Auckland tops Sydney, Melbourne as Asia-Pacific's best airport

By David Flynn, April 23 2012
Auckland tops Sydney, Melbourne as Asia-Pacific's best airport

Auckland has beaten Sydney and Melbourne as the best airport in the Asia-Pacific in the 2012 Skytrax World Airport Awards.

It’s the fourth year in a row that New Zealand’s biggest airport has bested its Australian cousins.

Brisbane Airport was gonged as Asia-Pacific’s ‘Best Regional Airport’ – which many Brissie-based travellers will take as a backhanded compliment – with the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport chosen as the region’s best airport hotel.

The Skytrax World Airport Awards are based on an independent survey of 12 million passengers from 108 countries.

Incheon takes top spot

Stepping onto the global stage, Seoul’s Incheon International is rated as the world’s best airport, ahead of long-time favourites Singapore Changi and Hong Kong.

Seoul Incheon is the world's best airport, according to Skytrax
Seoul Incheon is the world's best airport, according to Skytrax

However, Singapore picked up a medal for being the best airport for transit passengers – no surprise to anyone who’s spent a few hours poking around Changi.

“The well thought out and quite unique leisure facilities including a swimming pool, open gardens and cinema continue to a be a driving force behind Singapore Changi Airport success as the world's leading transfer airport" said Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted.

Asian airports continue to dominate the awards, this year claiming six of the top ten slots.

Best Terminal? Heathrow T5

A new category of World’s Best Airport Terminal (as opposed to airport) saw London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 take first honours.

“Despite initial teething problems when Terminal 5 opened in 2008, it has since become a firm favourite with passengers” Plaisted explained.

“The architecture, ambience and terminal layout was repeatedly mentioned in the feedback in the survey, as well as the extensive range of shopping and dining options in the departures area."

Best airports to shop and eat at...

Heathrow also scored for World's Best Airport Shopping, ahead of Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

However, like us, you may be a little mystified that Hong Kong International Airport – which has so far won the world's Best Airport accolade eight times – took the podium for Best Airport Dining Experience.

Here’s a rundown of the Skytrax award winners across several key categories. For a full breakdown head to

World’s Best Airport

  1. Incheon International Airport
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Hong Kong International Airport
  4. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  5. Beijing Capital International Airport
  6. Munich Airport
  7. Zurich Airport
  8. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
  9. Vancouver International Airport
  10. Central Japan International Airport

Best Airport in Australia / Pacific

  1. Auckland International Airport
  2. Sydney Airport
  3. Brisbane Airport
  4. Melbourne Airport
  5. Gold Coast Airport

World's Best Airport Hotel

  1. Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong
  2. Sofitel London Heathrow
  3. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
  4. Langham Place Beijing Airport
  5. Novotel Suvarnabhumi Bangkok
  6. Fairmont Vancouver Airport
  7. Kempinski Hotel Airport Munich
  8. Hyatt Regency Incheon
  9. Hilton Beijing Capital Airport
  10. Oryx Rotana Doha

Best Airport Hotel in Australia/Pacific

  1. Parkyoyal Melbourne Airport
  2. Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Hotel
  3. Stamford Grand Adelaide Hotel

World's Best Airport Shopping

  1. London Heathrow Airport
  2. Dubai International Airport
  3. Singapore Changi Airport
  4. Hong Kong International Airport
  5. Incheon International Airport

World's Best Airport Restaurants

  1. Hong Kong International Airport
  2. London Heathrow Airport
  3. Munich Airport
  4. Singapore Changi Airport
  5. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 529

Wow... Heathrow 5 is the best terminal and best airport shopping... Really? Wow... Can't agree with that I'm afraid.... Singapore, Hong Kong and Incheon are far better on both accounts in my opinion.

As for AKL - I haven't been there for a while but even though they have recently gone through a big renovation, it surprises me that it would win top spot again. I think Sydney has come a long way and has alot to offer. Maybe I'm just a little bias! :-)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2011

Total posts 181

How about worst airports?  Perth international has to be the worst in the developed world.

all our airports are bad lol.

skytrax should make a worst airport list also, no doubt some american airports would be featured in the top 10 list as well as some australian ones.

for a first world country, our airport is pretty substandard compared to our asian neighbours.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2011

Total posts 181

They do make a list.

They had to cut down on my comments for reason of space.  (See comment dated 24 March 2012.  I even wrote a review to send to my friends.  Would love to forward it to you.

Having just returned from DFW, I must say that hte Grand Hyatt at DFW is exceptional - great service, excellent rooms (ask for rooms facing the runway!), great pool and gym. Could do with a better resturant tho, but all in all, an excellent hotel.

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