OK, before we begin, let me tell you that no US airport appears in the list of top ten best airports in the world. The top five airports are all in Asia, while four European airports made it to the top ten when it comes to overall passenger satisfaction. It means people who want to see some of the best airports in the world will have to fly to one of these airports in Asia or Europe.
Skytrax publishes the annual ranking of best airports in the world based on the response from nearly 14 million flyers from more than 100 nationalities. The 2018 ranking is based on responses from 13.73 million people between August 2017 and February 2018. The Skytrax ranking is often referred to as “the Oscars of the aviation industry.” They rank airports based on different services and performance indicators ranging from check-in, arrivals, shopping, security, transfers, immigration, and departure.
10- Frankfurt Airport
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The Frankfurt Airport serves more than 60 million passengers every year. It connects flyers to 250 destinations in 105 countries. It is also the base of Lufthansa Airlines and its fleet of nearly 300 jets. Frankfurt is the fourth busiest airport in Europe. Skytrax praised it for plenty of shopping and dining options as well as the ease of transit between terminals. A third terminal is currently under construction.
9- Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport is the largest airport in Switzerland, managing nearly 28 million passengers a year. It is also the base hub for Swiss International Airlines. It links the country’s largest city with the rest of the country. Zurich Airport provides bicycle and inline-skate rentals as well as excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.
8- Heathrow Airport London
It is the busiest airport in Europe and seventh-busiest on the planet. It was the world’s busiest airport for international flyers for years before losing the title to Dubai Airport. It serves nearly 76 million passengers a year. Skytrax has rated Heathrow’s Terminal 2 as the world’s best airport terminal. Heathrow Airport is the base of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. The airport is currently undergoing a major renovation.
7- Chubu Central Japan International Airport, Nagoya
Also known as Centrair, it was named the world’s best regional airport by Skytrax. The Centrair is built on an artificial island in the Ise Bay near the City of Nagoya. It is the hub for ANA and Japan Airlines, and has a large domestic traffic percentage. The airport serves nearly 10 million passengers a year. The Centrair has a 1,000-foot sky deck from where you can watch ships sail into the Port of Nagoya.
6- Munich Airport
Another German airport has made it to the top ten best airports in the world. Munich Airport is the secondary base for Lufthansa Airlines. It is connected to all the major destinations across the globe. It serves nearly 43 million passengers per year. The airport has more than 50 dining options and 150 retail stores. Skytrax also named Munich the best airport in Europe this year.
5- Hamad International Airport Doha
Located in the capital city of Qatar, Hamad is the best airport in the Middle-East. It has an annual capacity of nearly 40 million passengers. Hamad is the home to Qatar Airways. Hamad is the “most luxurious” airport, according to Skytrax. It is spread over 5,400 acres of land.
4- Hong Kong International Airport
The Hong Kong International Airport serves more than 100 airlines operating to 180 destinations around the world. The Hong Kong airport has won the title of the best airport in the world in the past. Skytrax praised the airport for dining options and transit system. It serves more than 70 million passengers every year. It is the base airport for Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines, and Cathay Pacific.
3- Tokyo International Airport Haneda
According to Skytrax, Haneda is the cleanest airport on the planet and the world’s best domestic airport. It has both domestic and international terminals. Serving more than 80 million passengers a year, Haneda is popular among international business travelers and tourists. Skytrax also praised Haneda for its shopping options and service efficiency.
2- Incheon International Airport Seoul
Incheon improved its ranking compared to last year and has become the second best airport in the world. It is the largest airport in South Korea. Skytrax praised Incheon for their friendly and helpful staff. It is the home base for Korean Air. Incheon also has a Korean culture museum besides tons of dining and shopping options.
1- Changi Airport Singapore
Changi Airport retains the crown of the world’s best airport for the sixth consecutive year. It connects passengers to more than 200 destinations worldwide, and manages more than 5,000 arrivals and departures per week. Last year, Changi Airport served 60 million passengers from more than 100 countries. It has tons of shopping and dining options. There is also a Sunflower garden featuring a variety of sunflowers grown at the airport’s own nursery.
Changi Airport has two movie theaters that screen latest movies 24/7 for free. It also has a rooftop swimming pool. Skytrax praised Changi for its efficient operation, wonderful architecture, and luxurious amenities.
Just to give you some perspective, Vancouver is the best airport in North America. And it was ranked 14th in Skytrax’s list of the best airports in the world. The best airport in the US is Denver International Airport, which sits at 29th place.