BELIEVE it or not, flight delays can actually be a blessing in disguise, especially if you’re stuck at one of these airports.
From golf courses to wave pools and a game of croquet, these airports are truly destinations in themselves. These are six of the world’s best airport terminals.
Incheon International Airport, South Korea
Earlier this year, this airport was hailed the world’s cleanest by Skytrax, a UK-based consultancy that reviews airports.
When you’re not taking advantage of the free showers in the hotel-style bathrooms, you can also enjoy a museum, golf course, casino and ice-skating rink. No one would notice if they scraped the “airport” off the sign and changed it to “resort.”
Changi International Airport, Singapore
It almost seems silly to fly out of this airport — because how many destinations can hold a candle to its awesome attractions?
The hands-down coolest thing? A Hobbit Hole inside the Naturally New Zealand exhibit — holla! It’s a hobbit village as depicted in “The Lord of the Rings,” built by some of the same film crew. (OK, the installation ended in April, but something equally cool is bound to replace it.)
Not to be outdone, the Social Tree claims some bragging rights. It’s surrounded by eight interactive booths made from 32-inch televisions with touch screens. You can take photos to send to yourself, to store in the system, or to display on its massive wall.
Fancy a dip before your flight? No problem — pre- and post-flight swims are available at Changi’s rooftop pool. For some serenity, check out the koi ponds and 500,000 plants throughout five indoor gardens, which require maintenance from 11 fulltime horticulturists.
Munich International Airport
Sometimes you need to take the edge off before a flight — and this airport has you covered in the hippest way possible: It has its own microbrewery. There’s also an in-house art gallery.
And if you get sick of waiting for your flight, there’s always the Audi car showroom above Terminal 1, in case your destination is within driving distance.
But Munich’s sweetest amenity has to be the newly opened wave pool, where surfers can enjoy stationary shredding.
London Heathrow Airport
Often considered the crossroads of the world, there’s very little Heathrow doesn’t have — including a Harrods outpost.
When retail therapy doesn’t cut it, there’s always the Molton Brown Travel Spa in British Airways Terminals 1 and 4, where you can grab a quickie hydrotherapy shower. The therapeutic technique increases your circulation, thanks to all that (water) jet action.
And don’t forget to enjoy croquet on a mini court.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
If you’re still on a high from all that Amsterdam has to offer, and forgot to pick up souvenirs for your loved ones, don’t despair: This airport has Dutch diamond purveyor Gassan, offering cut and polished bling with all the proper certifications. Freaked out by the price on your receipt? Then check out the meditation centre.
Queen Alia International Airport, Zizya, Jordan
Sure, it’s been known to heat up in Jordan in summertime, but the airport — whose terminals are shaped like desert palm leaves — has taken care of that. In an eco-friendly move, it uses actual rainwater for the indoor garden, cooling everything down in the process.