FLYING HIGH. With holiday travel season just around the corner, we’re celebrating the beauty of the layover—if you’re lucky enough to be flying through one of these cushy terminals that is. Check out our roundup of the top airport amenities located stateside and beyond:
Jam. Austin isn’t known as the nation’s “Live Musical Capital” for nothin’: even the airport (Austin-Bergstrom International) clocks in as one of the city’s countless music venues, offering live entertainment smack in the middle of the main concourse. JetBlue’s outpost at NYC’s John F. Kennedy Airport launched a live music showcase of its own, “Live at T5”, and even hosted a musical festival as part of the city’s famed CMJ Music Marathon.
Swim. At Singapore’s Changi Airport (pictured above), a nominal fee of $14 will get you access to a rooftop pool, a shower and a free soft drink. Up the relaxation factor at the in-house Nature Trail, where you can wander between koi ponds, cactus, fern and orchid gardens, as well as the world’s first-ever airport butterfly garden.
Stretch. Earlier this year, San Francisco made headlines (and according to many, fulfilled clichés) by opening its Terminal 2 Yoga Room, which includes a dimly-lit “Zen Room” that’s free to ticketed passengers.
Swing. One for golf lovers, Seoul’s Incheon International Airport has its very own “Golf Town” in the middle of ICN’s the International Business Center. The year-old complex comes complete with a 330-yard driving range and swing analysis room.
See. In a city known for its art, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport was the first airport to have an in-house museum—the Rijkmuseum, which houses celebrated works from the likes of Vermeer and Rembrandt. Denver International Airport takes a more contemporary approach to the art scene, with rotating exhibitions of murals, photography and craft-centric mediums.
Shop. While the international terminal is no stranger to retail therapy, London’s Heathrow Airport takes it to a whole different level. Terminals one, three, four and five are all home to special Harrods outlets — London’s venerable 178-year-old store and destination for Brit-themed souvenirs.
Spin. If you didn’t satisfy your gambling fix over the course of a Vegas weekend get-away, fear not: McCarran International Airport lets you test your luck at the slots all the way to the gate.
Eat. Airport food isn’t all stale sandwiches and bags of Doritos. NYC’s LaGuardia has an outpost of the city’s beloved, calorically sinful Artichoke Pizza, while Los Angeles International Airport caters to the city’s health fiends. Chef Alan Jackson serves fresh, local fare (citrus poached salmon, blueberry chipotle salads and more) at Lemonade in T5 — the terminal that will soon welcome Farmer’s Market favorites Loteria Grill and Bennett’s Ice Cream to the concourse.
—Charlotte Steinway, Editorial Producer