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Sdmccray1984
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What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:47 pm

We grade airports by so many parameters; some are measured by the number of convenient connections available (ATL, DFW, IST, etc.) while others are measured by the magnificence of available amenities (ICN, PKX, DXB, etc). Still other airports are measured by the engineering feats involved in their construction (KIX) or their enormous number of destinations (FRA, DEN, ORD, etc). So which airports, in your opinion, would rank as the overall greatest by the most metrics? Thanks guys!
 
stlgph
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 2:55 pm

To me it's always been O'Hare. The smells, the feels, the insanity, the flags, the Christmas decorations, the hot dogs, the availability of beer. You name it.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:27 pm

SIN, next question
 
maps4ltd
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:23 pm

DFW. Come at me.
 
e38
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:27 pm

JFK
 
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eurotrader85
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:48 pm

DXB. Eeking out as much traffic as it does from two runways is impressive.
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:53 pm

SIN and ICN hit on almost every metric described above. I have not been to DXB but always excited to land at SIN and ICN as an amazing experience. In the US of major airports, some bias here as living in DEN, but number of connections, overall layout and the architecture of the main terminal probably set it apart some, although kind of a mess at the moment with great hall remodel and something needs to be done with the trains. Also do love DTW for easy to use layout and a great experience as well as large number of connections.
 
Fuling
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:09 am

MUC
 
815253
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:21 am

BGY
Nice how this airport made it to the most-served FR destination in continental Europe.
Still the airport is small enough to not have to walk for a long time after the security check.
The security check itself is directly at the entrance of BGY.
I also like how the airport refinances itself with Fast Track, the shopping walk after the security check and a lot of other shops inside.
Self-Hubbing is supported by BGY.
FR offers protected one-stop connections via BGY.
And the airport works together with kiwi.com for self-transfers.
The frequency of the 5€ buses to the Milan center is also nice.
The airport is in the Schengen area. So for all international Schengen flights, there is no queueing for showing the ID or passport.
 
TheEuphorian
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:13 am

SIN, especially T1.

Despite being from the 1980s, it still looks new back when I visited it in 2018 due to how well maintained it is, not to mention the efficient design of the terminal too.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:57 am

Per polls of international flyers SIN, ICN, and AMS always seem to come out on top.
 
Max Q
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:35 am

Nothing beat Kai Tak for excitement, exotic ness and aviation at its best
 
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Garuda200
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:45 am

Bangkok Suvharnabhumi Airport

its mix of a white terminal and the Thai heritage inside make me feel like in some place of grand and royalty
2nd i have to say is SIN
 
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rjsampson
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:34 am

Biased, but KSAN. At least when passing through Terminal 2 (renovations to T1 are coming!)

Busiest single-runway airport in the world (Sorry, LGW doesn't count in my mind)... incredibly efficient, handles massive amounts of traffic for its size (and of course the approach to 27 is amazing).

As soon as you enter the airport for your flight, you're likely at your gate within 10-15 minutes (often less).

Finally, when exiting the airport: More often than not, you step into incredible weather year-round, with an absolutely gorgeous view of the harbor, marinas, boats, and downtown.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:32 am

I've heard Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are great airports, no personal experience though. Seoul Incheon also seems to be good, those Asians sure know what a great airport looks like.

Here in Europe I think Amsterdam ranks very high, very convenient and a great view over the airport from the panorama terrace. Zurich and Munich are also said to be great airports. From my personal experience I can also add Copenhagen to that list, a very convenient airport that is easy to navigate.

I wouldn't put any American airport in the list of greatest airports, compared to Asian and European airports they just suck.
 
blandy62
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:45 am

SIN for sure. I like NRT too
 
blandy62
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:46 am

SIN for sure. I like NRT too
 
dstc47
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:51 am

SIN is a win.

All the facilities you need and a lot more. Fast and well kept. Only downside is the indirect metro link to downtown.
 
