Waiting in an airport is almost always a drag. Meeting and event planners know this better than anyone. Meal choices are limited, people are everywhere, morale is low and time seems to slow down. Yet there are some truly unbelievable attractions at certain airports. After reviewing this list, we bet you’ll be eager to get stuck for a few hours—or perhaps even days—in these airports.
1. Rock Out and Wind Down in John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)—New York City
Where? Terminal 5-JetBlue
JetBlue has created some stiff competition at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Since its concert series began in 2009, JetBlue has welcomed superstars such as Taylor Swift and Sarah McLachlan for performances exclusive to JetBlue customers and contest winners. JetBlue gates also offer customers relaxing pods with an ergonomically optimized design that offers gravity-neutral position to encourage circulation and rest. Pods also include a privacy visor with built-in speakers to drown out surrounding noise, while internal storage bins lock away items. When the session is over, nappers are gently roused with light and sound.
2. Breathe in Cinnamon-Scented Oxygen in Narita International Airport (NRT)-Chiba, Japan
Where? Terminal 1
Oxygen bars are popular for their refreshing attributes. Many believe increasing oxygen intake can reduce headaches, improve alertness and combat drowsiness (think jetlag).The cinnamon-scented oxygen available at Narita International Airport is thought to be particularly invigorating. Airport-goers hook up to self-serve tanks that pump a variety of flavors into their lungs. Flavors range from eucalyptus menthol to NRT’s signature cinnamon. Price is based on the length of a session: $6 for 10 minutes and $12.50 for 20 minutes.
3. Play with PUPs in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Where? Departure terminals
To accommodate the stress and anxiety many face when traveling, Los Angeles International Airport has implemented their PetsUnstressing Passengers (PUP) program. This initiative remains the largest of its kind, with 30 trained dogs and handlers who roam the departure gate area. All travelers are welcome to play with the dogs. Volunteers handling the PUPs go through an LAX classroom and in-terminal training to learn how to specifically assist travelers.
4. Take a Craft Brewery Tour in Munich International Airport (MUC)
Where? Terminal 2, Level 5
Sure, you can grab a beer at any old airport—but MunichAirport offers something much cool than a mediocre brew. Airbrau is the only airport brewery in Europe. The facility makes a variety of beers on-site, offering many options—from a pilsner to doppelbock. Enjoy the bubbly, German goodness. And, if you have a little extra time, you can take a full tour of the brewery.
5. Zen Out with Yoga and Art in San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Where? Terminal 2
San Francisco’s a very health- and wellness-conscious city, and this is certainly reflected in its airport. In 2012, SFO opened the world’sfirst airport yoga studio (although more have followed since then). The room supplies all of the mats, mirrors, darkness and silence necessary for getting those oms in. Five or six people may use the room at once. Also located in Terminal 2 is a series of wire mesh sculptures called Every Beating Second, by Janet Echelman. The art instillation is designed to evoke a sense of calming outdoor wind.
6. Experience a 4D Flick in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Where? Terminal 2
Are 3-D movies outdated? That seems to be the case, considering you can now watch a 4D flick while waiting for your flight. HongKong Airport’s 4D Extreme Screen is Asia’s largest 4D projection screen. The theater holds 360 seats. The audience watches movies in 3-D while experiencing first-hand effects, including wind, fog, water spray and bubbles (hence the fourth dimension). Specific movie showings are listed on the airport’s website.
7. Interact with Marine Life in Vancouver International Airport (YVR)-Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Where? Domestic Terminal, Level 3
Enjoy British Columbia’s natural sea life while waiting for your flight. YVR offers more than a few guppies. Its aquarium holds more than 5,000 creatures, including wolf eels, kelp greenling, tiger fish and anemones. While the main aquarium is in the Domestic Terminal, the International Terminal provides something smaller, but also remarkable—a Jellyfish Exhibit with 12 Pacific sea-nettle jellies.
8. Ride Down a Four-Story Slide in Changi International Airport (SIN)—Singapore
Where? Arrival Hall, Terminal 3, Level 1
Changi International Airport has some pretty incredible stuff. Between the butterfly garden, Koi Pond, rooftop pool and bar, 300 plus shops and free movie theaters, there’s little-to-no chance you’ll find yourself bored. Perhaps most famously, the airport is home to a four-story indoor slide, the tallest in Singapore and the world’s tallest airport slide.
9. Ice Skate in Incheon International Airport (ICN)—Seoul
Where? Incheon Airport Transportation Center
Incheon International Airport is a very, very nice airport. Each year since 2005, Airports Council International has ranked it the best airport worldwide. Additionally, Skytrax has deemed it the world’s cleanest airport and the world’s best international transit airport. Incheon offers top-notch luxury with a golf course, a spa, private sleeping rooms, indoor gardens and a Museum of Korean Culture. The only attraction that might be even better than its claimed .0001 percent baggage mishandling rate is an indoor ice skating rink.
The rink is called Ice Forest. It can be found inside Incheon Airport Transportation Center (CAT and KTX Station). Skating is free and available year-round. Gloves and helmets are can be rented for a fee. Since the rink is made of artificial ice, a special plastic keeps skaters dry and safe from injury.