Departure airports so good you almost won’t want to leave
Fine dining, luxury shopping and high-end relaxation facilities – if they all sound like things you’d expect to find at your destination, North America’s airports are proving that you might not even have to wait that long.
Providing passengers with truly great reasons to arrive in plenty of time for takeoff is fast becoming a race to elevate airports into cultural and leisure attractions in their own right. Take a look at the highlights from a the departure airports for flying Downunder…
Right in keeping with the city’s hip reputation, SFO features a museum, art exhibits, massage parlor and the world’s first dedicated airport yoga room. Four compact terminals connected in a circular formation and decorated with cutting edge modern art offer the visitor a pleasant stroll. Along the way you can visit the Aviation Museum, dedicated to the history of air travel, or why not stop in to the ambient environs of the free yoga room to stretch out before you take to the skies.
Terminal 3 has recently welcomed local artist Jo Hanson for a six-month residency that will see her showcase her ecologically-themed recycled sculptures. Among the cuisine on offer is Asian fusion food by Go Bistro and all things sweet at Just Desserts.
Also intent upon adding a shot of Californian sunshine to your air travel experience, LAX belies its status as the third busiest U.S. airport with a surprisingly personable atmosphere if you dig down to find it. They’ve teamed up with the Public Art and Exhibitions Program to “provide educational, entertaining, and enriching cultural experiences for the traveling public” via a series of exhibitions and performances around the premises.
Ken Gonzales-Day and Mark Dean Veca are among the contributors to a wide array of locally-focused large-scale art adorning the walls of the terminals, while recent dance and theater installations included transforming a bus terminal into a giant stringed instrument.
Food-wise, Lemonade among others are winning rave reviews for their simple, healthy and well-executed menu.
YVR has a homey feel and an inclusive attitude to its services, offering a chapel and a children’s area alongside a dizzying array of dining options. Kids can relax and let loose at a variety of different locations throughout the terminal buildings or visit the Public Observation Area.
It’s a space dedicated to allowing visitors to learn a little more about the airport and its surrounding area, with a large replica of the city’s Sea Island location on hand for inspection. Regular visits from local fifth graders and the airport’s active involvement in a shoreline clean-up program add to the community-spirited approach.
Dallas Fort Worth
All five terminals serving the 57 million passengers who pass through DFW annually are set up to provide visitors with a bewildering number of shopping and eating establishments as well as a few other little surprises.
DFW is pet-friendly, with designated grassy areas for your furry friend to relax in. Furthermore, few airports boast a pet hotel. Paradise 4 Paws offers dog and cat boarding with grooming, spa and massage therapy, amenities which are also reassuringly offered to human visitors throughout the airport, too.