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vhqpa
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:57 am

Of what I have experienced SIN hands down. I love the architecture and the fact there are plenty of dining and shopping options without being in your face like duty free at most other airports.

In Europe AMS is probably the best I've experienced very efficient design. I like the architecture of OSL and CDG, although in the case of CDG it's not the most practical design. I've heard MUC is also very good but I haven't actually used it. LHR is impressive In the respect that they manage as much traffic as they do with just two runways.

For Australia easily BNE for International and a toss up between SYD T3 and ADL for domestic.
 
CPHS
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:27 am

KUL is a great airport to find a place to sleep in the middle of the night.
SVO is interesting for watching people from all corners of Russia.
LHR is enormous and some times chaotic. But there's always a good vibe.
AMS good for beer drinking. MUC and CPH for the same...
 
VMCA787
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:00 am

From a pilot’s perspective, SIN is the winner. It’s a no-brainer.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:17 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
Per polls of international flyers SIN, ICN, and AMS always seem to come out on top.


ICN

But have never SINned or Amsterdamed so need to.
 
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BubbleFrog
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:38 pm

EDI before they ruined it.
 
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lugie
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:13 pm

I think I have to agree with ORD. Or ATL.

My visits were in 2019 and I just loved the incredible atmosphere there - the terminals busy with people and constant activity outside of the window - planes pushing back within minutes of each other, landing lights of incoming flights like shiny pearls on a chain and just so. much. action.
All around.

No other airport I've been at so far has given me that.
 
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conaly
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:53 pm

HND. Perfect, in every aspect for me. Great facilities, easy to navigate despite the size, very friendly and helpful staff, flawless organization, a lot of destinations (domestic and international) and the public transportation to the city of Tokyo is also very good. And some really really nice restaurants (ok, I may be a bit biased, I love Japan and Japanese food).

SIN and KUL are great, too, but may be a bit overrated. There is nothing bad about them, but they may be a little bit too much show-off with stuff, that really is not necessary, but looks or feels good.

In Europe I'd say MUC, ZRH and AMS with MUC being the number 1.
 
hoons90
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:07 am

MUC - Incredibly efficient and clean, ticks most of the boxes. Only downside is that it's a bit far from Munich, but that's the case for most new greenfield airports.
SIN - Amenities that you wouldn't think an airport would have.
ICN - Despite being over 20 years old (at least T1), still looks as clean and new as the day it opened. Downsides are that it's far from Seoul, plus the lounges aren't exactly award winning.
HKG - Similar To ICN, couldn't tell that the terminal is 23 years old. Bright and airy with plenty of natural lighting. Fantastic lounges, especially CX's The Pier, The Bridge as well as the QF lounge.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:38 am

Not really a lounge guy so my ratings are based on atmospherics - what surrounds the airport, how's the vibe, is it clean, are staff friendly, etc. By region, I have to go with:

NA: Could not decide, so I went with YVR. Great combination of atmosphere and scenic arrivals/departures. The facilities are great as are the cultural touches in the int'l terminal. As a Bay Area kid, SFO is a sentimental favorite, being more hemmed in by terrain than any major airport in NA and the views to the east on departure off the 28s can't be beat. But SEA, PDX, SLC, PHX, LAX, BOS, DCA, ANC etc all have their charms, so again, really tough.

Europe - MUC: The design is just incredible - high points on wow factor. The open spaces are impressive and the views of the countryside on departure are just lovely. ZRH a noteworthy runner-up.

Asia - Tie to ICN/SIN: while HKG, KUL, HND, several Chinese airports are impressive in their own right, the planning and execution at ICN and SIN are second to none. Excellent facilities and the views of the harbor coming into either are always impressive.

Oceania - PPT: While AKL, SYD, MEL etc all have great qualities, there is just nothing quite like the atmosphere at PPT. The mountains, the amazing arrival/departure views, the balmy breezes, it's just a one of a kind place.

Mideast: DOH: The facilities and views are beautiful, the layout is impressively efficient like SIN, and there's little of the chaotic feeling at DXB or TLV.

