Doha’s Hamad International Airport, which has been climbing the ranks for years, has been rewarded with the number one spot in 2021 in the “World’s Best Airport” category.
This year, Changi placed third — an achievement for any other airport, but perhaps not from the perspective of its superfans, who regularly praise the airport’s ease, comfort and top-notch food and drink options.
Doha’s ascendance coincides with hard work from its flagship airline, Qatar Airways. The Qatari government has invested heavily in both its national carrier and its airport, with pretty spectacular results.
Travelers on Qatar Airways who have a connecting flight at HIA can enjoy free city tours, gratis accommodation and food (depending on the length of the layover) and a VIP transfer service where airline employees meet visitors as they de-plane and guide them seamlessly through the airport and onto their connecting flight.
Airports in Europe and Asia dominated the rest of the 2021 list. Japan was voted best-rated country overall, with three airports in the top 10, including both of Tokyo’s airports (Narita and Haneda).
Here’s the full list of the top 10 in the “World’s Best Airport” category:
1. Hamad International Airport (HIA)
2. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
3. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
4. Incheon International Airport (ICN)
5. Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)
6. Munich Airport (MUC)
7. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
9. Kansai International Airport (KIX)
10. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) is the biggest and busiest airport in South Korea.
Istanbul Airport was singled out as Most Improved, Changi won the Best Airport Staff award, Seoul’s Incheon was commended for Best Airport Security and Centrair Nagoya in Japan took home the prize for Best Regional Airport.
Skytrax also broke down the best airport recognitions based on the number of visitors who passed through each.
Regionally, Canada’s Vancouver International Airport was voted “Best Airport in North America.”