No Air Rage Here

ASTA ranks the top layover-friendly airports

By: Jamie Wetherbe

Travel is all too often fraught with inconveniences lost luggage, delayed flights and missed connections to name a few. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) recently ranked the top layover-friendly international airports for travelers with some extra time on their hands with or without kids in tow.

Ranking fifth, the Hong Kong International Airport keeps business travelers occupied with airport-wide, free Wi-Fi service.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport topped the list with perks like a wedding chapel, an array of “snooze” chairs and a casino even the restrooms boast scenery to make you feel that you are in the heart of Amsterdam.

London’s BAA Heathrow Airport, which ranked second, is a shopper’s dream with personal shopping services, as well as the shopping collection service (available only to those traveling within the European Union). Tied for third were Frankfurt and Singapore’s airports. Travelers who find themselves delayed at Singapore’s Changi Airport can take in a movie, play Xbox or head for the nap lounge, while those at Frankfurt Airport can take advantage of the on-site hairdresser, tailor or dry cleaners.

Ranking fourth, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport offers stranded travelers a chance to track down and meet Merhan Karimi Nasseri, the man upon which the movie “The Terminal” was based.

Another recent ASTA survey ranked the top international family-friendly airports. London’s BAA Heathrow Airport topped the list, offering rooms for feeding and changing infants, as well as a variety of age-appropriate play areas. For older children, there’s a flight simulator game and arcade stations scattered throughout the airport. Younger children can enjoy the free coloring books and crayons that are dispensed at the information desks.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport came in second not surprising given the airport’s designated play areas featuring slides, wagons and Legos. Older children can test their memory with educational computer games or kick back with a little Nintendo. Frankfurt with its multiple play areas came in third. London’s Gatwick Airport was ranked fourth. Like its neighbor, Heathrow, Gatwick offers several play areas and video arcades scattered throughout the terminals. In fifth place was Singapore’s Changi Airport, where a Family Zone includes nursing rooms, diaper-changing stations and a washing area, as well as a playpen for toddlers and a corner where parents and children can watch cartoons.

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