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Laura aka Up4Travel
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Best Airport to Have a Layover

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  • Best Airport to Have a Layover

    In a world where airplane travel functioned perfectly, your plane would arrive on time, you would slide quickly into a psychodelic dream-state (without horse tranquilizers), and you would wake up completely refreshed to find yourself at your destination...early.

    Ah, if we could only rely on things going so smoothly. But whether your flight is delayed, you've been unwittingly bumped by your inhumane airline company, or your flight's been alltogether canceled, we've all experience the frustration of "The Layover." There are however, certain airports, that seem to be able to accomodate lengthy, and exeedingly comfortable stays.

    I'd love to hear some people's opinions regarding the world's best airports to get stuck at.

  • #2
    Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

    The Singapore Airport is a great place to have a layover -- it has beds for napping, a swimming pool, awesome food, great shopping and they even offer free tours of the city! Wow!
    GenevieveS
    Editor
    The Independent Traveler

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    • #3
      Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

      I have always found that Vancouver International Airport is one of the prettiest I have been to, with a real eye towards bringing a sense of the outdoor beauty of the Vancouver area to the airport. Lots of nature light through the large sections of glass windows, plus the use of natural materials in the terminal make it a peaceful setting.

      Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is a great place. There is an art gallery and a casino, plus a train straight into the heart of Amsterdam. I had a 6 hour layover there, and was able to get out of the airport and see a little of Amsterdam.

      Finally, I was amazed at the shopping opportunities at Pittsburgh's airport. It's like your plane landed at Mall of Americas!

      Greg

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      • #4
        Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

        Hmm, haven't had too many memorable layovers, but I guess my nicest one was at Chicago O'Hare. The food and services were pretty standard, but I liked the different art exhibits they had throughout the different terminals -- I remember some really cool murals that sort of captured the spirit of Chicago.

        O'Hare also has a kids' museum, though I didn't visit when I was there.
        "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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        • #5
          Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

          I have to agree with Schiphol.

          We were delayed from departing for over 8 hours with our 3 small children (5, 7, 9) and it was a pretty good place to be!

          There are restaurants, a casino, bars, playground, McDonalds.

          A far cry from Pearson in Toronto where we took off from - now that is always 2-3 hours of torture.

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          • #6
            Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

            To shift the focus from domestic to international, my best layover experience in a crap country would decidedly be that which I endured in Kuala Lumpur. While checking in to board after a restful snooze on the promenade, a security officer motioning to the x-ray display asked with brusque breviloquence, 'Uh escuse me suh, wha is da?' I knew immediatly that the apparent outline of a sub-machine gun in my back pack was actually the coalescing of my umbrella, a pack of wrigglys, and my Homer-Simpson-head shaped dvd case. Following a curtious and thorough search, the security officials recognized the innocuous nature of my accouterments, and tipped their hats. All this without a caning. Best airport security ever.

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            • #7
              Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

              I am lucky enough to live near JFK and so it is easiest to get direct flights departing from there because it is such a large airport and most major airlines have many direct flights from JFK. I basically HATE taking any flight that has a connection/layover!! I want a direct flight and am lucky enough to get them most of the time because of my departure point.

              LAYOVERS are particularly unpleasant for me; I'm basically just spoiled because I can usually get a direct flight. I had a long (and unavoidable given my destination - AUSTRALIA!) when I was in LAX and it was SOOOOO boring and took up most of the day! I don't like running from terminal to terminal or gates so far away AND it's the likeliest chance that my luggage will be misdirected. Unless I had access to an airline's elite club, the only time I want to spend being in an airport is checking in and waiting to board.

              That said, I don't mind spending time browsing/shopping or having a snack in Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport while waiting to board my flight.
              Colleen Costello
              Message Board Moderator

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              • #8
                Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                the worst place to have an unexpected layover is the airport at fiji -- went thru security there (pre 9-11) only to discover that my plane was going to be hours late and they wouldnt let me back out -- sat in the waiting area with abosolutely nothing to do ---no shops- no restaurants no nothing


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                • #9
                  Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                  Oh yeah, forgot about Fiji - it was a long wait in that nothing of an airport - I was bored out of my mind.....but then, I don't know that I should have expected much - it's a South Pacific island..........the best stuff is OUTSIDE!!
                  Colleen Costello
                  Message Board Moderator

                  Host Bonjour
                  www.IndependentTraveler.com
                  Follow on Twiiter @TravelEditor & Facebook
                  HostColleen
                  www.FamilyVacationCritic.com
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                  • #10
                    Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                    Orlando, FL isn't bad if you get bumped, or otherwise delayed. There is decent food available and some nice shops.

                    But I agree with the person who said the best way to spend a layover is in one of the airline lounges. Haven't seen those advertised much - are they still around?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                      They are -- and most offer day passes for about $50...maybe worth it for a long layover!
                      GenevieveS
                      Editor
                      The Independent Traveler

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                        If you love to shop, the best airport I've experienced for a layover is Munich. Paris-De Gaulle is also good for shopping. I really don't agree with the writer about Chicago-O'Hare. It's a huge series of cold barns with terrible shops, crummy food, huge distances of hard granite floors to traverse, and your gate is always the last one and miles away. However, if you like a nice place to hang out, the Santa Barbara airport is small, friendly, has a nice gift shop, and a lovely little coffee shop where you can sit on the balcony, sip your favorite beverage, and be lucky enough to have incomparable views.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                          More suggestions?
                          GenevieveS
                          Editor
                          The Independent Traveler

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                            Zurich. Not because the airport is that great. But train service is cheap, convenient, safe (it's Switzerland, after all), reliable (it's Switzerland, after all) and gets you to the center of town in about 15 minutes. I was dreading a 6 hour layover. But my colleague from Zurich told me about the train and I had a great time.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best Airport to Have a Layover

                              Of course Singapore and Schipol, but I have always liked Melbourne, Australia as a place for a long layover. Good shopping, free showers, nice people. I agree Fiji is the pits. A/C usually non-functioning and it is sauna in there.

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