What are the best airports for business travel?
Singapore Changi Jewel (Credit: Darren Nunis on Unsplash)

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I fly about 150,000 miles each year. I’ve traveled through more than a hundred airports in my professional life, and along the way I’ve come to love a few of them more than the rest. When TravelBank reached out recently to share the results of a comprehensive ranking of U.S. airports for business travel (available as a downloadable PDF with your email address)—evaluating on-time performance, transit, parking, quality/service, and nearby hotels—it asked me to make the rankings available to JohnnyJet.com readers alongside my own airport rankings. I was happy to oblige.

No airport is perfect (though Singapore Changi is close), but these five are among my favorites worldwide to travel through:

1. Changi Airport Singapore (SIN), Singapore
No surprise here as Changi is consistently ranked the world’s best airport, and that was the case even before the spectacular Jewel opened earlier this year. Changi is huge, clean and beautiful. The Wi-Fi is fast and free. Everything works, but what I really love about it is the unparalleled offering of amenities. There’s a movie theater, a grocery store, the world’s largest slide inside an airport, butterfly and cactus gardens, and even free city tours if you have a layover of more than 5.5 hours.

In Crazy Rich Asians, Rachel (Constance Wu) sums up Changi well: “I can’t believe this airport has a butterfly garden and a movie theater. JFK is just salmonella and despair.” JFK, by the way, did not fare well in TravelBank’s rankings.

2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles
LAX is my home airport, so I know it better than any other (the airport even had me make a video guide to getting around it, which you can watch here). It was one of the first airports in the U.S. to emphasize local food, which has made some of L.A.’s best flavors available to travelers in transit (like Angel City Brewery, Ashland Hill, Cole’s, The Parlor…). The new, $1.9 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal is stunning. I also like that with a same-day boarding pass, you have post-security access to all nine terminals, so if you have time before a flight you can visit any restaurant or lounge at the airport.

On the negative side, the traffic can very bad, but plans for a shuttle as part of the 2028 Olympic preparations should alleviate that.

Bonus: Just outside of LAX is my favorite place to plane-spot, the In-N-Out on Sepulveda.

3. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), Toronto
I’ve visited Toronto dozens of times (my wife is from the city), and whenever we fly there I like to use Billy Bishop, which is smaller and much closer to the city than Toronto Pearson (YYZ). It’s located on an island in Toronto Harbour, and the views of the skyline coming in and flying out on a clear day are great. The experience inside the airport is friendly and manageable. The best part, though, is that you can transit to the city center via a free 90-second ferry (one of the shortest ferry rides in the world!). On a warm day, you can take the ferry and walk to your hotel.

The only downside is that most airlines don’t fly to it. As far as I know, just Porter Airlines and Air Canada do.

4. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Hong Kong
HKG is another of Asia’s crown jewel airports. It’s beautiful inside and out with floor-to-ceiling glass that lets in tons of sunlight. The dining options are excellent, with plenty of Asian restaurants and stalls especially, and so are the lounges (like several Cathay Pacific lounges and a Centurion Lounge). Like Changi, it’s a well-run airport that’s easy to navigate. Transit to/from the airport is easy, too, with connections to a 30-minute train to the city center and a ferry linking it to Macau and mainland China.

5. London Heathrow International Airport (LHR), London
You either love or hate Heathrow, and I love it. It’s the airport I’ve been to most in Europe, and every time I’m there I like to pick up something from the Harrods there for my wife. For when I’m hungry, there are plenty of nice places to eat like Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, and for getting into London there are both cheap (Tube) and fast (Heathrow Express) options. I also love the plane-spotting at Heathrow; because it’s London, you can see planes leaving for and coming from just about anywhere in the world.

The best and worst U.S. airports for business travel
Unlike my own, TravelBank’s rankings focused on airports inside the U.S. and the specific needs of business travelers. By weighing on-time performance, the quality of transit access, service scores from J.D. Power & Associates, and the costs of parking and nearby hotels, the business travel platform identified five standouts and five underachievers to note before your next business trip.

What is TravelBank?
For the unfamiliar, TravelBank’s platform makes travel booking and tracking simpler for businesses while returning some of the money saved (in the form of travel credit) back to employees at those businesses. More than 10,000 companies use TravelBank as of this writing, and all receive 24/7 agent support, exclusive negotiated rates for flights and hotels, expense tracking tools, and more as part of their packages. Watch the video below for more on how it works, or if you prefer, head straight to the airport rankings, available as a downloadable PDF on this page.

YouTube video

6 Comments On "What Are the Best Airports for Business Travel?"
  1. Anonymous|

    Interesting that you included your hometown airport and your wife’s hometown airport. Biased much?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Very biased. It’s best on my opinion

  2. Kathleen|

    Close to home ….. but not too close is THE LA HABRA CHILDRENS MUSEUM…. in La Habra….. North Orange County…. had a wonderful time there with my very young grandson…. can’t wait to return when they visit again from Cleveland…… made a big impression!

  3. Mireille aka mimi|

    Thank you Mr Johnny keep up the good work

  4. David H|

    Hi Johnny, yupp, have to agree with Changi coming in at #1. It’s the airport for which I don’t have to say “this is good, BUT…..”

    Doha is good, BUT the huge Qatar biz lounge has 6 showers. You can wait up to 2 hours for a shower.

    Haneda Tokyo is good, close to downtown, easy local transport and works well. BUT just sterile. Lack of stuff to do, decent places to eat.

    Seoul Incheon has great facilities including spa, museum, golf course. BUT is so far out of Seoul; just getting to the airport is half the trip.

    Hong Kong has fabulous Cathay Pier lounge. Just love it. BUT, arrive at gate 69, 70 etc, and it’s a one kilometer walk to security. Then if transiting to a short haul flight, no walkway to the satellite terminal. Have wait, queue travel by bus.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks for the feedback. I do love the Doha airport too and Seoul but not a huge fab of Haneda except the distance to the city.

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