The Best and Worst Airports for Layovers: A Traveler’s Guide

When you’re traveling, you can’t always get a direct flight to where you’re going. Some places are too far for a one-plane ride, and some don’t have direct flights. But there’s a solution – flights with layovers. However, layovers can be very different depending on the destination and even the airport. How so? 

#Layover at the airport
#Layover at the airport

Some airports are great for layovers because they are comfortable, have fun things to keep you occupied, and are efficient, making your wait time enjoyable. But some airports are not so good and can make your layover stressful and tiring. So, which airports should you choose when planning a longer trip and there’s no way to avoid a layover? 

Best Airports for Layovers

  1. According to AOL.com, Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar is one of the best airports for layovers. It has a modern design and lots of amenities like several high-quality lounges with sleeping areas. There are many luxury shopping options and places offering international food. It is also one of the few airports that offers wellness and SPA options, such as a swimming pool, gym, squash courts, hydrotherapy tub, and other spa services. The airport itself is like an Art gallery. You can find unique art installations like the iconic Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer.
  2. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is also great for layovers because it has exceptional amenities, efficient services, and fun experiences. While you are in Singapore airport you can enjoy butterfly garden or Sunflower Garden. There’s also the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, which is a must-see if you are waiting for your next flight there, as well as  Canopy Park with walking trails, and, of course, many dining and shopping options, writes AOL.com.
  3. Munich International Airport (MUC) in Germany offers various services and fun experiences for travelers too. You can enjoy local foods and drinks inside the airport and on the outside terrace. Many cultural events, as well as seasonal celebrations like Christmas markets, Oktoberfest activities and Ice skating rinks in winter, can be found here as well.  There are also rotating art exhibitions of various artists from all around the world (ViaTravelers)​!
  4. San Diego International Airport (SAN) in the USA is good if you have a long layover and want to see something new instead of wasting your time in the airport. It is close to downtown San Diego, so it’s easy to explore the city. It has quick and affordable transportation options like taxis, rideshares, and public transit. SAN is also eco-friendly with solar panels, water conservation efforts, and recycling programs. Not to mention, there are lots of dining and resting areas (UpgradedPoints.com)​​ (FinanceBuzz).
  5. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has many dining and shopping venues and comfortable lounges. Art installations and exhibits are held in the terminals, and outdoor areas offer a breath of fresh air after a tiring trip. The airport is close to the city and it is very easy to reach it as well. Fun fac! You might even see a worldwide known celebrity there, write ViaTravelers!

All these airports have high-speed free Wi-Fi and lots of charging points for your devices. There are also play areas for kids to keep them entertained. These airports are known for their friendly and helpful staff who are ready to solve any problem you might face during your layover.

Worst Airports for Layovers

On the other hand, a layover can cause a lot of stress and make you forget all the good experiences you had during your travels. Here is a list of the top three world worst airports you could choose for a layover around the world: 

  1. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey is known for significant delays and cancellations. The terminals are crowded and outdated and do not offer many modern amenities. Compared to other major hubs, dining, and shopping options are limited and often very crowded, so to order something to eat might be a difficult task, mentions FinanceBuzz.
  2. Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris, France is often rated as one of the worst airports for layovers, states MapQuest Travel. The layout of the airport is confusing, with terminals spread out over a large area. What is more, moving between terminals can take a long time and is inconvenient, security and immigration checks are slow and inefficient, and passengers often report unhelpful customer service and lack of cleanliness.
  3. Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in the Philippines is often crowded, leading to long lines and wait times at check-in, security, and immigration departments. Insufficient information desks and poor signage can make it difficult for passengers to find their way around the airport and get assistance when needed. There are fewer dining and shopping options, and many parts of the airport need renovation. Public transportation options are limited and unreliable. According to MapQuest Travel,, some passengers have even reported concerns about safety and security within and around the airport, including incidents of theft and scams.

These problems make layovers at these airports stressful and challenging. They need improvements in infrastructure, amenities, and customer service to better fit travelers’ needs.

So, as we can see, the quality of an airport can really affect your layover experience. Airports like Hamad, Changi, and Munich make layovers enjoyable with their great amenities and services. On the other hand, some airports can be challenging with delays and inadequate facilities. Choosing the right airport for a layover can make a big difference in your travel experience.

I hope this helps you with your layover decisions. Enjoy your travels!

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