Lonely Planet Writer

The best airports for layovers around the world have been revealed

A comfortable and easy to navigate airport with the right selection of services can make all the difference when it comes to travelling, especially for passengers experiencing lengthy layovers. With that in mind, the Airports Council International World has revealed the most highly rated airports around the world from 2017 as voted by passengers, revealing the top picks for a stress-free journey.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
India’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport won the top spot in airports servicing over 40 million passengers per year. Image by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport

Outlining the best customer experiences at selected airports around the world, the Airport Service Quality Awards 2017 saw over sixteen airports being recognised as first-time winners, showing an increasingly competitive industry aimed at satisfying busy travellers. First-time winners that were recognised included Rome Fiumicino, Newcastle, Athens, Zagreb, Bandung, Indore, Ahmedabad, Mohammed V, George, Toronto Person, San Jose, Cleveland, Los Cabos, Belo Horizonte and Medina.

Abu Dhabi International Airport proved the most popular choice with passengers in the Middle East. Image by H G / CC BY 2.0

When it came to size, Dehli’s Indira Gandhi International Airport tied with Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for the top spot for airports serving over 40 million passengers per year, while China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport was recognised as the best airport serving 15 – 25 million passengers per year.

Indianapolis Airport
Indianapolis International Airport tied with Jacksonville International Airport as the top choice in North America. Image by Rain0975 / CC BY 2.0

“Every year, airports place more emphasis on providing a better customer experience. Customers expect a smoother and more enjoyable journey through airports, including the functional aspects of this interaction, such as security screening. We’ve seen this particularly in smaller airports that are emerging as gateway airports where expanding routes and more travellers, both for business and tourism, are coming through their doors,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens told Lonely Planet Travel News.

In North America, Indianapolis International Airport tied with Jacksonville International Airport as the top choice, while Abu Dhabi International Airport proved the most popular choice with passengers in the Middle East. Russia’s Sochi International Airport was voted number one in Europe, while Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco took the title for Africa.