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ASTA Members Vote for Best Airports to be 'Stuck In'

Travel News Asia Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Travel these days can be fraught with inconveniences, lost baggage and delayed flights among the most familiar of travel woes. But, if you are going to be spending a few unexpected hours at an airport, where is it best to be? A recent survey of ASTA travel agents found that domestically, the best airports to be stuck in are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Orlando International Airport. Both airports received an 8-percent share of the responses.

It used to be that passengers who found themselves with a little bit extra time at the airport could only hope the book they brought would last through their delay, said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Corey Hudak, CTC. Nowadays, some airports are offering as many diversions and activities as a trip to the mall or local museum.

Atlantas Hartsfield-Jackson offers travelers more than 200 shopping and dining outlets and a 24,000-square foot executive conference center. Orlando, meanwhile, provides travelers numerous shopping and dining outlets, even an upscale eatery for those with money to burn as well as time to kill.

With an abundance of technological services, including numerous self-service business centers and rapid-charge stations, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport came in third with 6.3% of the vote. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, with its art gallery, aviation museum and gaming opportunities ranked fourth with 6%.

Tied for fifth place (5.4%) were Charlotte Douglas International Airport, with its free WiFi and memorable white rocking chairs in which to while away the hours, and Chicagos OHare International Airport, which is home to a 4-story tall model of a Brachiosaurus. Need we say more?

Best Domestic Airports to be Stuck In

1 - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - 8.4%

2 - Orlando International Airport - 8.4%

3 - Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport - 6.3%

4 - McCarran International (Las Vegas) - 6%

5 - Charlotte Douglas International Airport - 5.4%

5 - OHare International Airport (Chicago) - 5.4%

On the international front, Amsterdams Schiphol received the largest number of responses with 23.6%. How could it not with a wedding chapel, an array of snooze chairs and a casino? Even the restrooms are fun with scenery to make you feel that you are in the heart of Amsterdam.

Londons BAA Heathrow Airport (21.7%), is a shoppers dream with personal shopping services as well as the shopping collection service (available only to those traveling within the European Union). Tied for third were Frankfurt and Singapores airports (6.7%). Travelers who find themselves delayed at Singapores Changi Airport can take in a movie, play Xbox or, if the mood strikes, head for the nap lounge, while those at Frankfort Airport with a bit more time on their hands can take advantage of the on-site hairdresser, tailor or dry cleaners.

Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport offers those with an unplanned delay a chance to track down and meet Merhan Karimi Nasseri, the man upon which the movie, The Terminal, was based. Meanwhile, business travelers who find themselves with a lay-over at Hong Kong International Airport (4.5%) can take advantage or airport-wide, free WiFi service.

Best International Airports to be Stuck In

1 - Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) - 23.6%

2 - BAA Heathrow (London) - 21.7%

3 - Frankfurt Airport (Germany) - 6.7%

3 - Changi Airport (Singapore) - 6.7%

4 - Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris) - 4.8%

5 - Hong Kong International Airport - 4.5%

See other recent news regarding: ASTA, Airports, Research, Survey

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