Sleeping in Airports

Best Airports in the South Pacific 2017

2018 Survey – Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to do our annual airport survey this year as we were busy launching our newly designed web site. If you would like to participate in our 2019 Survey, click here

Date: October 15, 2017

Best Airports of 2017: South PacificIn our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in the South Pacific based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experience based on:

  • Comfort (Gate seating & availability of rest zones)
  • Services, facilities & things to do
  • Food options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer service
  • Cleanliness
  • Navigation and ease of transit
  • Sleepability

While our list of best airports in the South Pacific tends to look similar year after year, we did see a shuffle in the rankings for 2017. Adelaide and Wellington jumped up a few spots thanks to exceptional customer service and a few well-placed couches and charging points. Brisbane, by contrast, slumped lower on the list, seemingly due to tougher restrictions on when, where, and how you can overnight. We happily welcome Noumea La Tontouta to the list this year as well, showing that a simple airport can take you a long way. This list shows that simple airports done right are what travellers appreciate.

1. Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)

Best Airports of 2017: Adelaide Airport

Very easy to navigate around. The ambassadors were terrific in helping me with an issue I had while visiting. – survey respondent

This year, Adelaide International Airport claimed the title of Best Airport in the South Pacific. Voters were delighted by the customer service throughout the terminals — one traveller noted that the ambassadors were great at solving problems, while another was thrilled by the help received from parking inspectors. The security processes are said to move along quite quickly, leaving travellers with a bit more time to sit back, relax, and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. (Photo courtesy of armi_0926 / Instagram)

Airport Services/Facilities: Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Adelaide Airport Guide.

2. Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)

Best Airports of 2017: Wellington Airport

No-one has mentioned the huge Lord of the Rings figures flying over our heads as we moved about. To see the work and skill put into making these and the link it gives between passengers is amazing. – survey respondent

After dropping to third best airport in the South Pacific, Wellington Airport moved back into second place in this year’s survey. Based on the many comments we received, the extensive Lord of the Rings displays shouldn’t be missed! Beyond that, travellers were pleased with the airport staff, particularly praising the efficiency and friendliness of oft-maligned immigration officials. Even oft-maligned immigration officials received praise for their kindness and efficiency. For its small size, the airport seems to be adequately served by shops and restaurants, along with comfortable seating and modern conveniences such as high-speed Wi-Fi. Clean, comfortable, friendly, and modern, – the only real complaint seemed to be the airport parking. (Photo courtesy of Wellington Airport)

Airport Services/Facilities: Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers. For more information, visit our Wellington Airport Guide.

3. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)

Best Airports of 2017: Auckland Airport

Wonderful service. Staff went above and beyond the call of duty. – survey respondent

Auckland International Airport earned third place of Best Airports in South the South Pacific, though its ranking is a bit contentious. Positive feedback from respondents included some armrest-free seats for spreading out, free showers, 24-hour food options, a pay-per-use lounge, and overall cleanliness. The customer service is often described as friendly and helpful, with one voter, who travelled with a small child, saying that “staff went above and beyond the call of duty”. Still, other voters were more tempered, reporting that waiting areas lack sufficient seating. The biggest complaint, however, was that the free airport Wi-Fi maxes out at 45 minutes. Recently the airport has been undergoing some renovations, so let’s hope that brings some exciting improvements. (Photo courtesy of Auckland Airport)

Airport Services/Facilities: Lounges ($) • Free WiFI • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers ($). For more information, visit our Auckland Airport Guide.

4. Brisbane International Airport, Australia (BNE)

It’s clean and modern and has all good facilities – survey respondent

After claiming the title of Best Airport in the South Pacific last year thanks to a highly sleepable environment, the Brisbane airport dropped to fourth place for 2017. Travellers report that the terminals remain clean and modern with several good couches for spreading out comfortable. Other voters appreciate the unlimited free Wi-Fi and free showers for freshening up. Still, the airport seems to be a bit less friendly to overnighters, as many votes were frustrated by sleep interruptions. One traveller reported having to wait in baggage claim, while another traveller was not allowed to put a mat on the floor to sleep. We’ll be interested to see if there’s a change to policy this next year.

Airport Services/Facilities: Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers($). For more information, visit our Brisbane Airport Guide.

5. Noumea La Tontouta International Airport, New Caledonia (NOU)

Best Airports of 2017: Noumea Airport

Small, but good airport.  – survey respondent

This tiny airport on the island of New Caledonia is a new addition to our list of Best Airports in the South Pacific. Travellers aren’t likely to spend a ton of time here as it isn’t a major transit hub. Still, it’s an easy spot to spend time before or after a vacation. The airport is clean and fresh, and it features several restaurants and good souvenir shops. Perhaps its most important feature are the many comfortable seating areas, perfect for relaxing while you wait for your outbound flight. (Photo courtesy of delathiereepmunschy / Instagram)

Airport Services/Facilities: Free WiFi. For more information, visit our Noumea Airport Guide.