Here’s an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one: relaxing airports. The very thought of an airport makes me break out in hives. In fact, Liberal me would rather attend a Donald Trump rally in the Deep South than be in an airport. I’d even give up wine if I never had to step into an airport again. In fact, it’s because of airports that I started drinking wine — lots of wine!
So, when a list of “The World’s Most Relaxing Airports” crossed my desk a few weeks back, I first scoffed at the notion that any place that causes anxiety due to flight delays, long security lines, inadequate seating, price gouging and overcrowding could ever be deemed “relaxing.”
However, when I checked the Top 80 list, which was compiled by UK-based myvouchercodes.co.uk — it’s an online voucher code company owned by GoCompare.com — some of the airports mentioned did bring back fond memories.
Like Singapore’s lovely Changi — ranked No. 5 — where I walked through a forest, complete with waterfalls and the world’s largest collection of indoor plants. Talk about relaxing.
Or Munich’s excellent international airport — ranked No. 30 — where I relaxed between flights in the facility’s huge outdoor beer garden, Airbräu, nursing a large tanker of suds.
And a smile still parts my lips every time I remember the massage I enjoyed at Hong Kong’s international airport — ranked No. 33 — a few years back.
Above: Singapore's airport has a forest where passengers can relax in a tropical setting.
Okay. I admit it. Not all airports are scary places, and in recent years the newer entries with their glittering shopping arcades and public lounges, have become much better places to be stranded.
MyVoucherCodes rated 80 of the world’s busiest airports when compiling their rankings, which was based on seven factors:
1- On-time performance
2- Passenger sentiment
3- Queue times rating
4- Quality of service
5- Passenger numbers
6- Lounge facilities
7- Lounge cost
The Top 10 international airports in the MyVoucherCodes ranking are:
1. Cologne Bonn (Germany)
2. Kansai (Japan)
3. Stuttgart (Germany)
4. Athens (Greece)
5. Singapore Changi Airport
6. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
7. Zurich (Switzerland)
8. Hamad (Qatar)
9. Brasilia (Brazil)
10. Rajiv Gandhi (India)
You may have noticed there are no Canadian airports mentioned in the Top 10 — Vancouver International was the best among Canadian airports with a 24th place ranking. Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Calgary International were ranked 40 and 41, respectively, while, not surprisingly, Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson was ranked 71 out of 80.
The top U.S airport, according to the ranking, is San Francisco, while Chicago’s horrible O’Hare and the equally inefficient Atlanta Hartsfield finished 79th and 80th, respectively.
If you’d like to see the full list, go to: https://myvouchercodes.co.uk