As someone who has flown a lot both in life and even more so in the last three months I’ve started to realize that all airports are not equal. When you need to be at an airport for a few hours before a flight or while waiting for a connecting flight, you end up spending a lot of time there if you’re someone who travels regularly.
We all have our local airport, that we’ve been to multiple times, know our way around, what restaurants are there, where you need to go to check in or get to your gate. I could probably tell you 90% of the restaurants, where the gates are for the airlines and which bathroom is cleanest in the Vancouver International Airport.
So here’s my list of things I think makes an airport better than others;
- Comfortable chairs. Bonus points for couches or anything that isn’t a bench seat. Minus points if every seat has an armrest between it…hello I might want to spread out, especially if I have to sit there for an extended period of time.
- Power points! This one is key. With everyone in the world obsessed with electronics being able to charge all that stuff is seriously nice before getting on a flight. It’s great to have your phone fully charged before you fly so if you need to find your way around when you land or get a hold of someone you can. Again bonus points for if the plug ins are in a convenient spot, not making you sit on the floor in some random hallway while waiting for that precious battery percentage to go up.
- Good selection of places to get food and drink. This can vary from little coffee shops or full on restaurants. It does feel pretty nice at the beginning of a holiday to be able to grab a glass of wine or a beer before you head out. It’s also really convenient to be able to get something little to eat before boarding the plane, we all know how shit airplane food is (PS. If you think normal airplane food is bad, try the vegetarian options…pretty sure it’s not even actual food).
- Easy to maneuver. Getting off of a 12 hour flight, landing in a country that you’ve never been in, they don’t speak English, and now you need to get through customs, find your bag and get a cab. If an airport is easy to get around and has good signage it can take away so much stress, which when you’re exhausted and jet lagged. It’s also nice when you have a connecting flight and the airport is easy to get around, I’ve been in some airports in Asia where I could start to feel a bit of panic setting in when I couldn’t figure out where I needed to go to get my flight.
- WIFI. When you have an hours long layover and nothing to do free wifi in the airport is basically essential. It can keep you entertained (although be careful, I almost missed a flight while in a serious Making a Murderer binge watch), you can check out things to do once you get to your destination, and maybe let your mom (who you know was watching your flight online, or maybe that’s just my loving mom) know that you’ve made it part way safely.
What makes a good airport to you? What’s the best airport you’ve been to?