For lots of passengers, the definition of a great airport is that you hardly notice it. You get efficiently checked-in, you have something to eat and shop, then embark on your plane punctually.
Of course, to make an airport efficient requires lots of partners to work together … not the least of which is the relationship between airlines and airports.
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But whilst streamlined processes underpin a great airport, airports throughout the world are building on making the traveler experience as pleasant as possible by including breathtaking designs and innovative infrastructures.
Inspired by a blog post by Tech Insider titled ‘The 10 most innovative airports in the world’ (link below), we’ve highlighted some ways that the airports are matching airlines for delivering a memorable customer experience.
In alphabetical order, here are the airports that Tech Insider highlighted for their world class design and facilities.
Incheon. South Korea.
Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia.
New York JFK. USA.
San Francisco. USA.
Carrasco airport features stunning architecture, but it is also set to be one of the world’s most eco friendly airports. During 2016 the airport is scheduled to have 4 hectares (10 acres) of solar panels, plus a wind farm, and aims to be entirely self-sufficient for energy.
Changi captures rainwater, where it is recycled for use around the airport. Voted the best airport in the world in 2015, Changi includes shower facilities, a swimming pool a butterfly garden and a cactus garden.
For a feeling of space and peace, few airports rival Dubai International. The design features vast expanses of arching white walls and vaulted ceilings. Passengers follow sand-colored walkways past giant palm trees, which captures the Arabian spirit of this popular economic center.
In order to make life as simple as possible for the 79 million passengers who pass through its facilities every year, Heathrow has developed an innovative ‘common check-in’ service. Passengers can leave their bags with any of the 26 airlines who operate from T2, for a simplified ‘drop and go’ service.
Like you’d expect from a Finnish airport, Helsinki offers stressed travelers the option of a sauna. The airport airport also includes yoga classes, a free art gallery and Europe’s first sleeping pods.
You know an airport takes leisure facilities seriously when it includes a golf course amongst its list of recreations. Seoul Incheon also includes two movie theaters, an ice skating rink and casino.
Kuala Lumpur airport set out to create ‘an airport in a forest, and a forest in the airport’. The airport is surrounded by 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of forest, and also includes a rainforest within the terminal building. The airport design draws inspiration from Islamic and Malaysian styles.
Munich airport features a large central atrium which has different uses, depending on the season. In summer it is equipped with a wave machine, so surfers can practice their techniques. In October the atrium becomes a beer hall, and in December a popular Christmas market.
JFK’s Jet Blue terminal features a post-security rooftop garden where passengers can unwind between flights. It’s also a great place for travelers with pets to wait for a connecting flight. The garden also plans to grow herbs for the airport’s restaurants.
Like Helsinki airport, SFO’s T2 offers yoga classes and an art gallery. SFO is also renowned for it’s cuisine, most of which is sourced from food artisans in the local Bay area. Conservationists will appreciate that even the tableware is compostable.
Reference used in this article.
Tech Insider / The world’s 10 most innovative airports.