Asia's best airport: toilets or swimming pools?

The Skytrax survey asked 10 million people their opinions and came up with Singapore. We asked 200-plus and came up with Hong Kong. Take your pick.
Singapore's Changi airport
Singapore's Changi airport

In our web poll last week, we asked readers to tell us what they thought of Lonely Planet’s list of the best airports in the world, which put the top three right here in Asia. The list, which is actually based on the Skytrax world airport awards, this year ranks Singapore Changi first, Hong Kong second and Seoul Incheon third.

Asian travellers are spoiled, it seems. When not enjoying the use of the world’s best three airports, they have to slum it in places such as Kuala Lumpur, which is merely fifth-best; Beijing, a lowly eighth-best in the world; and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, which barely makes it onto our radar down at 10th.

The 9.8 million people who answered the Skytrax survey liked Changi and Incheon for different reasons. In Singapore, they appreciated the airport’s comfort, ranking it in the top three for leisure amenities, shopping and dining; while in Seoul, they liked that the airport works smoothly and singled it out for its security processing, international transit and cleanliness. In Hong Kong, they liked the toilets and the restaurants. The Hong Kong tourism slogan, “shopping and eating”, almost hits the nail on the head.

However, the 200-odd people who answered our survey disagreed with the Skytrax hoard, favouring Hong Kong over Singapore by a slim margin. Evidently, our readers are the types of people who focus on toilets. (Einstein shared this enthusiasm and is rumoured to have christened his toilet The Philosopher’s Throne.)

In truth, as all smokers know, Singapore is the world’s best airport. Hong Kong can keep its climate-controlled toilets and identikit restaurants — Singapore has a poolside bar. What other amenities does an airport need?

Photo provided by AFP.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.