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travel delay

13 of the World’s Most Exciting Airports

Help your clients plan a mini-adventure

One of the most dreaded travel mishaps is an unavoidable, airline delay. This can put a damper on the otherwise perfect vacation that you’ve spent hours helping your clients curate. Turn their travel delay or a long layover into a mini-adventure. Make a few recommendations for every airport on their itinerary. Here are a few, fun ones to get your wheels turning!

Best airports for a long travel delay

1. Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)

The award-winning airport of Changi tops the list with a Balinese-style rooftop pool and jacuzzi, indoor nature trails, a butterfly garden, a 40-foot slide, and a free movie theater. Passengers with stops of 5 hours or more can take a free city tour.

2. Munich Airport, Germany (MUC)

If you’re trying to stay inside the airport, check out the world’s first airport brewpub, Airbräu, then pop into Victor’s Park for a round of mini-golf. If you find yourself there during the holidays, spend some time at the Munich Airport Wintermarket where you can shop, skate, and sample festive German treats.

3. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong (HKG)

Head to Terminal 2 to visit the Aviation Discovery Museum where you can try a flight simulator and check out interactive exhibits on the histories of flight and HKIA. Don’t miss the Kee Wah Bakery for a taste of the famous “wife cake,” made from a surprising pairing of watermelon, almond paste, and sesame. The Hong Kong airport also has a 9-hole golf course and an IMAX theater.

4. Dallas-Fort Worth International, USA (DFW)

Decompress from the stress of your travel delay at one of DFW’s fully-equipped, free yoga studios, located in terminals B and E. Travelers can use the studios’ complimentary mats, exercise balls, and stretch bands. They can also follow along with the 20-minute instructional video on loop for yoga-lovers of all levels.

5. Charles de Gaulle Airport, France (CDG)

If you are ever so unfortunate as to stop through Paris without enough time to get into the city, you can get your authentic macarons at Ladurée (Terminals 1 and 2). CDG has ample kids’ play areas (Terminals 1, 2A, 2C, 2E and 3) equipped with games, mazes, and cartoons for them to watch.

6. Incheon International Airport, South Korea (ICN)

Relax at Incheon’s Spa on Air and try your first Korean jimjilbang (bathhouse). Follow up your spa experience with a stroll through one of their 7 themed eco-gardens, featuring cacti, native flowers, and water plants. If you’re looking for something a little more active, you can spend your afternoon at the Ice Forest Skating Rink for about $5 per person.

7. Keflavík International Airport, Iceland (KEF)

While the recently-renovated Keflavík International Airport offers plenty of shopping and dining options within, delayed travelers should not miss the opportunity to sneak out and visit the Blue Lagoon. The renowned geothermal spa is located just 30 minutes from the airport. It can be reached by bus, shuttle or taxi.

8. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands (AMS)

Traveling with kids? Pick up a book at the Schiphol Airport Library, then let the little ones play at the free Kids Forest Play Place while you read. Afterward, treat everyone to a little Belgian chocolate or dessert at Café Cocó in lounge 2.

9. Barcelona-El Prat, Spain (BCN)

Hey foodies, this one’s for you! Porta Gaig in Terminal 1 is a culinary delight. Michelin Chef Carles Gaig oversees the menu. The menu includes plates such as roasted chicken, croquettes and veal and Gaig’s famous cannelloni with truffle sauce. Check out other popular restaurant options for BCN here!

10. Dubai International Airport, UAE (DBX)

The Dubai airport has several spas, along with a jacuzzi/steam room, and a pool that is open to all passengers. After your massage, sneak in a power nap in a “snoozecube,” outfitted with private beds, Wifi and a wide selection of music. Prices are approximately $21 USD for a single and $28 for a shared cube.

11. Zurich Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)

Your kids will love this airport! Zurich’s two observation decks get you closer to the airplane operations more than any other observation deck in the world. Zurich Airport is constantly adding fun features for little ones to explore the world of aviation. Deck B contains a mini-airfield, multimedia binoculars, a parachute see-saw, and trampolines. Don’t forget to pick up some decadent Swiss chocolate at Sprüngli Café.

12. San Francisco International Airport, USA (SFO)

The San Francisco airport has plenty of food and shopping options for a quick stop. If you have an extra hour or two to pass, check out the Aviation Museum, take a self-guided tour, or simply wander the terminals checking out SFO’s amazing collection of local art.

13. Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan (HND)

With comfortable seats, dimmed lighting and no loudspeaker announcements, passengers can find rest and relaxation just about anywhere at Haneda International. If you’re looking for something a little extra, check out one of the on-site hair salons, the oxygen bar, or watch the planes take off from the panoramic viewing deck.

Is your traveler stuck at a smaller airport with little to do? Here are a few fun ways to pass the time at any airport!

Shawna Levet

Shawna is passionate about helping travel agents grow their business and expand their knowledge as travel experts. She has been in the travel industry since 2011, helping agents and travelers alike find the best negotiated airfare and travel coverage to meet their needs.

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