Depending on the airport, a long layover can either feel like a free vacation or a prison. So when you’re choosing a long-haul flight that has one, it’s worth taking the quality of the airport into account.
Luckily, SKYTRAX has been doling out airport awards every year since 1999, and now the votes for 2018 are in. For the sixth consecutive year in a row, the Changi Airport in Singapore has been named World’s Best Airport. Others in the top ten include Seoul’ Incheon, Tokyo’s Haneda, Hong Kong International Airport, Doha’s Hamad, Munich International Airport, Centrair Nagoya in Japan, London Heathrow, Zurich Airport, and Frankfurt Airport. (Sadly, no LaGuardia.)
The 2018 Awards are based on 13.73 million airport survey questionnaires completed by airline customers, which covers 550 airports worldwide. Key performance indicators include the ease of check-in, arrivals, transfers, and security, as well as the maintenance of the airport and the variety of recreational activities.
It’s really the latter that makes Changi Airport stand out, as it also won the award for best leisure amenities, the best of which you can see below. Forget the vacation—it sounds like Changi Airport is a destination all on its own! And for more airline awards, check out The 10 Airlines with the Best In-Flight Entertainment.
A Movie Theater
The theater plays the latest blockbusters, is open 24/7, and is totally free. There’s also a “social tree” where you can take photos and play interactive games with other people in the airport. And for more great travel coverage, here are 20 Shocking Facts You Never Knew About Your Hotel Room.
In stark contrast to the sterile confines of most airports, Changi is a verdant wonderland that includes a rooftop cactus garden, an outdoor sunflower garden, an indoor orchid garden, and an outdoor butterfly garden that includes over 40 species. It’s even got its own Koi Pond! If it weren’t near a tarmac, we’d think it’s one of the 20 Most Zen Places on Earth.
The super-comfy chaises in the “Snooze Lounge,” surrounded by a sanctuary garden, got the airport the additional accolade of “Best Airport to Sleep In.” And for more ways to get Zzz’s while traveling, know the 10 Best Tricks for Sleeping on an Airplane.
An Indoor Slide
The tallest indoor slide in the country is adult-friendly! No wonder locals come here on weekends just to hang out.
A Rooftop Pool
It’s the only outdoor airport pool in the world, and it includes a jacuzzi, a poolside bar and shower facilities for only 17 SGD ($12).
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