The Best Airport In The World Is….

I believe that a country’s international airports should be beautiful. They should be a reflection of a country’s pride. They are the first impression a traveler gets of a nation. In this day and age, when millions and millions of people are traveling internationally each year, international airports should be welcoming, modern, functional, well appointed.

America needs to improve it’s international airports.

I can’t believe how totally craptastick JFK and O’Hare are. They are an embarrassment. When flying to and from Italy I always try to use Charlotte airport,  (which is small, efficient and friendly) and flat out refuse to use Chicago. More frequently than not I end up having to use JFK or Philadelphia. After 10 hours in the air you really want to arrive somewhere friendly, modern and clean, with some good dining options. These two airports are none of these things.

The Tom Bradley international terminal at Los Angeles LAX airport is magnificent. It is modern and beautiful and leaves you thinking you are in Dubai. And everyone smiles and is friendly. The JFK folks need to do a field trip to LAX to check it out.

The following is an article from The Wayfarer, all about the very best international airports in the world.


And, Once Again, the World’s Best Airport Is…

Singapore’s Changi Airport named best in the world—for the fifth time

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Perhaps it’s time to consider Singapore’sChangi Airport  the “New York Yankees of air travel.” How else could one spin the news that Lion City’s largest airport has been named best in the world for the fifth consecutive year?

The designation came down earlier this month from Skytrax World Airport Awards, an independent annual evaluation that bases the final rankings on the results of millions of international passenger surveys. This year was the sixth annual Skytrax awards; Changi has five first-place victories and one second-place win (back in 2012).

It’s not hard to see why fliers could consider the three-terminal airport to be the air travel equivalent of the winningest sports franchise of all time. In addition to being one of the busiest hubs in Asia, Changi boasts two 24-hour movie theaters that show current releases for free, a rooftop swimming pool (complete with locker rooms for changing), and a butterfly garden teeming with butterflies.

The airport is also putting the finishing touches on a fourth terminal, which, according to the Straits Times, a Singaporean newspaper, is slated to open later this year.

There were other highly lauded airports in the running, too: Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Munich International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport rounded out the Top Five. (Haneda also won an award for the world’s cleanest airport, and Hong Kong was hailed has having the best and most varied dining options.)

Sadly—embarrassingly, really—not a single North American airport cracked the Top 10. In fact, the highest-ranked airport on our continent is Vancouver International Airport in Canada, at No. 13.

The United States isn’t represented on the Skytrax list until No. 26, an honor that goes to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. (The dark horse win seems like a great piece of trivia to whip out at your next soirée.) Denver International Airport was tabbed as No. 28.

It’s hard not to read the Skytrax list of winners and dream about what U.S. airports could be. The takeaways: We need more free movie theaters. Or at least a few butterfly gardens.

Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at


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10 Totally Awesome Airport Hacks


I spend a ton of time in airports.
A ton.
Whether I’m flying domestically or whether I’m flying internationally it seems as though I am always on my way to the airport. Over the years I’ve come up with some great tricks to make the airport experience run more smoothly, and I also regularly check travel blogs to pick up more tips.

Here are 10 awesome airport hacks that I use all the time.

Always Dress Nicely And Smile.
Here is a simple fact. When airlines and airport personnel have the opportunity to upgrade someone, be it to first class or to business class or to any other opportunity, they are not going to give it to someone in sweats and an old t shirt who is scowling at them.

I always make sure I’m dressed nicely, keep myself decently groomed, and make sure that no matter what is going down I am always friendly, courteous and kind. 
Even when I want to murder someone. 
People will go out of their way to help you when you are the sane, calm, empathetic person in the sea of screaming maniacs. I always feel so badly for gate agents when flights are delayed or something is going wrong, and everyone is yelling at them like it’s their fault.

I get upgraded all the time, and gate agents are constantly doing me little favors. A friendly smile goes a long way.

Go Left.


Most people are right handed, so when they get to the front of the line they turn right, making the lines on the right-hand side longer and slower. if you turn left instead you will find the line going through security are shorter and move more quickly.

Plan Ahead.

image via

You know you are going to go through security, so plan ahead. Think out what you’re going to wear on your flight. Remove belts, loose change from pockets, jewelry that will set off the x-ray machine. Only wear a long dress or long skirt if you are planning on having an intimate pat down from an angry TSA chick.
Think out your shoe game so that you are wearing something easy to slip on and off.
Have your laptop at the top of your carry on so that it’s quick and easy to reach and your toiletries all packed together in a clear ziplock bag.
Planning ahead simplifies everything for you and all the other travelers waiting in line behind you.

Bring An Empty Water Bottle.
Airport shops charge extortionate amounts for a small bottle of water. Take an empty bottle through security and fill it up from the water fountains on the other side. Most airports now have purified water machines in the gate areas.

Get Gate Guru
I swear by this app. Load your flight details into the app and it will not only tell you which gate your next flight is departing from, which is super helpful when you are making a tight connection, but it will also notify you when your flight is delayed or your gate has changed, long before the airline notifies you. It’s brilliant!

Pack An External Battery And/Or A Power Strip
You don’t wait to be caught waiting for a delayed flight with no cell phone/iPad/laptop battery life. If you have an external battery you can power back up. There are very few power outlets at each gate and they always seem to be full. If you have a power strip with you not only can you power up but so can the others around you.
I just bought this Anker Mini charger in rose gold (to match my new iPhone)

Anker Mini charger

Use The Club Lounge

Emirates 1st class lounge, Dubai

Plenty of airline club lounges have one day rates, so even if you are not a member you can take advantage. I fly American Airlines as much as I can, partly due to the fact that I can use their club lounge.

I haven’t tried this hack, but I was reading that first class fliers get automatic access into the club lounge, and can bring in a guest. The blogger writing about it said that if you are dressed nicely and are clean and polite you can wait outside the door and get someone to take you in with them.
I’m not sure that I would actually ever do that, but it is a pretty clever idea.

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Rest In The Chapel.
If you are experiencing long delays or have a long layover and you don’t have access to a club lounge you can escape the madness going on at the gate by hiding out in the peace and quiet of the chapel. Just make sure you have your Gate Guru notifications turned on so that you know when it’s time to go back.

Fly Early
If you are scared of turbulence or get air sick in turbulence, book a morning flight. The factors that cause turbulence tend to occur in the afternoon.

Pack Food.
Airport food is notoriously high sodium, high sugar, high fat and high calorie. Guaranteed to bloat you and give you jet lag.
Do yourself a favor (and save yourself a ton of money) by packing healthy snacks. If by any chance you get caught in some major delay at the airport (- hello every time I have ever flown through Chicago O’Hare!) you will be so glad that you did.

image via Stilettos And Spice

The image above is from Stiletto And Spice‘s blogpost Fuel For The Plane

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