Surprisingly none of the world’s top airports are located in the United States. The airports that made this list go above and beyond expectations in just about every way conceivable. They offer the latest in modern amenities and comforts with no details escaping careful examination.
Passengers in 2011: 22,725,517
Copenhagen Airport is the main international airport that serves Copenhagen, Denmark and surrounding areas. It is located on an island about 5 miles away from downtown Copenhagen. The airport is the main hub for Scandinavian Airlines and is also a hub for smaller airlines Cimber Sterling. As a result it is the busiest airport in the Nordic countries. It consistently receives high marks for baggage delivery.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Passengers in 2011: 37,704,510
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the main international airport in the country of Malaysia. It is about 33 miles away from the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Based on international traffic it ranked as the 14th busiest airport in the world. The airport first opened for flights November 1st, 1991. The interior of the airport is very open and features lush tropical foliage. KLIA receives top marks in international immigration services.
Auckland International Airport
Passengers in 2011: 13,118,531
The Auckland International Airport plays a vital role in the nations economy; generating nearly 14 billion dollars (US) . It provides many jobs to the surrounding area is the country’s second largest cargo port. The airport itself provides a very homely environment and suites the demeanor of the country perfectly.
Passengers in 2011: 24,337,954
Zurich Airport is Switzerland’s largest international airport. It is also the main operating hub of Swiss International Air Lines. In 2003, the aging airport underwent a major expansion which built a new parking garage, terminal, and automated underground train to move passengers. In 2008, the old terminal went through a complete renovation. One unique feature about this airport is they offer what is called a porter service, in which a person will deliver all of your bags to wherever you need them in the airport, saving you the hassle of having to carry them around. Additionally the airport is connected to trains that run throughout the country, making transportation to and from the airport a breeze.
Passengers in 2011: 49,755,252
Schiphol is the world’s 12th busiest airport by total passenger traffic and 6th in international traffic. In the terminal people waiting for their flights can play poker or get a massage. It is rated as one of the best airports for international travels, as well as, for airport amenities. Interestingly enough the name “Schiphol” translates to “ship grave.”
Beijing Capital International Airport
Passengers in 2011: 78,675,000
Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world behind Atlanta’s Harsfield-Jackson International Airport. The airport serves as the main hub for Air China, as well as, Hainan and China Southern Airlines. Immediately prior to the 2008 Olympic games the airport build an enormous terminal to accommodate the growing traffic. This terminal is the second largest airport terminal in the world after Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, and also the 5th largest building in the entire world by square feet. Despite the expansion, the airport is still expected to reach its maximum capacity within a few years. As a result a new airport in nearby Daxing is currently being planned to alleviate domestic traffic. Overall the airport is very modern and offers excellent international accommodations.
Passengers in 2011: 37,763,701
Munich Airport is a crucial hub for the prestigious Lufthansa and Star Alliance partner airlines. Between 1995 and 2005 the passenger traffic at Munich Airport nearly doubled. The airport is very aesthetically pleasing inside and out. The architecture reflects German engineering and functional design. The structure makes ample use of glass, which makes the airport feel open and larger than it really is.
Incheon International Airport
Passengers in 2011: 33,000,000
Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in the country of South Korea. It is located roughly 30 miles away from the capital city of Seoul. The airport is pretty new, opening just over 10 years ago in early 2001. When the airport was built, it was done so with 4 planned expansion phases. The first two have already been completed and the third and fourth will be done by 2020. Inside the airport is a large beautiful museum where travelers can learn about Korean culture and purchase unique souvenirs. Additionally there are live theater performances featured in the terminal to provide entertainment while people wait.
Singapore Changi Airport
Passengers in 2011: 46,500,000
Singapore Changi Airport is currently the 7th busiest airport in the world. Since opening in 1981 the airport has won over 390 awards including 23 ‘Best of’ awards in 2011. Every detail of the airport is designed for maximum traveler comfort and convenience. One example is at the check-in counters they have air conditioning vents that point toward you face at head level to ensure maximum cooling. In case you are trying to kill a lot of time between flights, they even have a swimming pool in one of their terminals. In another terminal they have a tropical butterfly garden where passengers are free to walk through and relax in. If that weren’t enough, they even have a full shopping mall inside yet another terminal.
Hong Kong International Airport
Passengers in 2011: 53,314,213
The massive airport tops our list as the best airport in the world in 2012. The airport alone employs around 60,000 people in the city of Hong Kong. Despite the large amount of traffic, the airport only has 2 runways. Inside the terminal you will find a full 9-hole golf course to pass time between flights. By 2020 the airport will begin a large expansion which involves further developing the man-made island on which the airport rests upon. The airport also serves as a central train hub for much of the region.
Source: World Airport Awards