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When it comes to the best airports, the US is the land of flyovers

Travelers looking to fly out of a modern, attractive airport with efficient security, delicious restaurants and top-notch shopping should bypass the U.S.

According to aviation ranking website Skytrax, only one U.S. airport is in the world’s top 20 — Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington state, at No. 18. The rest of the continent is not so hot either. Only one other North American hub makes the grade, Canada’s Vancouver International Airport, at No. 20.

To fly in style, you’ll need to head to Europe and Asia, which have nine and eight of the best airports respectively, with Australia’s Melbourne Airport also making the cut (No. 19).

Singapore’s Changi Airport topped the list, according to Skytrax, which ranked more than 550 airports based on a customer satisfaction survey that assessed things including their terminal layout, security procedures, seating, transportation options, dining and shopping.

Singapore’s largest airport has often dominated lists of the world’s best airports despite slipping in the rankings during the coronavirus pandemic. It has many shopping outlets and lush indoor gardens.

Changi Airport, Terminal 3, Singapore

A look at some of the striking modern architecture at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which aviation rating website Skytrax recently ranked as the world’s best airport.

Getty Images

Ferrari and Fish Pond Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi Airport has a fernery, orchid garden and fish pond

Andrew Woodley/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty

Other highly-localized airports in Asia include Doha’s Hamad International Airport, which ranks second on Skytrax’s list, and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (No. 3). The top airports in Europe include Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (No. 5) and Munich International Airport (No. 7).

U.S. airports, most of which are publicly owned and operated by state or local governments or quasi-public entities such as airport or port authorities, have suffered from the nation’s spotty investment in infrastructure, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

By comparison, 41% of European airports have private shareholders, according to Airports Council International, an organization that oversees international airport standards and industry practices.

The Transport Department has launched the Family Seating Dashboard for air travel


If US airports get no respect, at least one flight hub counts as prior The worst airport in the country Now distinguishing itself: New York’s LaGuardia Airport. SkyTrax cited the facility’s Terminal B, which opened last year, as the best new terminal in the world. According to the Port Authority, the project is the result of a multi-billion dollar public-private partnership.

Here are the top 20 airports in the world ranked by Skytrax:

Singapore Changi Airport Hamad International Airport Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) Incheon International Airport Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Istanbul Airport Munich Airport Zurich Airport Narita International Airport Madrid-Barajas Airport Vienna International Airport Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Rome Fiumicino International Airport-Comai International Airport Singapore International Airport Korbun International Airport Singapore International Airport

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