Africa: CPT: The World Cup enhancements have held up well over time, and the atmosphere feels secure unlike JNB. The panoramic views of the Boland and Riviersonderend mountains from the int'l terminal are just stunning.

SA: I have not been to South America yet and feel unqualified to opine.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:45 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
SA: I have not been to South America yet and feel unqualified to opine.

Don't worrry. None worth mentioning here.
 
Flanker7
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:54 am

Schiphol, one of the pioneers to put everything in a one terminal concept.
 
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Tabito
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:55 am

SIN & AMS:Love to spend time in terminals.
HND & ITM renovated terminal : Convenient facilities for observation decks.
 
T54A
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:30 am

LHR. Holding over Biggin with the sun rising over the Thames River Estuary. Effortless controlling into one of the worlds busiest airports
 
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MrHMSH
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:15 pm

SIN, for sure. Passing through there is a dream in terms of efficiency, design, vibe and facilities.

LHR and LAX have the best variety for spotting though! At least of airports I've been to.
 
Jutlander
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:16 pm

T54A wrote:
LHR. Holding over Biggin with the sun rising over the Thames River Estuary. Effortless controlling into one of the worlds busiest airports


Are you crazy? LHR is literally one of the worst airports I've ever been to, I tend to avoid it if I can.

Busier is not always better, certainly LHR is just too big. Smaller airports are better due to their compact size and not too many terminals, I think CPH is the right size for an airport. Out of the busier airports I prefer AMS over LHR any day, it's got everything under one roof. No complicated switching terminals that might not be connected.

LHR and CDG are the worst airports in Europe, AMS and MUC are among the best.
 
citationjet
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Tue Aug 10, 2021 2:27 am

Having visited 70 countries, I would say Singapore.
 
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stl07
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Tue Aug 10, 2021 4:47 am

MrHMSH wrote:
SIN, for sure. Passing through there is a dream in terms of efficiency, design, vibe and facilities.

LHR and LAX have the best variety for spotting though! At least of airports I've been to.

Having lived near LAX, it was always fun to see wide bodies from obscure pacific islands touch down, especially when you used to live in STL and all you ever saw was aa and wn 737s with the most unusual plane being F9 or maybe air canada/volaris
 
flipdewaf
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:10 am

For me, its LHR and its only because of the sense of adventure...

I live in the north of the UK and can basically get to anywhere in Europe from relatively near by, if I have to go to LHR (normally connecting from LBA) then it means I am going a long way to somewhere exciting. Whilst AMS is a nice place to be I only ever spend time there on the way back from somewhere and so I'm always tired. I quite like ATL because of the buzz of things happening and being on the same level (always seem above the action in LHR).

Fred
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:43 pm

maps4ltd wrote:
DFW. Come at me.

IAH. You've been come at.
 
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Geminijets101
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:08 pm

LaGuardia
 
graceintheair
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:34 pm

I've always loved HNL with its outdoor walkways and gardens.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:00 pm

The old Davey terminal at DTW was the biggest dump I've been to. The newer terminal is beautiful. Parts of LAX are a dump.

In the US I would say DEN is the nicest.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:07 pm

graceintheair wrote:
I've always loved HNL with its outdoor walkways and gardens.


Plus Honolulu is such a cool destination.
 
graceintheair
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:03 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
The old Davey terminal at DTW was the biggest dump I've been to. The newer terminal is beautiful. Parts of LAX are a dump.

In the US I would say DEN is the nicest.


Yes it's hard to beat the efficiency of DEN and ATL. All hub airports should use that design.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:42 pm

bfitzflyer wrote:
Also do love DTW for easy to use layout and a great experience as well as large number of connections.


Once you are actually in the building, DTW's Midfield Terminal (I refuse to eponymize it) is IMHO the single best terminal in the entire US. It provides excellent options for moving quickly within the building, even when it is necessary to get all the way from one end to the other or even over to the regional gates. The layout is simple and yet functional. The services within the terminal are top-notch (or at least they were last time I was there, was on Thanksgiving Day 2019).

