Airports play a crucial role in our travels and are often our first and last impression of a destination. A good airport can make a long layover or a delay feel less painful, while a bad airport can turn a journey into a nightmare.
With so many airports worldwide, it can be challenging to know which terminals are worth a visit and which ones to avoid. “In your opinion,” someone on Reddit asked, “What are the best AND worst airport terminals?” Here are the answers with the most votes.
The Best Airports
These were voted the top 5 airports in the world.
Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
This terminal is renowned for its cutting-edge technology, making the process of flying a breeze. The terminal features self-check-in kiosks, automated baggage handling systems, and an advanced security screening system.
The terminal’s design is also stunning, with ample natural light, lush greenery, and beautiful water features. There are plenty of shopping and dining options, including luxury boutiques, local food stalls, and world-class restaurants.
Haneda International Airport (HND)
One user said, “Layout is easy, it’s spacious, and the ramen is soooo good. There are these cool spots to leave your bags, shower, and take a nap if you have long layovers for like $5.” This terminal is known for its spacious and well-designed areas, with comfortable seating and plenty of shopping and dining options.
The terminal is also famous for its efficient operations, making it a favorite among travelers. There is a wide range of shops, restaurants, lounges, and other amenities. The terminal is designed with large windows that provide natural light and views of the surrounding cityscape.
Copenhagen International Airport (CPH)
Another user said, “I really liked that one, very nice atmosphere new IST: it’s nice architecture and design, the main hall is huge and nice, but a lot of walking when transferring I actually like the terminals 2F and 2G in CDG, but apart from that the airport isn’t that nice for passengers. I also kind of like the new BER airport, and my home airport HAM has to be on that list.”
Incheon International Airport (ICN)
This airport is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world, offering top-notch facilities and a smooth, stress-free travel experience.
There are plenty of shopping and dining options, lounges, a golf course, and even a traditional Korean spa. The terminal is well-organized, with clear signage, efficient operations, and plenty of seating areas.
Munich International Airport (MUC)
This terminal is known for its bright, airy design and modern facilities. The terminal features plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as spacious seating areas, making it a comfortable place to wait for a flight.
There are several lounges, including a VIP lounge with private cabins and shower facilities. The terminal is designed with large windows that provide natural light, and plenty of plants and other greenery throughout the space.
These were voted the 5 worst airports in the world.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
One user said, “LAX is horrible. Designed for automobile traffic and nothing else, always totally congested, impossible to get from one concourse to another for connecting flights, waiting forever for parking/rental car/hotel shuttles, and no good connections to public transportation.
The one positive (in my experience) is that customs and border control seem a bit more pleasant than in many other ports of entry.”
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Another user said Boston Terminal E has almost no seating, a criminally small security checkpoint, and what I (not so affectionately) call the Chaos Corner, where they put four gates about 10ft apart in a single corner with no seating and no line management, and typically have 3 or all 4 of them boarding double aisle jets at the same time. Never seen mice there but always groan when I realize I’m at one of the Chaos gates.
London Heathrow International Airport (LHR)
Another user said, “I hate Heathrow with a passion – almost every staff interaction is insufferable there. I once asked a security person who was just having a chat for 10min in an extremely polite way if she could search my bag, which was next in line as I was going to miss my flight (through no fault of my own, just classic Heathrow transfer bull s**t) she looked at me with attitude and asked me to GO BEHIND THE SECURITY TABLE AND BRING HER MY BAG. She made me carry it to her table and unzip it to barely look at it and watch me struggle to get it zipped so I could go to the gate. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal & a breach of security.”
London Stansted Airport (STN)
Another said, “Why is no one talking about Stansted? It’s the absolute worst from start to finish. The transport to the airport there is often striking, or there are some cuts because of the tracks being repaired. Then god forbid you’re not there 6 hours in advance because there is like ONE person checking every single train ticket by hand before letting you in the terminal (which is absolutely ridiculous) and then security.
Don’t even get me started. After all of this, it’ll take you a lifetime to go to your gate. Never again, not worth the cheap Ryanair tickets.”
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Another user said, “Cleveland, absolutely, hands down. First of all, there is no good reason for them to have an off-site rental car facility for an airport that size, and especially no good reason for it to be a 20-minute bus ride away.
One of the security checkpoints requires standing in an unventilated, 4ft wide concrete corridor in line for like 20 minutes, with no way of knowing how long the line is.
Once, I showed up for a 6 AM flight, and they only opened Pre-Check at 5:30 and then (I think because the airline itself complained) opened the one for the rest of us peons at 5:40. And it wasn’t big enough to have any good food or drink either.
Old La Guardia, Orlando MCO, EWR, Boston Terminal E, and Midway are my runners-up for being terrible as well.”
The Best and Worst Airports in the World
Do you agree with our list of best and worst airport terminals? Why or why not? What do you think makes a good airport terminal? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Impulse Traveler.