Booking flights this summer? Treat yourself on your travels with a stop at one of these luxury airports, thanks to our original research…
If you’ve spent the last two years or so dreaming of far-flung places, the good news is that international travel is back on the agenda, and summer vacations are a go once more. With overseas travel heavily restricted for the past 24 months, then now’s the time to truly do it style. We’re big believers in making sure every aspect of your vacation is as on point and opulent as it needs to be – including the airports you’re landing at.
To make sure that happens, we’ve searched far and wide for the airports across the globe that give travelers the chance to splash out this summer. Need some inspiration? Check out the results of our research below…
Identifying the world’s most luxurious airports: What we did
To discover which airports from around the globe were the most extravagant, we collated and then narrowed down approximately 100 top global airports. We then pin-pointed certain attributes each airport featured, which allowed us to assign each with a final score.
These attributes were as follows…
- Star rating: From our list of airports, we looked at Skytrax’s star ratings that each airport had been assigned.
- No. of luxury brands sold: Using each airport’s website, we tallied the number of luxury brands, as opposed to stores, that were stocked there. We also discounted brands that were common across the US.
- No. of table service restaurants: Next, we looked for restaurants in which food is brought to patrons. Fast-food outlets, coffee chains, and bars that didn’t sell food were discounted, as well as anywhere customers had to queue at a counter and then collect their food.
- No. of lounges: We then counted the number of areas that travelers could relax in while waiting for flights.
- Cleanliness rating: Using Skytrax once again, we noted the cleanliness of public areas across each airport.
- Google review score: Finally, we threw each airport into Google to identify the star rating as shown in their Google reviews.
Using these data points gave us a final score which we assigned to each airport, so we could identify the world’s most luxurious transport hubs.
The World’s Top 10 Luxury Airports
The World’s Worst 10 Luxury Airports
With a total index score of 85/100, Hong Kong International is officially the world’s most luxurious airport. Busy it may be, but Google reviews also note that it’s surprisingly quiet, very clean, and has a welcoming atmosphere. “Possibly my personal favorite airport in the world” said one reviewer, which says it all.
The US boasts two airports in the world’s top 10, with New York JFK and Dallas/Fort Worth both garnering scores of 60/100. The former was even deemed “THE hub for all-around travel, holding a highly distinguished place in my traveling heart”. Not bad at all, especially when you consider that none of our airports feature in the top 10 worst airport list.
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. With a score of just 29/100, the Philippines-based airport is officially the worst luxury offering on our list, and when one review recommends “[avoiding] this airport in the future”, it’s easy to see why.
The World’s Best Airports for Designer Shopping
No one’s got style like Hong Kong. And when its airport rates 20/20 for Designer Shopping, it’s hard to argue with a statement like that. For the fashion-minded passing through, the likes of Balenciaga, Cartier, and Dior are on hand to give their vacation wardrobe a real step up.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Paris CDG took second place. Retaining its place as the fashion capital of the world, it certainly makes sense that Paris’ airport would be stocked with everything from Louis Vuitton to heavy hitters like Rolex and Fendi. Milan Malpensi, Rome Fiumicino, Dubai International, and Singapore Changi are also rated highly for their array of expensive and exclusive designer pieces.
The World’s Best Airports for Exclusive Lounges
Hong Kong once again comes out on top here. Lounges across the airport feature an array of shower facilities, food and drink outlet, TV, internet, and even beauty and massage services – just what you need after a long flight.
Sharing the number one spot, however, is Frankfurt Airport. With “exclusivity, individuality, and discretion as standard”, its lounges feature VIP services, where staff wait hand on foot for guests. And when you’re ready to depart, your very own luxury limousine will drive you directly to your flight!
The World’s Cleanest (and Least Clean) Airports
Rest assured, if you’re traveling to any of the airports in our top ten, you’re sure to be met with cleaner-than-clean facilities. Six of our top ten featured a cleanliness score of 20/20, while the lowest score – courtesy of Japan’s Tokyo Narita International Airport – still racked up an impressive score of 18/20.
The same can’t be said of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. With a score of just 1/20, it’s far and away the dirtiest airport on our list.
The Best Airports for Restaurant Choice
With a restaurant score of 20/20, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the airport to dine in on our list. From Pappadeaux Seafood Bar to the rustic flavors of Maggiano’s Little Italy, travelers can dine on a range of incredible cuisines from around the world – great news for anyone who skipped the in-flight meal.
In fact, the USA’s food offerings accounted for the top five places in our list, with Atlanta, New York, Denver, New Jersey, and Denver representing the States very well indeed.
The Best Airports for Customer Satisfaction
If strong customer service is what you look for in your airport experience, then Asia has got you covered. Four of the top 10, including Singapore, Seoul Incheon, Hong Kong, and Tokyo Haneda, were based in the continent, with Singapore and Seoul Incheon sharing the top spot. Singapore was especially singled out for praise. One reviewer noted: “intentionally sensitive to people’s needs”, while another gushed “[you’d] need a lifetime to explore the options here”.
Unfortunately, no US airports landed in the top 10 for customer satisfaction.
The USA’s Top 10 Luxury Airports
With a total score of 60/100 each, both Dallas/Fort Worth and New York JFK share the top spot for the USA’s top luxury airports. Described as “amazing and iconic”, New York JFK came in for special praise, with customers singling out its retro-inspired design, numerous food options, and plentiful space.
The USA’s Top 5 Luxury Airports for Designer Shopping
Although it wouldn’t touch the likes of Paris CDG, Hong Kong International, or the airports found in Milan and Rome, New York JFK still styled and profiled its way to the US’ top spot for designer shopping. If it’s a fresh wardrobe you’re looking for then the likes of BVLGARI, Cartier, and Kate Spade may be able to help with that.
The USA’s Top 5 Luxury Airports for Exclusive Lounges
Over on the West Coast, Los Angeles International Airport caters to travelers looking for some well-earned rest, scoring 16/20 for its number of airport lounges. Their Premium Lounges offer up plenty of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of its more standard terminal lounges.
With shower and spa facilities on offer, they’re the perfect place to relax and unwind. Meanwhile, at the higher end of things, guests can make use of en-suite bedrooms and a mini cinema, or if you want to get the pulse racing, then why not pump some iron inside their gym area?
The USA’s Top 5 Cleanest Luxury Airports
Los Angeles comes out on top here too, though this time, it’s also sharing first place with Chicago, Denver, and Las Vegas, with all four scoring a more than respectable 15/20.
The USA’s Best Luxury Airports for Restaurant Choice
After its performance on the world stage, it’s no surprise that Dallas/Fort Worth offers the US’ best when it comes to restaurant choice, but overall, the top five generally serve up plenty of variety for guests looking to satisfy their hunger between slights. In particular, Newark’s Abruzzo Italian Steakhouse should satisfy even the most carnivorous of cravings.
Want to find out more about the world’s best luxury airports? Explore the results of our study in full below…
We hope our study into the world’s most luxurious airports inspires your travels in 2022 and beyond. If you’re looking for a safe, reliable, and affordable way to spend money while traveling, trust in Glint. Up to 6x cheaper than banks and with no hidden fees, the Glint Mastercard can be used in more than 150 countries – and all with no overseas ATM costs.
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