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Europe, Asia dominate the world's best airports

For the second year in a row, Singapore's Changi Airport has been voted the world's best airport, with the top 10 list dominated by Asia and Europe with not a single U.S. facility making the top rankings.

The World Airport Awards by Skytrax, held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Barcelona, Spain, are based on 12.85 million customer nominations and the survey included 410 airports. Passengers were asked about 39 key performance indicators such as check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration.

While Changi Airport won the world's best airport award once more, it was also named the best airport for leisure amenities: the airport building boasts a cactus garden, an orchid garden and koi pond, a sunflower garden and a butterfly garden. Terminal Three also has Singapore's tallest indoor slide.

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"Changi Airport Singapore is showing itself to be much more than an airport," said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax. "Changi Airport offers a travel experience in itself and continues to develop its quality standards to be named the world's favorite airport again."

Singapore's Changi Airport butterfly garden
John S Lander | LightRocket via Getty Images
Singapore's Changi Airport butterfly garden

No U.S. airport made the top 10 and unsurprisingly New York's LaGuardia Airport in did not make the list.

Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said: "LaGuardia Airport is ranked the worst airport in America. That is a disgrace, my friends. And it is unacceptable." Vice President Joe Biden said the facility was comparable to what you'd find in a Third World country.

Asian top two

Incheon International, the primary airport serving Seoul, South Korea, came in second in the rankings just as it did last year. It also won awards for best international transit and best immigration service.

The former, according to Plaisted, "remains one of our most hotly contested awards categories, and for Incheon to triumph for the second consecutive year is true testament to the quality of customer experience."

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Hong Kong International came in fourth place, ensuring Asia had three airports in the top five. Hong Kong took home awards for best dining experience and best baggage delivery, with Skytrax praising the airport for being a consistent high performer since the survey began 15 years ago.

"With its vibrant local culture, Hong Kong airport, caters well for both local and international customers and this is something that is recognised enthusiastically by the survey respondents," Skytrax said.

In third and fifth place, respectively, were two major European hubs, Munich and Amsterdam Schiphol. The former airport returned to the top three for the first time since 2006, clinching the awards for best airport in Europe and Central Europe as well as for best staff on the Continent thanks to what Skytrax called its "renowned Bavarian hospitality."

In sixth, seventh and eighth places were Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Beijing Capital International and Zurich, with the ninth spot taken by Vancouver International, the only airport from North America on the list and retaining the award for best facility on the North American continent.

"Vancouver International Airport continues to be a popular choice amongst passengers—not only as a gateway into northwestern Canada but also a transit point for travelers heading to other regions of North America," Skytrax's Plaisted said.

The 10th spot was claimed by London's Heathrow, ensuring that no U.S. airports made it into the top 10. The U.K. capital's largest airport held on to the best terminal award for Terminal Five as well as winning best airport shopping for a fourth consecutive year.

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