Revealed: World’s best airports for food, shopping and things to do by Skytrax

The winners of the 2012 Skytrax World Airport Awards included the usual suspects - Asian Airports - but there were a few surprise winners too.

Revealed: World’s best airports for food, shopping and things to do by Skytrax

Heathrow's Terminal 5. Source: BAA

These days, the journey through an airport is as critiqued as a hotel experience.

Research company Skytrax recently announced the winners of its annual World Airport Awards – as rated by travellers – and there were a few surprise winners this year.

Stretched to capacity Heathrow overtook Dubai International to win the title of “World’s Best Airport for Shopping” for 2012.

And Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which opened in 2008 to teething problems and much criticism, was this year voted the “World’s Best Airport Terminal” – a new category introduced this year.

The results are based on surveys filled out by more than 12 million travellers from over 100 countries.

Asian airports continue to be ranked among the favourites with passengers, with Seoul’s Incheon Airport, Singapore Changi and Hong Kong International winning first, second and third places respectively in the “World’s Best Airport” category.

The three airports have dominated the top three spots – in different orders – for the last six years.

World’s Best Airports in 2012– Top 10

  1. Incheon International Airport
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Hong Kong international Airport
  4. Beijing Capital International Airport
  5. Munich Airport
  6. Zurich Airport
  7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
  8. Vancouver International Airport
  9. Central Japan International Airports

Singapore Changi – which sports a cinema, gardens, swimming pool and giant helter skelter slide – also won “Best Airport for Amenities” and “Best Airport for Transit passengers” in those categories.

And Hong Kong International also took gongs for the “World’s Best Airport Dining” – followed by Heathrow (2nd) and Munich (3rd) – and for “Best Airport Terminal Cleanliness.”

“Passengers were particularly impressed with the variety of Asian and International dining options both landside and airside in the terminals,” Skytrax said in a statement.

In the Middle East, Qatar Airways’ Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport (DIA) was named “World’s Best Premium Service Airport.”

Vancouver Airport climbs the ranks

Vancouver International Airport made it onto Skytrax’s top 10 list of the World’s Best Airports this year– taking ninth place. It also won “Best Airport in North America”.

Skytrax said that Vancouver’s “excellent” staff service, décor and ambience made it one of the favourites with passengers.

World’s Most Improved Airport

Most improved airport

Terminal 3 - Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Source: R.V. Moorthy

Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi won “World’s Most Improved Airport”, after opening its new Terminal 3 last year.

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