Anyone who has ever had to spend a night at the airport knows exactly what services and amenities he/she would like to receive yet unfortunately mostly doesn’t. Comfortable seats, quality food for reasonable prices
(“reasonable” stands for “less than four times more expensive than in the outer world”), numerous and clean toilets as well as showers, lounge areas with couches and wireless internet access.There are not many airports where you can get all of these, plus maybe even something more. Sleepinginairports.net has for the 10th time asked the travellers to vote for the top 10 airports to spend their night at – airports where you do not have to be afraid to have a little nap in the hall or a snack in a snack bar. TourismReview.com brings you the results of this survey, once again dominated by the premium Singapore Changi Airport. The gap between the first one and the rest of the contestants is actually so huge that we decided to rank the 2nd to 10th positions alphabetically.
For the 10th time, the Changi airport is the winner. The reasons for its absolute hegemony are simple – free cell phone charging, free tours of the city, alarm clocks on the chairs so you do not miss your flight, a swimming pool, wellness facilities, extensive gardens, a special napping corner, and free movies. One would say it is a pretty cool place to live in, better even than most peoples’ homes! As an added value, the airport is shining clean (this state was reached and has since been preserved by extensive troops of maintenance staff) and very calm and quiet. If you have to change planes on your journey, consider Changi the best waiting and sleeping choice.
The airport is very nice after you pass the pre-check-in area – do not waste your time here, because the grass really IS greener on the other side. Once you are in the transit area, comfortable chairs, clean toilets and showers, internet access and even a play area so your kids do not get bored. Spending an hour or two is OK, but we would recommend booking a hotel in case you need to stay overnight – the Security is uncompromising and will wake you up every now and then if they find you suspicious or unsuitable.
The new Athens airport has the air of luxury – from outside as well as from the inside. In comparison to the other European airports (let’s mention e.g. the very expensive, much expected and even more hated Charles de Gaulle in Paris), Athens offer nice and tidy environs with comfortable seats, internet and clean showers. The “cleaning crew” is very large on this airport and you can always see them run around sweeping and washing – a good sign definitely!
Auckland, New Zealand
The Auckland airport is comparatively small, which makes the atmosphere a kind of cosy. Why? Few announcements, movable chairs and benches, comfortable couches, showers, mini-theatre with lounge chairs. Also, the staff is nice and willing to help. There is one con though – there are very little flight announcements, so you better bring your own alarm clock.
Even though the city itself is situated “on the edge” of Europe, the local airport is an important one and offers flights to about 120 destinations. Internet is a must for a modern airport and belongs to the free services of Helsinki too. The showers and toilets are clean and there is enough of them. A huge plus is the local personnel – they are very helpful and literally everyone speaks perfect English, so you do not have to search for the Info desk.
Hong Kong, China
The new Hong Kong hub is a modern airport that would like to compete with Singapore and is trying really hard. There are still some imperfections though – the air-conditioning is sometimes too high so you might get cold, some seats are uncomfortable and there are pickpockets around, on the other hand many things got considerably better in the past years – there are kids’ areas, prayer rooms, WiFi internet, massage seats and modern clean bathrooms. Definitely worth visiting!
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
First thing that crosses your mind on entering the airport is “huge”! Not that it is bigger than other south-east Asian ones, but there are far less people here so the space seems disproportionate. And the pros and cons? As for us, the best thing is the traveller’s lounge – you pay bare $17, you get free food, internet, TV and all kinds of things you can possibly think of at the airport (we find mini golf really cool!). There are some cons too – the showers are paid and there are uncomfortable plastic seats without armrests – yet the overall experience is generally positive.
Norway is a very nice country with people who care for their environment, are very tidy and nice. In Oslo, you do not have to be afraid of robbers or pickpockets and you can calmly rest your head without worrying that you might not find your luggage any more after waking up. The benches are comfortable, the lights dimmed at night (very convenient!) and the staff helpful – that is more than you get in most hotels.
Seoul Incheon, South Korea
The word has spread fast that Incheon is a great transit airport with a lot of space to sleep. You can tell by the fact that many people bring their own pillows and blankets and just take a nap almost anywhere. The seats are comfortable and there are enough of them, the internet is free, there are special rooms for children as well as massage room or game room. How about going here for your next holiday?
The opinions about Vancouver are mixed. Some say it was the best airport to get stuck at, with clean bathrooms, internet and all the comfort. Others complain about the chaos ruling among the Canadian and US flights and not quiet as nice staff as one would expect. Well, I guess everyone will have to try for themselves and make their own decision.