Image: An Exterior view of Jewel at Changi Airport.Photo | Source: of Jewel Changi Airport Devt.

The World’s Best Airports in 2021: Singapore’s Changi Drops Off Top Spot

From rainforests with a waterfall to indoor passenger shuttle trains, the airport experience has evolved into much more than a monotonous process we complete to get. Today, the airport experience is characterised by vibrance, cutting-edge technology and fun. In the recent Skytrax World Airport Awards, there’s been a serious shift in the rankings. After spending almost a decade as the world’s best, Changi Airport has fallen to third place, giving way to a new winner.

The New Top Three

1. Hamad International Airport (HIA)

Location: Doha, Qatar

Recently crowned the number one airport in the world by Skytrax, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has steadily been climbing the ranks and it’s easy to see why. Identified as the most luxurious airport in the world, HIA offers a world-class duty-free shopping experience, as well as seamless arrival and departure thanks to the passenger shuttle trains.

With plans to expand and create an indoor oasis of their own, Doha’s airport may just continue to rank number one for years to come.

2. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

Location: Tokyo

As the fourth busiest airport in the world, Haneda Airport is equipped with an incredibly wide range of shopping and food options. With three terminals including what looks more like a luxury shopping complex than a terminal, Haneda Airport is up there with the best, earning the position of second place in Skytrax’ ranking of the world’s best airports. Haneda also offers convenient transport links to downtown Tokyo.

3. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

Location: Singapore

In terms of overall consumer experience, you can’t beat Singapore’s Changi Airport which is why it has reined the world’s best for so long. When it comes to the airport’s crown jewel, you can’t look past the Jewel; the airport’s vibrantly green shopping and entertainment hub. Featuring the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at an incredible 40 metres in height, a canopy bridge, mazes and a range of international and local retailers, Changi Airport is an attraction in its own right.

Here’s the full list of the top 10 in the “World’s Best Airport” category:

1. Hamad International Airport (HIA)

2. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

3. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

4. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

5. Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

6. Munich Airport (MUC)

7. Zurich Airport (ZRH)

8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

9. Kansai International Airport (KIX)

10. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Munich Airport (MUC)

Location: Munich, Germany

It might not be in the top three but it certainly is impressive. Boasting more than 150 retail stores and 50 food outlets, Munich Airport is another airport you wouldn’t mind having to wait in. Offering a brewery and beer garden, Munich Airport celebrates German culture and offers travellers a wide undercover space to relax and unwind between or before flights, which is why it took out sixth place in the Skytrax awards this year.

Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Location: Osaka, Japan

In terms of price, Kansai International Airport in Japan’s Greater Osaka area takes the cake. As of 2008, the airport cost more than A$27 billion to build which was largely spent on building an artificial island that could withstand the high risk of typhoons and earthquakes. In the recent World Airport Awards, Kansai International Airport took ninth place for providing one of the largest networks for international and domestic routes with 24-hour operations.

Daxing International Airport (PKX)

Location: Beijing, China

Covering an unfathomable one million square metres, Beijing’s Daxing International Airport is the world’s largest and most expensive airport, and in due course will be the busiest in the world. Costing A$25 billion to construct, the airport was officially opened in September 2019 and was built in under five years. Offering automated facial recognition self-check-in, urban rail lines and 5G internet connection throughout Daxing International is one of the most high-tech airports in the world.

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