Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The World's Favorite Airports (One Surprise)

The well-known SKYTRAX website has announced the results of a survey naming the world's "10 best airports" in its World Airport Awards as follows:

1     Singapore Changi Airport
2     Incheon International Airport
3     Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
4     Hong Kong International Airport
5     Beijing Capital International Airport
6     Munich Airport
7     Zurich Airport
8     Vancouver International Airport
9     Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
10    London Heathrow Airport

We've flown out of all but HND - Haneda - (we've transited NRT - Tokyo Narita - numerous times and flown in and out as well) and are only surprised at the inclusion of LHR on the list.

We're more accustomed to seeing Heathrow on the "worst airport" list of many frequent travelers. Our own experiences there have generally been okay, but there's a certain rundown dungeon-like quality to it that doesn't appeal to us.

It may have been squeezed in to the top-ten list because it won first place in two sub-categories: Best Airport Shopping and Best Airport Terminal.

Alternative choices?

Setting aside security screening, which we find generally more unpleasant at US airports than anywhere else, we'd quickly place San Francisco International Airport - SFO - on the list over LHR.  

The surroundings are more pleasant, there's a decent choice of food, it's easy to transit between domestic and international, and there's the convenient BART that takes you right from the terminal into downtown San Francisco.

In case that makes us look chauvinistic, we hasten to add that we'd be even more amazed to see ORD - Chicago O'Hare - or IAD - Washington Dulles - than LHR.

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