Date: October 15, 2016
In our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in Asia based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experiences on these factors:
Once again, the best airports in Asia are typically dually ranked as the best in the world. Packed with incredible extravagances in exceptionally well thought out terminals, travel here is as fun as it is relaxing. In multiple airports, voters wished for slightly longer layovers to better explore all that there is to do here - be it the free movie theatres, sightseeing tours, the indoor ice rink or the plethora of terminal gardens. However, with sleeping facilities equally as fantastic as the activities, a layover is almost never long enough at these 10 terminals!
Here are the Top 10 Best Airports in Asia based on overall airport experience, as determined by voters in our 2016 Airport Survey.
You just feel like in a fun park - there's so much to explore and see! - survey respondent
Year after year, Singapore Changi Airport tops our charts as best airport in not just Asia, but also the world! To describe this airport as clean, friendly, comfortable and convenient doesn’t do SIN justice. The terminals twinkle, the staff are exceptional, the amenities are boundless and navigation is nearly effortless. Basics aside, it is the extravagances that lead voters to feel like they’re in an amusement park rather than a transit hub. A layover here may begin with a spin through one of five gardens, before dipping your toes into a fish spa or slipping into a free massage chair. Others may opt for a ride down the multi-story slide, a swim at the rooftop pool or time at the XBox 360 gaming stations, before launching into feature films at the free movie theatre. Or perhaps, you devote your time to exploring the multitude of excellent restaurants and shops, which sell quality products at normal prices. And for those who want to get out of the terminal - though we can’t imagine why - there is also a free city tour of the city centre available to transit passengers with permitting schedules! All in all, SIN unanimously woo’s voters with its efficiency and decadence for another year running. ( Photo courtesy of tedphan / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Free City Tour • Free Movie Theatre • Napping Rooms ($) • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Swimming Pool ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Gardens • Rest Zones • Spa ($) • Cultural Activities • Free Transit Tour • Cultural Activities. For more information, visit our Singapore Changi Airport Guide.
I ask the travel agent to schedule extra time for my connecting flight so I could enjoy the shops, eateries and spacious waiting-areas in which I can stretch-out.
Once again, Seoul Incheon Airport comes close to rivaling the adoration garnered by Changi. As the second best airport in Asia and the world, ICN provides a truly exceptional travel experience. Those with energy might opt to explore the cultural centre, the movie theatre, the gardens, the ice rink or free layover tours. And, once the activities wear you down, you can seek out a reclining lounge chair in a quiet rest zone for a deep and peaceful sleep. When you awake, you can hop into a free shower before charging your devices and surfing the web - all with total ease. It is no wonder travellers feel the need to extend their layover here! The only thing that seems to taint time at Incheon is the slowing security processes. However, in the past lineups have been lightning quick, so travellers hope they’ll return to regular speed once again. ( Photo courtesy of erwinpeng / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Gardens • Cultural Activities • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers • Skating Rink ($) • Transit Tour ($) • Museum • Movie Theatre ($) • Rest Zones.For more information, visit our Seoul Incheon Airport Guide.
I like Haneda Airport. There are so many japanese things to see, it's like a theme park. - survey respondent
Another long-standing fan favourite is Tokyo Haneda Airport. It too is both the third best airport in Asia and the world, thanks to the fact that it is ultra clean and efficient. While HND doesn’t offer the same level of fanfare that we see in Seoul and Changi, voters appreciated the Japanese themes throughout the airport. And, those travellers running late for their flights were happy to find staff who were calm, cool and collected. Those who opt to sleep here also leave rested and happy, thanks to the multitude of armrest-free benches, the attached hotel, and the overwhelming sense of safety and security. All in all, Haneda wins big because of its remarkable ability to sooth even the most stressed of travellers. ( Photo courtesy of pat_bern / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Tokyo Haneda Airport Guide. For more information, visit our Tokyo Haneda Airport Guide.
The airport has waiting rooms of different themes, and most of them showed various Taiwanese cultures. - survey respondent
Taipei Taoyuan Airport dazzles travellers worldwide with its enthusiasm and exuberance. Perhaps the region’s most creative airport, every gate has a different theme, ranging from environmental conservation to SONY products, and from tea shops to the Hello Kitty. Most of these themes come with at least one activity for waiting guests - whether it is lessons in calligraphy, or a unique local food tasting. Outside of the lounges, the airport also offers a number of rest zones, shower areas (bring your own soap!), family rooms and free Wi-Fi. They also make sure the basics are solid - time here is reliably easy, efficient and clean! ( Photo courtesy of kinchan1201 / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Free 15-minute Showers • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food ($) • Cultural Activities • Library • Luggage Storage ($) • Museum • Rest Zones • Cultural Activities. For more information, visit our Taipei Taoyuan Airport Guide.
