The 10 best international airports in the world

The 10 best international airports in the world

By Jaqueline Junginger・Last updated on 8 May 2023

What does it take to be counted among the best airports in the world? Though everyone has their own criteria for determining what makes an airport truly great, AirHelp believes that airports are best judged on their on-time performance, the quality of their amenities, and of course, customer opinion. After all, an airport’s primary function is to serve as a departure and arrival point for travelers and cargo, so punctuality, comfort, and passenger reviews should take priority when assessing them. In 2022, the AirHelp Score did exactly that by ranking the best airports in the world based on these metrics.

Here’s how the 10 best international airports in the world stacked up:

10. Jeju International Airport (CJU)

Coming in 10th place among the world’s best airports is Jeju Airport in South Korea with an on-time performance score of 8.89 out of 10. Jeju Airport serves as the main gateway to the city and island of Jeju, a popular tourist destination famed for its picturesque beaches and the Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Dubai International Airport (DXB)

As the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, it’s an especially impressive feat that Dubai International Airport ranks the 9th best airport in the world. World-class amenities and a truly gigantic layout allow it to accommodate as many as 90 million passengers per year. In fact, DXB’s Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal in the world and the second largest building in the world by floor space — over 1,713,000 square meters.

8. Seoul Gimpo International Airport (GMP)

Formerly Seoul’s main airport until it was replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001, Seoul Gimpo International Airport is still a key hub for both domestic and international flights and is easily accessible by public transit. It’s also closer to the city than Incheon Airport.

7. São Paulo Congonhas Airport (CGH)

One of the oldest of four airports serving São Paulo, Congonhas Airport first opened in 1936. Because it’s situated near the city center, it’s always bustling with travelers. Though it’s old, the airport was modernized a few years ago ahead of São Paulo hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

6. Belo Horizonte Tancredo Neves International Airport (CNF)

With an excellent on-time performance of 8.78, the Belo Horizonte International Airport is yet another Brazilian entry on our list of the world’s best airports. Like the São Paulo Congonhas Airport, it was also given a make-over in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Passengers praise its big, bright, and fresh interior, with plenty of spaces to sit and relax while you wait for your flight.

5. Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD)

Named after India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is praised for its modern facilities and excellent options for food and shops. In fact, of the top 10 airports in our list, HYD scores highest in terms of food and shops, with an impressive 8.93 out of 10. Passengers also praise its accessibility and ease of navigation, which benefits from a floor plan designed to be simple and user-friendly, with intuitive signage so that you know exactly where to go when it’s time to find your gate.

4. Viracopos – Campinas International Airport (VCP)

Brazil’s Viracopos – Campinas Airport is a major cargo hub and the second busiest cargo airport in the country. Dedicated express lanes for courier traffic make it especially efficient. And this isn’t limited to just cargo — passengers likewise praise the airport for its painless security checks, well-organized floor plan, and clear signage. In fact, many passengers say that it’s so well-planned that it’s “difficult to get lost”.

3. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Japan’s busiest airport, the Tokyo Narita International Airport, consistently ranks among the best airports in the world due its impressive on-time performance of 8.49. It’s also well-loved by passengers, who praise its exceptionally friendly and helpful staff, clean and modern amenities, and of course, its safety. What’s unique about the airport is that it has several security robots patrolling the whole facility, so that you know that there’s always someone (or rather, something) looking out for you and your belongings.

2. Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC)

One of the best airports in Brazil, Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre Airport is praised for its ease of access, friendly staff, and accessible boarding area. Though originally a relatively small airport, it too was upgraded for the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The passenger terminal was revamped, and new jetways added to increase its capacity to serve over 8 million passengers per year. Along with civilian passenger planes, Guararapes Airport also shares some facilities with the Recife Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.

1. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)

Coming in 1st place is the Tokyo Haneda International Airport. Frequently voted as one of the world’s best airports by press and passengers alike for its excellent facilities and ease of use, it truly shines with its on-time performance of 8.83 out of 10, making it the world’s most punctual airport.

It’s also known for its great restaurants, shops, and lounges, and a multitude of vending machines where you can get anything from snacks to toys, and even electronics! For longer layovers, you can check into a capsule hotel for a nap, or hop into their 24/7 hot spring pool for a true Japanese onsen experience no matter when your flight leaves. A unique airport experience that deserves to be crowned top of the best airports in the world for 2022.

A great travel experience at the top airports in the world

When you pass through a great airport, you can be assured that your stay will be comfortable and that your flight will be punctual, at least most of the time. Even though these are some of the most punctual airports of 2022, delays and cancellations can still happen. So why not upgrade your experience and sign up for AirHelp+ Complete. You’ll get access to lounges within the world’s best airports — not a bad way to spend your time!

Take the stress out of traveling with AirHelp+. Get expert advice for delays, cancellations, and luggage issues, and upgrade to AirHelp+ Complete to get free lounge access following a disruption.

Header image by Yakshup Goyal from Pixabay 

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