My complaints are about the services around the airport. At the very least, they did manage to consolidate the major car rental centers. There isn't a convenient way to move between the North and Midfield terminals (but fortunately, you'd rarely need to). And, of course, SE Michigan has minimal public transport and what little there is takes the form of buses with pretty low frequencies.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:06 am

maps4ltd wrote:
DFW. Come at me.


:bigthumbsup:

Massive hub, central US location, simple 5 horse-shoe design, relatively modern, quick airside rail-link, quick car to the gate access, what's not to like about it? It's Texas's airport!
 
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BoeingERJ1000
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Fri Aug 27, 2021 9:41 am

I can't decide, so I'll post by continent
Europe: MAD T4 or LHR T5. Both are modern and I really like the architecture. While they can get cramped, there are still some really spacious areas. Both also have great views on approach. I'm surprised no one's mentioned those yet. I've also been to MUC, BRU, FRA, BCN, and CPH but that was years ago and I hardly remember.
North America: Unpopular opinion but MIA or CLT. Very nice terminals and atmosphere. Both have fantastic views on approach, and I love seeing all the widebodies there. While there's darker, smaller areas (MIA baggage claim, CLT concourses B & C), there's also more spacious areas (most of MIA, especially the American Airlines gates; CLT Food Court and Concourses A & D. I'd say E is good, too). Runner-ups: FLL, IAH, DFW (especially Concourse D), ORD, DEN, ATL (these last 3 are very modern and busy), SFO (T2 is great. Also love the sheer number of UA 777's/757's/787's), LAS, BOS, MSY (New terminal), and even EYW (Love how it's open and you always board by airstair). I also like BTR because it's where I live and it's convenient.
South America: Never been here, so I can't say.
Africa: Same here. Definitely not Port Harcourt (PHC) though.
Australia: I've never been here either, but SYD or AKL look pretty good.
Asia: Again, never been here, but it seems like they have the best airport. I'd say SIN. DXB and AUH are good runner-ups, and I like the style of architecture in Southeast Asian airports. Asia probably has the best airports.
 
MLIAA
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:17 pm

stlgph wrote:
To me it's always been O'Hare. The smells, the feels, the insanity, the flags, the Christmas decorations, the hot dogs, the availability of beer. You name it.


ORD is like the Wrigley Field of airports (STL fan here). It’s ancient, it’s not the cleanest, the nicest, or the newest. But it just has a ton of charm, and that’s why it’s my favorite.

Also, I’ve never been walking through ORD and smelled sewage like I have in DFW frequently.
 
EricAY05
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Re: What is the greatest airport in the world?

Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:20 pm

Jutlander wrote:
T54A wrote:
LHR. Holding over Biggin with the sun rising over the Thames River Estuary. Effortless controlling into one of the worlds busiest airports


Are you crazy? LHR is literally one of the worst airports I've ever been to, I tend to avoid it if I can.

Busier is not always better, certainly LHR is just too big. Smaller airports are better due to their compact size and not too many terminals, I think CPH is the right size for an airport. Out of the busier airports I prefer AMS over LHR any day, it's got everything under one roof. No complicated switching terminals that might not be connected.

LHR and CDG are the worst airports in Europe, AMS and MUC are among the best.


Well, people tend to base their opinions on various factors. For me LHR is among the favorites. I have tons of great memories from there. One of the most important non-sentimental reasons is that shopping there actually saves money, as opposed to overpaying in most airports in the world. I love to take grab a light healthy meal for the flight from Pret A Manger and there's plenty of other reasonably priced snacks and drinks available. All the lounges that I've visited have been decent, but none have been great, not even the First lounges of OW airlines. The only things I dislike about LHR are the satellite terminals at T5 (takes forever to get to them) and connecting to other terminals. The security checks are also extremely unpleasant and time-consuming even with airlines status/business class.

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