International Airports- Best and Worst.

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dajop

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OK I’ve not been through many airports at all, but in the other airports it’s obviously been considered that I’ve been through the x-ray & passport-check thing when I’ve got on the ‘plane in the first place; when getting off one ‘plane at HKG and onto another, there’s no need to stand in yet another line & rifle through my bag for liquids/passport/laptops/etc.

At every airport in Asia, when transferring between international flights, including HKG, you need to go through security when getting off one plane and onto another.

The difference between SIN (and KUL. CMB, SUB, DAC and maybe a small number of others) and most other airports is that at SIN you get off the plane and are immediately mixing with departing passengers, and only go through security when boarding.* At HKG and most airports arriving and departing passengers are separated and you are channeled through security first before entering departures area. Thee is no simply getting off on one plane and onto another (in Asia anyway). anyway, other than domestic to domestic)

* except about 1 in 4 or 1 in 3 arrivals from secondary SE asia destinations which do often have “special” screening on arrival as well.
 

Archipelago

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OK I’ve not been through many airports at all, but in the other airports it’s obviously been considered that I’ve been through the x-ray & passport-check thing when I’ve got on the ‘plane in the first place; when getting off one ‘plane at HKG and onto another, there’s no need to stand in yet another line & rifle through my bag for liquids/passport/laptops/etc.

I’d have thought it would bother those people with status (unlike me) even more, because there’s no bypassing the long queue of plebs like there usually is for F & J & Statusy passengers at the airport.

If you depart one country and transit another - the security systems will vary. The arriving country airport has every right to make you go through an additional security at their airport which adheres to their requirements.

Can't see what the issue here is. Just need to accept it as a part of international travel.
 

Forg

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At every airport in Asia, when transferring between international flights, including HKG, you need to go through security when getting off one plane and onto another.
Admittedly it was 6 years since I went through HKG; skipped security, they pointed us up a “transit” redirection.
2.5wks ago, through TPE, same deal ... no cavity-searches or disassembly of carry-on getting onto 2nd ‘plane.

You might accept it as a PITA thing you have to do for some airports, but the ones that are more of a PITA are airports that are ... well, more of a PITA. As per this thread.
 

dajop

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Admittedly it was 6 years since I went through HKG; skipped security, they pointed us up a “transit” redirection.
2.5wks ago, through TPE, same deal ... no cavity-searches or disassembly of carry-on getting onto 2nd ‘plane..

Went through TPE 6 weeks ago, and definitely got funneled to a transfer point where I had to go through security and have carry on go through x ray before entering the general departures area of the airport.
 

henleybeach

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Just back from our OS holiday and we went through MEL,SIN,IST,GYD,CPH,JED,KUL,PER

Baku airport was brilliant, clean, brand new and easy to get around.
Istanbul I thought was so overcrowded and dirty.
Singapore is always a favourite just ashame about the low quality lounges there.
I love how quick Perth international is once off the plane. Usually out the front of the terminal in a car 20-25 minutes after arriving
 

Forg

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Went through TPE 6 weeks ago, and definitely got funneled to a transfer point where I had to go through security and have carry on go through x ray before entering the general departures area of the airport.
They just checked our doco, and we were funneled towards the transfer (ex North Haverbrook) monorail to the next terminal.
Going back through there in a couple of days, will take note of surroundings a bit more!
 

Himeno

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Best: SIN, HKG, NRT, HND, ICN, HEL

Nice: KUL, SFO, MEL, DXB, DFW, DOH

Worst: SYD, LHR, JFK, LAX, ORD

Dubai is acceptable if you have lounge access, but otherwise, it can become a pain.
Singapore has many 'extras' that the airport added to keep people happy during long transits (like the pool, cinema, etc), but these areas are poorly sign posted and are often upstairs. There are many economy passengers who avoid those areas thinking that there is only airline lounges that they don't have access to.
SYD and LHR could be improved if they didn't force people through shopping and did something about those woeful connection buses. I've gone landside at LHR many times simply so that I didn't have to use the bus and get the train between terminals.
 

PineappleSkip

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I’ve had great and awful DXB experiences, and there are big differences between terminals. T3 is great at the A gates, crowded at B, dingy and ordinary at C since they turned half the lights off to save power. Similarly the lounges, the F lounge at the C gates is from another planet to the wonder at the A gates. T1 is new but deliberately more ordinary, especially checkin and immigration. T2 is your introduction to the third world, transfer bus from T1 or T3 is cough, and it’s hopelessly overcrowded in T2 a lot of the time.

Cheers skip
 

timster

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BKK gets a lot of negative reviews on the local forums here in Thailand and SE Asia. Most complaints are exaggerations about the Immigration waiting time (I am still yet to experience the hours of waiting constantly posted. Any queue seems to make the waiting time suddenly triple in people's minds)
The only gripe about BKK is the long distances to walk for most pax. For me it is good exercise and I am usually at a pace to get me ahead of most on my flight at the front of the Immigration queue. Doesn't help when there is a bunch of earlier inbound flights, but its all relative!

BKK is very high on my list of worst airports built since 2000. With SIN and HKG to model itself on, and to which it aspired, it fails dismally. Arrivals concourses are like an underground carpark. But least they have motorized walkways to traverse the huge distances. Departures has fewer. Inbound / output immigration is a lottery - yes they can be fast, or waits can be very l-o-n-g.

