport walks can't just keep getting longer!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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