The Best Airport in The World for 2016 Is...
Singapore Changi was named the best airport in the world at the prestigious World Airport Awards. The Singapore hub has taken home the top prize for each of the past four years and seven times overall since 2000. Actually, Changi is one of only three airports that have taken the top spot since 2000.
The other two are Seoul Incheon (two wins) and Hong Kong International Airport (eight wins). The World Airport Awards are given out based on the results of surveys collected by Skytrax. The company collects responses from more than 13 million passengers over the course of the year.
A comprehensive survey
When surveyed, fliers are asked to rate the airport in 39 different areas covering everything from design and layout to ease of use of security checkpoints and check-in areas to passenger amenities and customer service. The reason that the industry takes these surveys and the related awards so seriously is because of the number of passengers who take part and the depth of the survey questions.
Why has Changi performed so well over the past four years? The Southeast Asian hub is known for its over-the-top features. Some people actually think of the hub as a tourist attraction in and of itself. In addition to a butterfly garden (and a number of other gardens), there is a rooftop swimming pool, designated napping and relaxation areas, foot massage machines, endless shopping options and unique design features.
Changi is set to grow even further with two new terminals in the works and more gardens and other features being installed over the next few years. The current “Budget Terminal” will be replaced by a new terminal, called Terminal 4, in 2017. Another terminal, Terminal 5, is being built on reclaimed land and should open within a decade.
Aside from the flashy design and unique features, Changi has good access to ground transport, well-organized and well-staffed security checkpoints and a number of automated features that can be used to streamline the airport experience.
Basic features like easy access to free Wi-Fi and clean restrooms probably also earn Changi high marks from many of the Skytrax survey takers.
The other top performers
The other top airports also boast a similar mix of style and substance. Seoul Incheon came in just behind Changi this year. Munich Airport finished third and Tokyo Haneda earned the fourth spot. Hong Kong International came in fifth. Actually, these five hubs earned the top five spots in last year’s rankings as well.
Next up is another event based on Skytrax surveys. The World Airline Awards are held in the middle of the summer each year.
More by Josh Lew
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