The 5 Best Airports for a Long Layover
Any traveler who has encountered that perfect storm of weather, mechanical delays, and overbooked flights has had to kill time in airport terminals. But after browsing magazines and trying to get some work done on the rickety Wi-Fi, what’s left? If you’ve got a choice in where you spend your layover on your next flight, consider one of these five destinations.
Vancouver International Airport Canada
Canada’s YVR is clean, calm, and full of the usual newsstand and fast food amenities. So what sets this airport apart from the competition? The option for weary passengers to sleep in the terminals. Thanks to row after row of armrest-free chairs, Vancouver’s seating setup lets travelers stretch out to their heart’s content. Need to refresh with a postnap shower? The Absolute Spa in the adjacent Fairmont Hotel offers CA$16 day passes, which include access to the swimming pool.
Hong Kong International Airport Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport is so vast that it occupies its own island. A perennial champion of “Best Airport in the World” polls, HKG is studded with fine-dining outlets and enough upscale shopping to rival Rodeo Drive. It’s all located in a vast terminal building that also includes a “4-D” movie theater (with the largest screen of its type in Asia), a relaxation-themed miniature garden, and an onsite acupuncturist.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Holland
If you’re looking for reading material more esoteric than the latest Grisham or Clancy, airport bookstores are likely to leave you decidedly unfulfilled. But Holland’s Schiphol Airport passes over the usual paperbacks to offer a full-on (nonlending) library, featuring 1,200 books in 20-plus languages. Additional airport facilities include the usual collection of more than 100 shops; a 24-hour day spa; and, oddly, an onsite wedding planner.
Las Vegas McCarran Airport United States
After feasting on Cinnabons and pumping pocket change into the in-terminal slot machines, travelers can pump some iron downstairs at McCarran’s little-known onsite gym. A day pass at FitnessBeast costs just US$9.95, giving couch potatoes access to 13,000 square feet of first-class fitness equipment, sauna, showers, and even massage services. Check out the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum upstairs—which, like all things Vegas, is open 24 hours a day.
Munich Airport Germany
With enough shopping and entertainment options to earn the title of a “mini city,” the Munich Airport is the layover option of choice for European travelers in the know. MUC features more than 150 shops and services, while restaurant options include dining at an onsite brewery. Travelers with kids will appreciate the playground with a trampoline and an 18-hole miniature golf course. Still looking to kill some time? Take the controls of a commercial jet at the iPilot flight simulator in Terminal 2.