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Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 3:37 pm

What are some of your favourite airports? Before you reply, think about some of the ground rules: You're not allowed to list it just because it's your home airport. There's got to be something about the hub that makes you look forward to going there: here are some of mine:

SYD: I live in MELB, so this is not my base airport. Syd is great because it is an amazing place for plane spotting...the vista's from many places looking out into botany bay and the city on the other side are just spectacular. The Qantas domestic terminal is new and very swish with a huge Qantas club lounge, overlooking the main N/S runway where you can sip a beer and watch planes come in. Gripes are the delays which are not uncommon, especially with bad weather and the slots are very congested...most of the QF domestic flights are a little bit late and qantas has to factor this in with their timetables.

LHR: To be honest, the facilities at Heathrow are appaling..the buildings are downright ugly and it is a very VERY congested airport, but i seriously think the variety and range of HUGE long-haul aircraft seen at LHR is second to none. Whenever you land at Heathrow-just looking out at the SEA of plane tails....spectacular. No other airport on earth has as many 747s and large airbuses at any one time. Just amazing. Checking in at T4 though: Pain in the bloody ass! Bedlam

SIN: Always have a soft spot for Changi-it's so very singapore-clean, efficient, well planned (years of kiasuism!) and runs like clockwork. T1 is looking a bit dated (horrible..HORRIBLE carpet-looks like vomit!) and i'm not sure if QF/BA will move into T3 when it is completed (my guess is yes, as T3 will serve the new A380 aircraft which y ou can be sure QF will use on it's kangaroo route). Facilities like cinemas, rainforests, swimming pools, the list goes on..just goes to show that the airport's management has really thought about the passenger and made the hub as consumer friendly as possible, rather than just a plane dock. Only downside to changi is the lack of good vantage points to see aircraft...even the gate holding rooms don't have that close-up views of the planes. But otherwise, full marks. Can't wait for T3-the plans look amazing..

CLK/HK: Same as changi (probably less facilities), but newer and more spectacular in terms of architecture. Nevertheless a great airport with heaps of planes to spot-good hub with many MANY major airlines flying there. The ride into the city is one of the most spectacular!

I was going to say LAX because of the plane spotting, but i've decided that it is in such disarray and chaos that I just cannot list it here.

I'm sure there are many others....join in!
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:06 pm

I love SFO. Its modern, spacious, clean, has tonnes of beautiful aircraft and its right on the bay.

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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:12 pm

SIN: I've been using it since forever and I especially like the cleanliness, efficiency, speed, and its facilities. I hate the carpets though, the airline lounges (no windows), and the low ceiling in some areas makes me feel claustrophobic sometimes. While it may not be as swanky as newer airports such as CLK or KLIA, Changi has everything a good airport should have.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:30 pm

CAE - I adore it, not only because it's my home airport, but because of what it's become. CAE used to be dank, dark, and ugly. Now it's spacious, airy, and there's an abundance of light. The fact that the airlines have predominantly RJ service in (the largest passenger aircraft we get are 737s) mean that you have to walk to the aircraft, an experience that I think everyone should have at least once in their lives. Not only that, but with a good bar and Krispy Kreme and barbeque at the food court it's a great place for a delay, especially being able to take a nap in those big rocking chairs throughout the terminal, my favorite being the ones facing the runways.

PIT - Absolutely love the airport here. It's busy without being absurdly crowded (like at LGA), there's WiFi throughout the airport, the Airmall is absolutely amazing (everything from Bath & Body Works to Watch Station at the Core) and there's a great mix of food availabilities. Points for having a Sam Adams, brewpub a Seattle's Best, and a McDonalds next to the gate where I was delayed for three hours during Hurricane Isabel.  Big thumbs up
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:53 pm

NRT- I love Narita simply because of all the widebody planes, almost all international airlines can be spotted there in any given day. I love how clean both T1 & T2 are. Both terminals has excellent observation decks, plus yahoo has a free internet access space. And cheap day use room and showers are located just steps away from gates.

