Travel & Leisure takes a closer look at world airports and wants your vote

The December 2010 issue of Travel + Leisure arrived yesterday and has a few interesting topics covering airports.  First is an article by Michael Gross, entitled “Ode To Airports.”  He writes about how his unfortunate late check-in for a flight at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport led he and his wife to discover some of the treasures located near the airport.  He then highlights some of the gems found at other airports, and even points out there is a locally famous Pink’s Hot Dog stand in Los Angeles airport. (Note to self: Find it! LAX is my home airport and I didn’t know that.)

Next up is a mostly pictorial tour of the “World’s Most Beautiful Airports.”  These aren’t ranked, but rather present the uniqueness and artistry of architecture.  A well done piece, but I am a bit surprised Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport didn’t make the list.  In addition to the stunning design, abundance of bright, well-lit gate areas, it has gorgeous floral arrangements and orchids throughout the concourses.  Making the cut are airports in South Korea (Inchon), Beijing, Madrid, Morocco and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Finally, there is the opportunity to log on and vote for Travel + Leisure’s first annual airport survey.  It allows you to cast your vote for as many as 90 airports across the world, in categories such as design, amenities, check-in & security experience, and more.  I honestly wouldn’t put too much weight on the results, though, since there can be a huge disparity between terminals within the same airport.  For example, at Washington Dulles airport, I would rank both seating areas and aesthetic/design in Terminal B as ‘5’ (excellent), but those in Terminal C as ‘2’ (poor).  The results will therefore be largely skewed based on which terminal the responder is considering when taking the survey.

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