Ah, yes. Airports. Those wonderful places where we sit and wait...and wait...and wait. I got to wondering how many airports I've been in and out of, and started counting them up. Came up with the amazing number of 192 (including a couple that don't exist any more and one still called an 'Aerodrome') and thought I would share these places and some memories of them.
Without a doubt, the most impressive, well run, and comfortable airport is Changi Airport in Singapore. It's consistently rated as the 'World's Best' by various sources, with good reason. It serves over 100 airlines flying to 80 countries, and is the home base of Singapore Airlines (also consistently rated as the 'World's Best). Some 55.5 million passengers passed through the three terminals in 2015. In addition to the usual up-scale shopping venues, the airport boasts waterfalls, swimming pools, and a Nature Trail with five themed gardens, including a Butterfly and an Orchid Garden. There are fishponds with koi, an Origami Museum, just about any food one could want, and a nice transit hotel. And they are introducing self-boarding gates. Other airports I've liked are Istanbul Ataturk (with an incredible business class lounge), Johannesburg O. R. Tambo (great shopping), and Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok. On the other end of the scale, I will avoid at all costs the airports in Frankfurt, Germany, and Philadelphia, U.S.A, and any Russian airport.
I've been lucky in traveling and none of my luggage has ever vanished...though on several occasions, my checked bag went traveling on its own before catching up with me. I've rarely missed a connection and have never had to spend a night curled up on the floor of an airport. Also have never had a really bad experience in flight; but, there have been two landings when I thought I was going to die: on Garuda Airlines at the Denpasar, Bali, airport, and on Air India at Khajuraho, but we obviously made it. I've flown on just about every type of commercial airliner and am still waiting to experience the Airbus 380 double-decker. Airlines? Well, that's another story; my favorite for the past few years has been Turkish Airlines: very good on-time service from Chicago and Washington DC, comfortable seats, really good food, and that incredible lounge in Istanbul.
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