Travelers looking to fly out of a modern, attractive airport with security, delicious restaurants, and upscale shopping should bypass the US.
According to the aviation ranking website Skytrax, only one U.S. airport is among the world’s top 20 — Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington state, at No. 18. The rest of the continent is not hot either. Only one other North American hub is ranked, Canada’s Vancouver International Airport in 20th place.
For a luxury flight, you’ll need to head to Europe and Asia, which boast nine and eight top airports respectively, and Australia’s Melbourne Airport too (No. 19).
Singapore’s Changi Airport tops the list, according to Skytrax, which bases its ranking on a customer satisfaction survey of more than 550 airports that assesses terminal layout, security procedures, seating, transportation options, dining and shopping.
Singapore’s largest airport has often topped lists of the world’s best airports, despite falling in rankings during the coronavirus pandemic. It has many shopping outlets and covered indoor gardens.
Other top-ranked airports in Asia include Doha’s Hamad International Airport, ranked second on Skytrax, and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (No. 3). The best airports in Europe included Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (No. 5) and Munich International Airport (No. 7).
Airports in the US, many of which are owned and operated by state or local governments or quasi-governmental entities such as airport or port authorities, have suffered from the nation’s investment in infrastructure, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
By comparison, 41% of European airports have private shareholders, according to Airport Council International, which monitors international airport standards and industry practices.
If US airports are not honored, at least one flight hub will be considered earlier the worst airport in the country now stands out: New York’s LaGuardia Airport. SkyTrax named the facility’s Terminal B, which opened last year, as the world’s best new terminal. According to the Port Authority, the project was the result of a multibillion-dollar public-private partnership.
Here are the top 20 airports in the world, according to Skytrax:
- Singapore Changi Airport
- Hamad International Airport
- Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
- Incheon International Airport
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Istanbul Airport
- Munich Airport
- Zurich Airport
- Narita International Airport
- Madrid-Barajas Airport
- Vienna International Airport
- Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
- Rome Fiumicino Airport
- Copenhagen Airport
- Kansai International Airport
- Chubu Centrair International Airport
- Dubai International Airport
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Melbourne Airport
- Vancouver International Airport