Perhaps it’s the rooftop pool, four-story slide, pop-in movie theater or free foot massages. Maybe it’s the nature trails, butterfly garden and complimentary tours of central Singapore. Whatever the reason, it will likely come as little surprise to frequent visitors that ever-entertaining Changi Airport once again topped Skytrax World Airport Awards as the best airport in 2014.
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, noted that the Singaporean hub had proved to be much more than just a collection of terminals ushering air travelers into the wider world. “Changi Airport offers a travel experience in itself,” he said in a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, last week.
It's “a well-known leader and innovator for the airport industry and genuinely delights and surprises travelers who are lucky enough to enjoy the airport facilities. Changi Airport demonstrates how to make the airport experience an enjoyable part of the journey that is so important in today’s fast-moving world,” he said.
Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group, said the honor was great motivation for the facility to continue aiming higher. “At Changi Airport, we remain steadfast in anticipating the needs of our customers, which is the cornerstone of the Changi experience. We share this honor with our airport community, for their unyielding commitment to service excellence and with our passengers, for their vote of confidence."
Changi is a familiar hub for those who travel through Asia, welcoming more than 52 million passengers last year. That's nearly 10 times the population of the city it serves. Changi's perennial rival, Incheon International, near Seoul, came in a close second on the 2014 Skytrax list, followed by Munich Airport, Hong Kong International and Amsterdam Schiphol.
The U.K.-based travel research and consultants firm found the vast majority of the world’s best airports in Asia and Europe, though Vancouver International was a lone exception in the Americas. No U.S. airports came close to cracking the top 10.
The World Airport Awards is considered the most-prestigious accolade for the airport industry, as voted by customers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. Based on 12.85 million customer nominations, the survey reflects the preferences of air travelers across 110 nationalities. For its 2014 list, Skytrax reviewed 410 global airports, looking at survey results across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product.
In addition to naming the world’s 10 best airports, Skytrax awarded airports across an array of categories such as dining (Hong Kong International), shopping (London Heathrow), cleanliness (Tokyo Haneda) and security (Copenhagen Airport). It also highlighted the often vast differences within airports by publishing a separate list of the world’s best terminals, which included one U.S. facility, the Tom Bradley International Terminal in Los Angeles, at No. 9.
Scroll through the slideshow above for a complete look at the world’s 10 best airports in 2014.