Relaxation on the Fly: These Are the Best Airports for Wellness

Amid the often stressful hustle of catching a flight, these airports offer plenty of opportunities to find a moment of Zen with spa services, meditation rooms, yoga classes, and green spaces.

Relaxation on the Fly: These Are the Best Airports for Wellness

Thirteen of the airports on this list offer massage services.

Photo by wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

The world’s busiest airports can conjure images of anxiety-inducing crowds and sweat-provoking sprints to the departure gate. But according to new research from British hotel and flight booking site Netflights, some of the biggest flying hubs can also be the most chill, courtesy of amenities such as comfortable airline lounges, relaxation areas, yoga rooms, and massage services.

Netflights ranked 25 of the world’s busiest airports based on factors such as spa or gym facilities, dedicated meditation or quiet spaces, yoga studios or classes, relaxation zones, outdoor or green space, prayer rooms, and spa services.

Frankfurt International Airport topped the list with amenities including dedicated “silent chairs” (pod-like seats flanked by soundproof glass that have built-in speakers, USB ports, and power outlets), a quiet room, an open-air rooftop terrace, individual yoga and prayer rooms, and spa services. (There are two Be Relax spas, in Terminal 1B and 1Z, with treatments that include various massages, an anti-jet-lag facial, and manicures and pedicures.)

This is how the remaining airports ranked for wellness (with several ties):

  1. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  2. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
  3. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  4. Changi Airport (SIN)
  5. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
  6. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) (tie)
  7. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND)
  8. San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) (tie)
  9. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
  10. Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport (LAS) and New Zealand’s Auckland Airport (AKL) (tie)
  11. Japan’s Narita International Airport (NRT)
  12. Miami International Airport (MIA)
  13. Sydney Kinsford-Smith Airport (SDY), Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), and Melbourne Airport (MEL) (tie)
  14. Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali (DPS)
  15. Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  16. Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)
  17. London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW)
  18. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Of the airports listed, 17 have spa services that include haircuts, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and more. Thirteen of the airports offer massage services.

Dedicated meditation and quiet spaces for relaxation are not as common, provided in just nine airports, including Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Dubai International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare, San Francisco International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. Prayer rooms are found more often, featured in 23 out of the 25 airports.

To find your travel om, nine of these airports have yoga facilities, including Frankfurt, Singapore’s Changi, New York’s JFK, San Francisco, O’Hare, and Miami International. And if sweating it out (in ways other than chasing after your flight) can cool your nerves, you’ll be happy to learn that there are gyms at 14 of the airports on the list.

The most common wellness feature is outdoor or green space, which is available at all 25 airports that were ranked.

To find out which services are offered at each airport, Netflights has also created a dedicated page where you can filter your search by service or amenity to find your desired version of Zen ahead of your next flight.

>> Next: How to Stay Calm When Your Trip Goes Wrong

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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