TPG Staff Picks: Our Favorite Airports to Travel Through

Feb 28, 2018

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While some travelers only look to the airport as a means of passage, we here at TPG have learned to appreciate some airports for all that they offer. From great restaurants options to luxurious lounge access, these airports are where we enjoy a long layover the most. We’ve shared our favorite destinations, now take a look at our favorite ways to get there.  

McCarran International Airport (LAS)

“I like airports close to where I’m trying to go, so I love McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Vegas; it’s so close to the Strip and there’s a great Centurion Lounge there. Internationally, I think Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha is pretty beautiful — it’s well-organized and clean.” — Brian Kelly, The Points Guy

Tenzing–Hillary Airport (LUA)

“While it’s not known for its lounges or restaurant options, Tenzing–Hillary Airport in Nepal is known for its insane views. It’s called the ‘gateway to Mount Everest’ since most climbers fly into the airport before they head to basecamp. AvGeeks will enjoy watching aircraft take off — although it’ll probably make their stomachs drop, since the runway literally goes off the edge of a massive cliff.” — Brendan Dorsey, Associate Editor

A Tara Air Dornier Do 228 aircraft taxis after landing at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, 87 miles northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Tara Air Dornier Do 228 aircraft taxis after landing at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, 87 miles northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

“Being from Michigan and a loyal Delta flyer, I may be biased, but Detroit Metro (DTW) is my favorite airport. It features soaring architecture, wide-open concourses with tons of natural light, a bright-red express tram whizzing by overhead and plenty of great food options — such as Plum Market, which features sandwiches and deli selections from world-famous Zingerman’s in nearby Ann Arbor.” —  Nick Ellis, Reviews Editor

Provincetown Municipal Airport (PVC)

“My favorite airport is LaGuardia. JK. I’ve loved my time transiting through Dubai (DXB) and Singapore (SIN), but my favorite airport is in Provincetown, MA (PVC). It’s tiny. Like very tiny. But between the awesome Cessna aircraft used to get there and the beautiful approach into Provincetown, surrounded by sand dunes and beachgrass, it’s my favorite.” — Emily McNutt, News Editor

Dubai International Airport (DXB)

If you’ve ever had a long layover in Dubai, you can understand why DXB is my favorite airport. As the third-busiest airport in the world, DXB surely keeps its travelers busy with its concourses that feature just about anything you might need. From snooze cubes to spas, to the largest duty- free in the world, DXB is the ultimate traveler’s paradise.” — Alexa Noel, Editorial Intern

Photo by altrendo travel
DXB a major aviation hub in the Middle East, and is the main airport of Dubai. It is situated in the Al Garhoud district. Photo by Altrendo travel/ Getty Images

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

“I get a lot of crap for this at TPG headquarters, but all things considered, my favorite airport is Newark — specifically Terminal C. It’s super easy to get to from my apartment, at just over 20 minutes without traffic, and it’s home to Classified — my favorite airport restaurant. A flight into Newark also means I’ve coming home, and there’s no better feeling than that!” — Zach Honig, Editor-at-Large

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

“The Dulles airport is my favorite for one reason and one reason only: Chipotle. Breakfast. I know, I know, Chipotle ain’t what it used to be, but their breakfast burritos are worth the risk, and the DC airport is the only place I know of that has them. The next time you have a hangover and find yourself in Concourse B, you know what to do.”  Jane Frye, Nights & Weekends Editor 

Banyuwangi Airport (BWX)

“This is definitely going to be a strange pick — and probably one you’ve never heard of: Banyuwangi. The reason this is my favorite airport is because it is the airport where TPG and I escaped Mount Agung. After a seven-hour journey from Bali via car and ferry, TPG chartered a jet from Banyuwangi Airport getting us to safety and away from the volcano. Thus today, Banyuwangi is my current favorite airport!” — Becca Denenberg,  Director, Marketing & Communications

Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

“Singapore’s Changi Airport has a new terminal, T4, which opened in late 2017. I spent a few hours in it and in the Korean Air lounge in December on my way to Seoul and I was reminded yet again why Changi is the best: spacious, quiet, user-friendly, with consistently good food options and even individual sleeper sofas in public areas. This is travel democracy: You can have a fine experience with no lounge access.”  — Alberto Riva, Managing Editor   

Terminal 3 at Changi Airport in Singapore.
Terminal 3 at Changi Airport in Singapore. Photo by TommL// Getty Images

Samui International Airport (USM)

“My favorite airport is Samui International. Koh Samui is an outdoor oasis to enjoy while waiting to depart the beautiful island.” — Adam Kotkin, Chief of Staff

Sydney Airport (SYD)

“JFK’s my favorite airport. Said nobody — ever. I guess Sydney is, but mainly for nostalgic reasons. You can buy shopping trolleys worth of Tim Tams, and my parents are always waiting at the exit to drive me home. But sans nostalgia, stumbling upon Long Beach’s laid-back al fresco layout was an amazing respite from the usual LAX experience.” — Isabelle Raphael, Photo Editor

Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

“There are a lot of cooler, more fascinating airports in the world, but Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) will always hold a ton of nostalgia for me. Fortunately for non-homesick travelers, the airport has undergone a number of renovations in recent years that make the dingy terminals of my childhood a memory. These days, when you fly into Taiwan, you’ll find art installations featuring indigenous creations and play areas for children; a Hello Kitty shrine, if that’s your thing; kiosks renting out mobile Wi-Fi devices; amazing food courts with truly mouth-watering local offerings; and fast, free Wi-Fi everywhere.” — Katherine Fan, Freelance Writer 

Photo by RichieChan
Taoyuan International Airport at night. Photo by RichieChan// Getty Images

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

“I’m not sure it’s my favorite airport necessarily, but I’ve definitely been charmed by Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). With their adorable rocking chairs and access to Bojangles’ sweet tea, I always feel like I’ve happily landed in the South when I’m there.” — Cindy Augustine, Lifestyle Editor

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

“It’s far from the nicest one in the world (in total honesty, it’s gross), but my favorite is the New Orleans airport because it means I’m back at my favorite place in the world.” — Samantha Rosen, Social Media Editor 

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

“Hong Kong is my favorite airport. After landing very early in the morning from a 16-hour flight from JFK, we were easily able to navigate HKG and get to the lounge to freshen up and have breakfast. Picking up our luggage and getting through customs was also a breeze — though we were extra-relaxed and in a good mood after just flying Cathay First.”  — Kate O’ Brien, Director of Marketing & Compliance
Group of people running on hong kong airport. Photo by Baona// Getty Images
Group of people running on hong kong airport. Photo by Baona// Getty Images

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

I haven’t been to too many airports; however the giant window in the Seattle airport I found particularly breathtaking.”— Jessica Rovniak, Video Editor

John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)

“As a New York-based aviation enthusiast, JFK has always been a personal favorite. That’s right. You read that correctly. A favorite. From an enthusiast’s perspective, JFK’s quite a dream, thanks to the impressive list of international carriers serving the airport, with flights to global destinations on just about any aircraft type that’s flown in the last 50 years. As much of a pain it is for travelers, I appreciate the half dozen or so individual terminals, unlike the mega-terminals you’d find in Atlanta, Dubai or Detroit.” — Wallace Cotton, Community Manager

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

“Favorite might be a stretch, but (ATL) has been a home-away-from-home for at least a decade. The massive airport has so many food options — especially in the way of fried chicken!” — Jeffrey Preis, Editorial Intern 

 Featured photo of Hong Kong International airport by Pavliha/Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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