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Saturday, December 26, 2015

THE WORLD'S BEST AND WORST AIRPORTS


I recently returned from my Grand Around the World Adventure, and stopped through four of the five best airports:

The World's Top 100 Airports - 2015
2014 Rating
1Singapore Changi1
2Incheon Intl Airport2
3Munich Airport3
4Hong Kong Intl4
5Tokyo Intl Haneda6

Not satisfied at being #1, Singapore is now building Terminal Four to look like this:


I've landed at the top 21, which, incidentally, is in Sydney, Australia.  Where is the USA?

#30    Cincinnati
#33    Denver
#36    San Francisco
$44    Atlanta
#54    Seattle-Tacoma
#60    JFK New York

Where is Honolulu?  Not even in the top 100.  In fact, the front page headline of the Star-Advertiser last week blared:


As bad as the USA is in a comparison of world airports, Honolulu is 8th from the bottom in North America, while Kahului is the third worst of medium-sized airports.  However, Hawaii is in the midst of spending $2.7 billion to modernize.

The two most expensive are Kansai International Airport  (#12) in Japan and the Hong Kong International Airport (#4) at $20 billion each.  The latter was built from conception to operation in six years.  I just spent some time at the Al Maktoum International Airport of Dubai, where a sum of $12 billion is being spent on upgrades.  There is a current problem, as I must have walked at least a mile from arrival to baggage.  Here to the left is Beijing Capital International Airport at only $8 billion.

For your information, the U.S.S. Gerald Ford, will cost taxpayers $13 billion.  We already have ten  carrier strike groups, and each includes a bunch of other ships with a support staff 7,500.  Cost just for salaries?  $2.5 billion/strike group, or $25 billion for all ten.  The Navy wants 11.  I think three is enough, as they are essentially obsolete anyway.  They are now only useful for posturing and aiding natural disasters.  Pardon me, but terrorism is just not compelling enough to increase the defense budget when there are other more important priorities, like maybe better airports, bridges and the like.


Incidentally, if you ever catch a flight from Munich, Frankfurt or Singapore, fly First Class on Lufthansa for the first two and Singapore on the third.  Show up as early as you can and get escorted to their First Class Lounges.  Those are just the nuts in Frankfurt.  Changi Airport is a bit complicated.  They have four levels of lounges, the most extravagant if you're in First Class in a three-class flight.

The Silver Kris Lounge rivals Lufthansa's, with better service.  The Lufthansa lounge, though, drives you to the plane in a Mercedes or BMW.

While the First Lounge of United Air at level 2 in Narita is modest in cuisine, the United Club below is always overcrowded.  I've been upstairs as the only guest, and the place can seat a couple of hundred.

Here are CNN's ten worst airports:

Worst airports of 2015

1. Port Harcourt International Airport (Nigeria) 
2. King Abdulaziz International Airport (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
3. Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu, Nepal)
4. Tashkent International Airport (Uzbekistan) 
5. Simon Bolivar International Airport (Caracas, Venezuela)
6. Toussaint Louverture International Airport (Port au Prince, Haiti)
7. Hamid Karzai International Airport (Kabul, Afghanistan)
8. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
9. Benazir Bhutto International Airport (Islamabad, Pakistan)
10. Beauvais-Tille International Airport (Paris) 

Another survey rates JFK-NY as #3, Chicago Midway at #2 and Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International as the absolute worst.  I wasn't particularly troubled by those, but #8 on this list was Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, said to be "hot, ugly, dirty and confusing."  I would add thievery, for I had to pay an extra $353 for being 33 pounds overweight.  United Air allows me three 70 pound bags.  At this airport you can only check-in one suitcase to Qatar.  They have assorted terroristic activities, too, for here, a fire.

I believe my travel days have essentially come to an end.  Wish you luck.

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