This airport has an incredible range of facilities, especially the sky view building containing an observation deck and numerous facilities for aviation enthusiasts. - survey respondent
While the top four airports in Asia have a stronghold on their rankings year after year, Osaka Kansai Airport is the first airport to make a climb. One of KIX’s most unique features is the new area devoted to overnight airport sleepers. With long benches and a free blanket lending service (and a luggage storage system nearby), you’re likely to get an especially good airport snooze in here! For the non-weary, the airport is clean and spacious. While it could probably use a few more restaurants, shops and activities, the staff are friendly and the observation deck is a great place to waste some time. ( Photo courtesy of cindiahuang / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • Free WiFi • 24-Hour Food Options • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest Zone • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Osaka Kansai Airport Guide.
What a great airport for a 16-hour layover! There was plenty to see and do, and come sleeping time, plenty of seats with no armrests.
Hong Kong International Airport is easily mistaken for a giant mall if you don’t look at the boarding gates. It is jammed with restaurants and shopping opportunities, all conveniently clustered around the customs area. And, it features a number of good amenities, including gardens, sleep rooms, spas and showers. Most impressively, HKG is home to the country’s largest IMAX theatre - though you do have to pay to watch a movie. The more budget-friendly perks include free Wi-Fi, free hot and cold drinking water and free rest areas with reclining chairs. ( Photo courtesy of pookbbp48 / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • IMAX Theatre ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Gardens • Rest Zones. For more information, visit our Hong Kong Airport Guide.
This airport gives the vibe of having really thought about how passengers view it and what they might want to do while in it - survey respondent
Kuala Lumpur International Airport has two distinct sides, making it a slightly contentious victor on the Best Airports in Asia list. On the one hand, the main terminal features a unique indoor rainforest complete with wooden walkways that help travellers relax. There are also a ton of great shops selling food and products at reasonable prices, in an clean environment. On the other hand, we have the KLIA2 Terminal. Here, travellers complain fervently about uncomfortable chairs and dirty bathrooms. While it’s a definite upgrade from the old LCCT terminal, it leaves much to be desired - and it generally hurts KUL’s regional rank. ( Photo courtesy of 8shirs / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (3 hours) • Napping Rooms ($) • Transit Hotel ($) • Gym ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Movie Lounge • Rest Zones • Showers ($) • Spa. For more information, visit our Kuala Lumpur Airport Guide.
Narita airport is easy to navigate and has lots of food options available. - survey respondent
Tokyo Narita Airport, like Tokyo Haneda, excels at providing a simple and efficient travel experience. Perfectly organized and staffed with friendly multilingual staff, time spent here is particularly pleasant. Highlights here, though less decadent than Changi or Seoul Incheon, include plenty of great couches, a multitude of charging points, a good variety of restaurants, and free Wi-Fi. While most restaurants do close overnight, the airport staff are rumoured to hand out sleeping bags, water and crackers in the late hours to those spending the night during weather delays. Thoughtful! ( Photo credit: yoshikiseki / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Day Rooms ($) • Showers ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Cultural Activities. For more information, visit our Tokyo Narita Airport Guide.
It's a visually beautiful airport with excellent travellers lounges, food courts , shops and places to relax and recharge - survey respondent
Mumbai is continuing its steady climb up our list of Best Airports in Asia, thanks to some stunning architecture that makes Terminal 2 feel like a museum rather than an airport. Clean floors, tidy toilets and a good variety of restaurants ensure that the basics are covered - and the indoor gardens and art galleries give travellers something special to do. While immigration lines and navigation from domestic to international terminals leaves something to be desired, voters still think that BOM is on it’s way up! ( Photo courtesy of sanwariaamir / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Mumbai Airport Guide.
Love the ambiance of this airport. Brilliant open spaces and awesome duty free stores - survey respondent
New Delhi’s Terminal 3 is a nice terminal for a short stay. The airside interior is beautiful and clean, making it feel more like a high-end hotel with its scattering of rest zones and plenty of good shops and restaurants. The free Wi-Fi is definitely appreciated, though travellers say it would be nice if it extended beyond the 45-minute limit. Amenities definitely get even better when you splurge for a sleep cabin or lounge; in them, you’ll find showers, beds, and more! Like Mumbai, the immigration process could definitely be sped up - and signage between terminals could be clearer. ( Photo courtesy of kritrim / Instagram )
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Napping Rooms ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Transit Hotel ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Spa ($). For more information, visit our New Delhi Airport Guide.
Below is a list of the Top 30 Best Airports in Asia as voted by travellers in our 2016 Airport Survey:
While Asia is home to some of the world’s best airports, it is also home to a number of truly appalling ones. Read on to learn about the Worst Airports in Asia.
Do you agree or disagree with these results? Tell us about your airport experiences by participating in our 2017 Airport Survey!
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