KIX- Kansai is a neat airport because it is made on a man made island, which is now sinking into the ocean. The island is connected by a long bridge, the achitecture is brilliant it reminds me a lot of the New International Terminal at SFO.

SFO- The New International Terminal is stunning. Now that they have airtrain working it is convenient to get around the terminals. Plus from the airtrain platform it makes for good plane spotting since the train runs above the airport terminal.

All three of the airports also have a train that runs from the city to the airport.
NRT- Narita Express, Keisei Line
KIX- Haruka Line
SFO - Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

I know there are other airports that have a train but these three are just to name a few.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:08 pm

My homebase is DUS, but even I could add it to the list, I would not, cuz I don't like this airport much.

So, my favorite airports worldwide (where I have been to) are:


1. AMS: Schiphol airport is very good for spotting. Also it offers very good shopping facilities. For travelers it is easy to connect to other flights and it is homebase of KLM, which is my second favorite airline.

2. ZRH: Very nice scenery around so very good spotting place as well, maybe best spotting place in Europe. For travelers it is very open airport, so very easy to find around.

3. FRA: very good for spotting as it has a very good spotting terrace. For travellers terminal 1 is terrible, terminal 2 is very good and easy to find around.


1. ICN: very new and modern airport. very kind staff and easy to find it's way around.

2. GMP: easy to go there from the city. easy to find it's way around. Before ICN opened it was my favorite spotting place worldwide.


I don't know, as I have never been to Australia or other Pacific places.


1. YVR: very nice scenery around the airport, so very good for taking photos.

2. SFO: airport scenery for spotting is very good. For travellers, easy connections.

3. EZE: Very nice and modern airport.


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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:13 pm

MDW- A great Spotters Airport along Central Ave. with the chain link fence i rode my bike there and "relaxed" for 12 hours straight one hot summers day. Also a really good hot dog stand around the corner  Smile Not to mention the spectacular view of "The Greatest City in the World" Chicago as a backdrop.  Smile

Not to mention the aircraft there are some of my faves. The 757

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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:38 pm

Have heard amazing things about the new SFO (will visit there in Jan), KIX (a purpose built island-how cool is that?!) and ICH. Would love to visit all of them.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:47 pm

Honestly speaking, I think my hometown airport, PDX, is great but I won't list it below:

AMS - I know a lot of people don't like Schiphol due to all the walking one can potentially do there, but I think it's a unique airport. I think it's amusing there's a casino located and man, they have great smoked salmon sandwiches there. The airport, that is, and not the casino.

HKG - This is sort of like a hometown airport for me too. It took me awhile to really appreciate it, but I think that's it's a very convenient airport, both in terms of getting to & from the city and getting around the airport. The airport naturally feels large and spacious, which is nice after being in a metal tube for hours upon hours. Immigration is always quick to get through and it even looks that way for non-Hong Kongers. Also, there's a large variety of shops & restaurants.

SIN - I haven't been there in ages, but I really loved connecting through/going to SIN when I was younger. It's famous for all of it's facilities, such as the swimming pool. I'm sure it's improved since I've been there and it was already fantastic at that time.

YVR - Nice & airy, although added "security" procedures have made it less of a joy to connect there, but that's not YVR's fault. Could do with a wider selection of eating establishments in the airside of the international terminal, but still a nice airport.
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RE: Your Favorite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:42 pm

Kuala Lumpur, of course, wonderful architecture, bright and airy, all airports should be like this

Hong Kong- not bad, not quite as nice as KUL
Seoul - again similar to HKG and KUL

Singapore - low ceilings and 1980's decor, but lots to do and see.

My least favorite are revolting LAX (esp Bradley Terminal) I personally feel it's embarrassing to think this is many peoples first image of the US.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:50 pm

SIN and ICN. Great places and easy to spot at.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:57 pm

AMS: very modern airport and very good viewing facilities. And also very nice and friendly people.

LHR: Already mentioned that it is not very modern and has no "real" viewing places in the airport. But I like the variety of the airlines.

