With flight delays and security checkpoints, airport layovers seem longer and more aggravating than ever. Who wants to spend hours sitting on cramped plastic chairs or stumbling around the same duty-free shops? Nobody, and that’s why airports around the world are adding amenities to keep travelers occupied, active and relaxed between flights.
Idle passengers at San Francisco International Airport have access to a free yoga studio open 24/7 for practicing soothing and energizing yoga poses. A reflection room is nearby for meditation or just chilling out. And along with more than 50 airports around the world, including LAX, there’s an XpresSpa offering professional body and foot massages. Suffering through a late-night layover? Check into a mini suite at Atlanta International and get access to a daybed, flat-screen TV and alarm clock.
No need to sit around waiting for your flight at Zurich Airport. Rent a bike or pair of in-line skates, or strap on your hiking boots and traverse the lush conservation area between runways. Aquatic types can swim laps in the rooftop pool at Singapore Changi Airport, and Munich Airport converts a terminal-adjacent space into a full-size skating rink in the winter. During summer months, there’s a Surf & Style surfing pool onsite, allowing passengers to ride “standing waves” or watch pros show off their skills.
Munich Airport also offers a family amusement area loaded with a playground, mini golf and more, centered around a slide modeled after the airport’s control tower. Chicago’s O’Hare offers a lesson in natural history with a 72-foot-long dinosaur skeleton exhibit. Vancouver International has a 30,000-gallon aquarium stocked with thousands of different ocean denizens.
But be careful not to have too much fun — you might miss your flight.
– Robert Young, Tribune Content Solutions Writer