Singapore’s Changi Airport named best in the world—for the fifth time
Perhaps it’s time to consider Singapore’s Changi Airport the “New York Yankees of air travel.” How else could one spin the news that Lion City’s largest airport has been named best in the world for the fifth consecutive year?
The designation came down earlier this month from Skytrax World Airport Awards, an independent annual evaluation that bases the final rankings on the results of millions of international passenger surveys. This year was the sixth annual Skytrax awards; Changi has five first-place victories and one second-place win (back in 2012).
It’s not hard to see why fliers could consider the three-terminal airport to be the air travel equivalent of the winningest sports franchise of all time. In addition to being one of the busiest hubs in Asia, Changi boasts two 24-hour movie theaters that show current releases for free, a rooftop swimming pool (complete with locker rooms for changing), and a butterfly garden teeming with butterflies.
The airport is also putting the finishing touches on a fourth terminal, which, according to the Straits Times, a Singaporean newspaper, is slated to open later this year.
There were other highly lauded airports in the running, too: Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Munich International Airport, and Hong Kong International Airport rounded out the Top Five. (Haneda also won an award for the world’s cleanest airport, and Hong Kong was hailed has having the best and most varied dining options.)
Sadly—embarrassingly, really—not a single North American airport cracked the Top 10. In fact, the highest-ranked airport on our continent is Vancouver International Airport, in Canada, at No. 13.
The United States isn’t represented on the Skytrax list until No. 26, an honor that goes to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. (The dark horse win seems like a great piece of trivia to whip out at your next soirée.) Denver International Airport was tabbed as No. 28.
It’s hard not to read the Skytrax list of winners and dream about what U.S. airports could be. The takeaways: We need more free movie theaters. Or at least a few butterfly gardens.
Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.