BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday March 31, 2017 – The consumer-aviation website Skytrax recently published its latest annual World Airport Awards, and while no airport anywhere close to the Caribbean made the top 10, at least one that achieved that distinction is frequented by many Caribbean travellers.
The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of nearly 14 million flyers from 105 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.
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For the fifth consecutive year, Singapore Changi International Airport took home the crown as the world’s best airport. It has received praise from passengers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and dining and shopping options. Flyers passing through are treated to such hard-to-beat features as movie theatres, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.
In second place, Tokyo Haneda International is the world’s fifth busiest airport, handling 75.3 million passengers annually, and is renowned for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and wide variety of shopping options.
Copping the third spot, Incheon International boasts several highly regarded facilities including an array of shopping and dining options, an assortment of cultural performances, and even a Korean culture museum.
In fourth place, Munich Airport is said to typify German efficiency in a contemporary setting featuring airy, glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors’ park features mini golf and a display of historic aircraft.
In fifth place, Hong Kong International is built on an artificial island off the coast of Hong Kong and has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998. Special features include the SkyCity Nine Eagles golf course near Terminal 2.
Moving up four notches from tenth place last year, Hamad International opened for business in 2014 and is now home to Qatar Airways. Skytrax described the facility as the “the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, as well as being the most luxurious.”
In seventh place, Central Japan International — also known as Centrair — has the distinction of being named the best regional airport in the world. It has a 1,000-foot sky deck, where passengers can watch ships sail into the Port of Nagoya. There’s also a traditional Japanese bathhouse, where passengers can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.
Taking the eighth spot, Zurich Airport is known for offering extended layover passengers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.
In ninth place, London Heathrow caters to many Caribbean travellers among its whopping 75 million annual passengers. Currently in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a new Terminal 2 building, its eight-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax. Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
In 10th place, Frankfurt Airport is the fourth-busiest airport in Europe and one of the most important transit hubs in the world. Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for the ease of transit between terminals and the abundant shopping and dining options.