VIE: Because I life there, and I know all spotting places  Big grin
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:01 pm

MIA - because everytime I leave the planes from Europe and enter the terminal I get this special holiday feeling.  Smile The terminal is very colorfull and has a special Florida smell.  Laugh out loud
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RE: Your Favorite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:50 pm

ZRH Very nice place for me from Milan to spot. Very good to reach with train in winter and with car in summer. The terrace is simply wonderful
FRA is for me the best airport to spot here in Europe along with ZRH
LIN has the action very near along runways
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:15 pm

AMS: This is spottersparadise. You can get real close to every single runway.
They even built a McDonald's at one of the 2 official spottingplaces. Excellent viewing terrace at the terminal.

SXM and FNC. Never been there but all the photos on and story's of others makes me very enthusiastic to go there. I will go there!

I`m planning a round the world trip with oneworld for next year. Flying and spotting around the world in a few weeks. SXM and FNC are on my list naturally. I`m also going to YYZ and New York to visit friends. Which NY airport is best to travel to? After that it was my intention to visit a few other US airports between the coasts and travel via LAX and PPT to New Zealand and Australia and then back to Europe. Or maybe I`ll do this vice versa. But thanx to you all I think I`ll travel via SFO and SYD is now on my list. Any other recommendations?
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:27 pm

You must go to SYD, aviationfreak. It is quite simply the most beautiful city in the world-stunning...the harbour will leave you gasping for breath. Seriously. Go.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:50 pm

Surely the airport of my city, Venice Smile

It's a wonderful and very elegant terminal with a beautiful view to the Venice's Lagoon Smile
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:30 pm

Thanx Qantasclub, I`ll do that.

Sorry, forgot to say NCE is very NICE too. When you`re walking out of the terminal you`re welcomed by palm trees. Didn`t expect that in this part of Europe. Spotted landing planes at the south side at the beach. You can also watch departing airplanes while laying at the beach at the north side next to the 'promenade de angles'. The entourage is just very good there. It has been 6 months ago when I was there and I still have to upload the photo`s

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GVA: It`s like you can see the bottom of the lake while on final approach and I like that `concourse island` concept very much.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:36 am

Re: 'promenade de angles'.

I'm going to have to be pedantic here, sorry. It's "Promenade Des Anglais", so called because it was built to allow Victorian English travellers to take their afternoon constitutionals along the sea front, an activity that bemused the locals who much preferred to sit in the shade and drink wine !

I have to agree though NCE is a lovely little airport - it has its drawbacks (eg. serious LACK of long-term parking - can't get a space for love nor money in the summer, and quite expensive - also the cabs are a total ripoff). But the setting is stunning, right by the city with the mountains behind and the sea. When you come into land, you see the kite-boarders out off St Laurent du Var, you swear you're going to catch their kite-thingy and drag them with you down the runway. Plus the approach over Antibes goes right over my house ("I can see my house from here !").

Other faves include
DEN - Nice big concourses, but scenicly uninspiring !
SYD - Coming into land from the North with the Bridge/Opera House on the left
BUQ - It looks like a 1930's railway station, very cute.
PPT - Palm-thatched roof and they give you a frangipani when you arrive
IAD - Those People Movers - coooll !
AMS - Huge but well organised and MAGIC shopping.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:57 am

LOVE AMS and the new DTW. Also like MSP and EWR.
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RE: Your Favourite Airports

Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:48 am


I don't mind. I was not sure anyway when I was writing the reply but was to lazy to check it. Thanx for your explanation. I always wondered why it was named like that. I was cycling up and down the Provence (and yes that is very Dutch). The year before we did AMS-NCE by LCC, NCE-MRS by bicycle and MRS-AMS by LCC. So I can tell you, I found almost everything a total ripp off I had to pay there. (or is that also a very Dutch thing?).

BTW the approach from the north is also a nice one. One moment you`re flying over the alps and suddenly you fly above the Mediterranean sea while you can see Monte Carlo and have a few moments later a beautiful sight on the airport. But I think you know that better then me since you live there.
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