Now operating way over capacity. The number of times TG busses to/from the gate is shameful. Whether that is due to gate availability (the outbound gate is often vacant !) or just TG penny-pinching is not clear. There are few decent lounges (TG definitely not amongst them).

Locally, SYD was major reason why I stopped flying QF, when their routes started to contract and they became more SYD-centric. It should have a free train between dom and int, like a real airport would. MEL is great for dom to int, but the lack of a train to the city is an embarrassment (now finally to be built).
 

Saab34

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Cairns is truly depressing. Whole thing needs to be pulled down and rebuilt. Embarrassment to what is the gateway to the reef.

Bells and Whistles aside, I love HNL. I like the open air terminals, maybe due to being a very outdoors person , but feels very casual. Love the garden areas you can sit in too.
 
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Some airports are a joy to use. Others are sheer hell, despite the glossy bells and whistles of tax 'free' shopping and acres of marble.
This came to mind last week when we arrived at Dubai Airport at 4 in the morning, to get a connecting flight.
Now, Dubai is big. Huge. And is in fact three terminals set out along what seems like a 20 kilometre stretch.
When we came out of the aerobridge, groggy and tired, there was no help or information available on where our next flight was. The indicator board was no help, as our flight wasn't for 5 hours.
No information desks were manned.
We walked back and forward (looong way!) until we found one of their Business Lounges who informed us we were in the wrong terminal. Find Terminal A? The wayfinding is pretty bad and a lot more walking finally resulted in a clue to the train.
Really pathetic.
Apart from that the Business Lounge is run-down and dated. Showers are grubby, small, and long queues.
Big is not better.
i totally understand how you felt! Our first experience of Dubai was similar. We flew in from Sydney, were bussed from the plane and dumped at terminal C. Total confusion as to where we were and where we had to go. We had a 5 hour wait to fly to Nairobi. We did have someone helpful who gave us directions but they made no sense. Finally got the train to Terminal A and then trying to find the F lounge was another exercise!

However I do feel quite familiar with it now, so it doesn’t seem bad at all. I really like the F lounge in Terminal A.

We are flying through again in September and having a quick break at the transit hotel. They offered to meet us as we came off the plane and take us to the hotel - I took up the offer, rather than get lost trying to find it. :)
 

fard13

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After many trips to Europe and Asia the best Airport is SIN. by far, Another one that I like is KUL the relativity new KLIA is great, small but efficient.
BNE is also good and never have had problems unlike Sydney.

I don't like DXB, very large poor signage, poor seating around gates. The Lounge I visited was great, but so is the one in Istanbul. A great lounge does not make for a great airport.

I descending order to the worst is, MXP, BCN, PEK, TXL, CHG, FCO.
It is a toss up for the worst been CHG and FCO. Used many times both in and out and both are hopeless and I hate using them, so now try to avoid.

Third world Airport, worst is Lae airport in PNG.
 

Pushka

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Koh Samui airport is like a tropical garden. MXP is ok? Split is worse by a mile. Way worse. Incomparable.
 

Canuk

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While I agree about LAX,ORD,JFK,IAH,IAD and many other US airports as being o the extremely bad list , there are some good ones. DEN and MSP are two that I have visited recently
 

jastel

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I think the experience is variable to the day, flight, airline and time you arrive.
Security levels, school holidays etc all affect traffic as well.
On second and third visits you know the way so don't need signs, you know the lounges and any good places to sit or places to avoid etc.
It is usually a better trip through.

First visit to LAX was 3 hours in immigration, second a few later 3 minutes...both same flights in business class...

That said I like SIN and HKG, China has some nice new efficient ones as well.
The newer the better usually.
 

PumaPilot

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For me the worst Airport is Melbourne, dirty, badly laid out, and drab. I HATE every minute in it. The Qantas lounge in both Domestic and especially international are awful. I don't mind Sydney airport and prefer Perth over Mel now Perth has had a bit of a make over.
 

dajop

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One of the things I am finding is that shiny new glass airport does not necessarily mean good airport. These spaces are light and airy, for sure, but often are often very hot and uncomfortable particularly in tropical environments. I've found several uncomfortably warm (including BKK, the new T3 in CGK and T3 in PEK). At CGK for example I like the character that the older T2 has - with more traditional architecture and gardens beside each gate than the bland modern T3, although I expect T3 is more functional.

At SIN, I really appreciate two of the most maligned features of the airport - 1) the carpet, as it really dampens the noise, and is not so hard on the feet when doing a long walk) and 2) gate based security in T1/2/3 - as it provides for predictability in time - whether transiting or checking in. Unlike most airport, I know from taxi to lounge will take me 5 mins, as there is electronic gate immigration and no variable length security queues to hold me up, and during transit again, off the plane into lounge (same at KUL) without being herded through a dungeon to a central security point (OK I exaggerate on the dungeon bit).

DAC is probably up there as my most disliked airport, and in the developed world probably say STN (but have only had one experience there, a departure).
 

dajop

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For me the worst Airport is Melbourne, dirty, badly laid out, and drab. I HATE every minute in it.

They've actually made it worse too, at least before once you took your compulsory long cut through the DFS you entered into a light, open area overlooking the tarmac with some cafes. Now it's puts you into dark, soulless walkway, past the luxury brands stores, with no view and no natural light, on flooring that looks like it's been there for decades.
 
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