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The Best Airports in the World.

Airport Awards

Airport Awards

Every year millions of air travellers take part in the largest global customer satisfaction survey, an independent study which culminates in an awards ceremony for Skytrax World Airport Awards. The surveys, which are available in English, Spanish and Chinese, evaluate air traveller experiences from check-in and arrivals through to shopping, entertainment, victuals, security and immigration, right through to departing at the gate. Completed by over 100 different nationalities, this year, over 13.7 million surveys were handed in at over 550 airports Worldwide between August 2017 and February 2018.
We take a look around the winners, and since we park hundreds of cars at the UK airports every year, we want to know how our airports ranked, compared to all other airports in the World.
So starting with the Top 5, the number one goes to…


2017 RATING – 1
YEARLY PASSENGERS – 62.2 million
Not only did it come first this year, it had been number one for last SIX consecutive years! What an incredible achievement, and when you look at the features, you can definitely see why;
• Connectivity – It offers free Wi-Fi (that actually works) as well as internet enabled computers that people can use free of charge. It also has free charging points everywhere so your own device will never die when on long transits and layovers at Changi.
• Entertainment –From the large cinema screen and swimming pool, to the art / colouring desks, sports lounges and gaming rooms; this is one airport that you definitely won’t get bored at! The entertainment features are seriously incredible, and probably one of the main reasons why they are keeping their number one spot.
• Nature – So nature and airports don’t really go in the same sentence usually, they’re juxtaposition in our minds. Not at Changi though, as they have a number of outdoor and green spaces to visit, including a butterfly garden (the very first in an airport), gardens with a plethora of ponds, flowers and plants, and even a sunflower garden! Get your Instagram at the ready, as they really are beautiful spaces.
• Comfort – Don’t you hate it when you get stuck at an airport and there is nowhere to lie down apart from hard floors or chairs that induce sleepless neck bobbing. Well Changi have come up top here again, by offering snooze & sanctuary lounges! They come with reclining chairs to lay weary bodies and, once again, completely free!
• Other features – include fantastic shopping and eateries, free city tours, art sculptures and much more.


2017 RATING – 3
YEARLY PASSENGERS – 62.1 million
• State-of-the-art new Terminal 2, which was ready for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in February
• Robots (yes robots!) that help passengers navigate the airport and are able to communicate in four different languages, Korean, English, Mandarin and Japanese. These friendly, clever robots will also scan your boarding pass, escort your to your gate and move around the airport with last call boards. There are even some robots that are solely programmed to clean!
• Entertainment includes an in house airport casino, golf course and an abundance of shopping and eateries from around the world
• Many sleeping areas for comfort and long layovers, and several green gardens when you need to escape and get some fresh air

2017 RATING – 2
• Frequently named as the cleanest airport in the world
• 2nd largest airport in Asia (Beijing being 1st)
• International flight slots will be increased even more, in time for the 2020 Olympic Games, which will probably push it to the number 1 busiest airport in Asia
• Other highlights include a toy park with a monumental Scalextric track, flight simulators and a Planetarium-themed café.

2017 RATING – 5
YEARLY PASSENGERS – 70.5 million
• Home to the biggest cinema / Imax screen in the whole of Hong Kong
• Has an Aviation Discovery Centre where you can experience airplane take-offs and landings from the pilot’s seat on a flight simulator
• Golf simulator – an indoor 18 hole round of golf in the airport
• Art & culture exhibitions, education parks and more

2017 RATING – 6
YEARLY PASSENGERS – 37.3 million
• A few years ago, Qatar threw millions at their airport, which culminated in one of the most luxurious airports in the world with such things as gold plated coffee shop stands
• Multi-lingual roaming agents at key points of the passenger journey
• 80 designer stores and shops, many selling gold
• In-airport hotel with a presidential suite that can be hired for layovers and a pool with a view
• A gallery along the concourse with works of art from international artists

The top 5 airports are all situated in the East funnily enough, but why is the East getting their airports so right and packing them full of such extravagant features? And why do our UK airports not even come close to them, with only one ranking in the top 20 in the world, two in the top 50 and out of the 100 top airports in the world…just 4 of our airports made it!
Is this because we don’t have as many passengers in the UK airports? Let’s have a look at some numbers;

Rank     Airport         Passengers 2017
1            Atlanta                   103.9m
2           Beijing                    95.8m
3           Dubai                       88.2m
4           Tokyo Haneda       85.4m
5           Los Angeles            84.6m
6          Chicago O’Hare      79.8m
7          London Heathrow   78m
8          Hong Kong               72.7m
9          Shanghai                   70m
10        Paris Charles de Gaulle 69.5m

As we can see, London Heathrow makes it onto the busiest airports in the world list, but it is the only one in the whole of the top 20. Heathrow is also the highest ranking UK airport on the Top Airports in the World list, coming in 1 place higher than last year at number 8. So Heathrow does stand up there with the numbers, and also holds its own in the top list, but what extraordinary features does it have? Does it have lush green gardens, flight simulators, golf courses, swimming pools and robots too?
Absolutely not! The only thing Heathrow has got a lot of is designer shops, although they’re the cream of the crop of shops to be fair from Harrods, Dior, Gucci, Paul Smith, Burberry, Prada, Versace and Cartier to the Caviar House, Prunier Seafood Bar and a Gordon Ramsey Restaurant.
Perhaps, in the UK, we don’t need feature filled airports as maybe it’s down to passengers spending longer at airports in the East because they’re used more for layovers? Instead of just getting a flight, they are connecting flights, so are in the airport for anything from 1 hour to 24 hours. In our UK airports, we Brits especially, are only there for 1-3 hours unless something goes wrong and we are delayed. Do many other travellers actually lay over in the UK? Not really. The flight path of 1000’s of long haul flights stop at Dubai, Changi, Doha and more, so they need all this entertainment.

Maybe the best shopping and food experience, as well as cleanliness and airport service of course, is all we needed to rank in the top 20 with Heathrow? Do our other airports need to start upping their game after ranking so badly on this Top World Airport List?
How did they actually do?
• London City – 28 (up from 36 last year)
London Gatwick – 54 (down from 51)
Birmingham – 86 (down from 85)

There’s no London Stansted or Luton, no Manchester Airport, and not one Scottish airport on this list. Perhaps they need to follow in Heathrow’s footsteps and, not necessarily flood loads of money on whacky features like Changi & Hong Kong, but get up to speed with cleanliness and service first, because we and our visitors deserve a fantastic airport experience, on arrival and departure.

If you want to at least arrive at the airport in the most convenient way, your own car, choose the easiest and most stylish way to park at an airport with us at Maple Parking Meet and Greet Parking; available at all UK airports 365 days a year.