Airports, mostly seen as gateways that ferry passengers to distant cities and far-flung countries, have grown beyond their original mandate.
Although long-distance travel is still their primary role, airports have recently moved to make traveling more efficient and enjoyable for travelers — and more profitable for the airports themselves. In recent years, an ever-expanding and impressive mix of dining and shopping amenities greet fliers at major travel hubs.
A recent survey by airport membership association Airports Council International - North America identified the top 10 airport amenities on the continent — including top-of-the-line new features airports intend to add in the next few years. Along with amenities like ATMs, free internet access and more vending machines, the ACI's list also included pet relief facilities, children play areas and rooms for nursing mothers.
"Whether engaging with passengers through an animal therapy program to instill a sense of calm in a busy terminal, or providing ample electrical charging stations for mobile devices, airports are committed to not only meeting passengers' expectations but exceeding them," said Kevin Burke, the ACI-NA's president and CEO.