How does one ever say there is a best option for something like getting delayed while flying? Business travellers especially all have a story about sprinting through London’s massive Heathrow Airport. It’s all a part of a normal workday when you live on the road.
Every now and then, for better or worse, a flight gets delayed. Maybe some lightning or a low ceiling slid in while you jostled through the crowds from gate to gate. Maybe there are mechanical issues with the plane (and who wouldn’t rather the plane be delayed in that case?). Maybe your last flight was delayed and your ongoing flight was gone before you even landed. There are a thousand reasons for getting stuck at an airport when you travel as much as a Corporate Traveller does. Sometimes, though, you get lucky with where your delay is.
While most airports internationally are still something that most of us grit our teeth and deal with, many countries and cities are now using an airline’s hub city airport (home base, if you will, for the airline; one that has to be stopped at during all international flights) as a destination in and of itself. Governments and airlines are discovering the power of the stopover and potentially getting travellers to stay a few days in the middle of a trip. Sometimes, that’s the only time a business traveller gets to have some personal travel time.
Airports are growing up as a result of this. Fewer and fewer are the days of uncomfortable, vinyl seating and a lukewarm, bitter coffee to tide you over until your next flight. Airports are becoming a point of interest all to themselves, and not just for those that have access to the Business and First Class lounges most airlines now offer their higher-fare paying customers.
Read on to see what we think are the best three International airports to get stuck at. If you’re going to get stuck somewhere here’s hoping it’s at one of these!
Looking in part like more of a massive, futuristic mall, Dubai International is about as modern an airport as you could ask for. Beyond offering up more food and drink options than you could try in a dozen stopovers, Dubai International offers weary travellers options like a swimming pool, sauna, gym, indoor zen garden, open air gardens and personal, mini hotel rooms for people with a few more hours than normal. Once you are feeling back to normal, check out the Moet and Chandon bar before making your way to the massive Duty-Free shopping area, where you can pick up your favourite champagne to take home with you. Good news? Dubai is, of course, spending $32 billion dollars building what will be the world’s biggest airport across town, which, we are sure, will be even better to get stuck in!
The most award-winning airport in the world, there is just a tremendous amount of things to do on a long-stopover in South Korea’s largest airport. Have more than a few hours? Check out the outdoor 18-hole golf course, driving range or take some lessons to help you with either. Want to stay inside but still stay active? Visit the Ice Forest skating rink! Want to stay active but warm? Take a walk around one of the many gardens or the Korean history museum featuring a 4-times-daily Traditional Royal Procession that makes its way through the airport. Want excitement that lets you stay seated? The casino should help! Or play it safe and visit the World-Class spa. All that and more plus one of the most awarded Duty-Free areas in the world! Incheon is a destination in and of itself.
Trying to stand out amongst the best airports in the world (and winning 28 Best Airport awards in 2015 alone), Changi International offers travellers a swimming pool, an ‘enchanted’ garden and a butterfly garden, nature trails, a movie theatre and even a rooftop swimming pool! The airport authority is also building a whole new section of the airport to link the terminals. Called ‘Project Jewel’ and opening in 2019, this section will continue what the airport already specializes in: relaxation. The centerpiece will be Singapore’s largest indoor garden, featuring a five-story ‘Rain Vortex” and as many as 300 new shops! Careful you don’t spend too much time here and miss your next flight, as much as you may want to!
Have a hidden gem airport of your own? Tweet us at @FlightCentreCA and let us know!