Nothing is more stressful in traveling than the airport. Long security lines, waiting for luggage, and paying double for your favorite Starbucks drink is a near traumatizing experience. But what most people don’t realize are the behind the scenes operations or secrets of airports, which makes the airport an interesting, yet exciting, destination. Whether you need to ship an animal or shop duty-free, here are the most exciting facts, figures and claims about these international airports.
Dubai International Airport, Dubai – Best Duty Free Shopping
If looking for the best duty-free shopping around, traverse the stalls and shops in Dubai’s International Airport. Dubai has the largest vendor and selection options, offering near 60,000 square feet of glitz, glamour and goodies. This airport sells near one billion dollars’ worth of goods of Swarovski crystals, liquors, cigars and clothes.
Frankfurt International Airport, Germany – Best Pet Export
The busy German hub takes in 56.4 million passengers each year, but astonishingly Frankfurt grooms to be the best and biggest pet export hub in the EU. Run by Lufthansa, more than 100 million animals enter Frankfurt’s Animal Lounge with near 60 vets employed at the airport. Exotic and domestic animals enter and exit Germany including polar bears, hippos, crocs, cats, dogs, crabs, and even worms.
Sydney International Airport, Australia – Oldest Commercial Airport
Sydney takes claim to being the oldest operations commercial airport. Operations began in January 1920 with Qantas being known as the longest operating airline.
Bangkok International Airport,Thailand – Best Massage Parlors
Thailand is famous for its cheap, Thai massages. The newly renovated airport features plenty of shopping and massage opportunities. It’s as if you never left the streets of Bangkok with plenty of parlors to choose from throughout the concourse.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia – Busiest Airport in the World
Atlanta is known to take off and land with the most passengers and is the world’s busiest commercial airport. The ATL airport hosts 970,000 airplane movements per year and over 89 million travelers walk this airport’s concourse.
Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten – World’s Craziest Landing Strip
This airport is either perceived as the scariest or most spectacular landing strip in the world. Massive Boeing planes land just inches away from the shoreline and several feet above sunbathers enjoying the ocean shoreline. This 2014 celebrates 70 years of spectacular landings at this airport. Video footage caught on camera is frequently uploaded making this one of the most interesting airport and beach destinations around.
Qamdo Bangda Airport, Tibet – World’s Longest Runway Strip
This airport is easy access to Eastern Tibet. The airport strip is 18,045 feet in length. The strip is extra-long due to high altitude, which requires more time to gain speed while taking off, and decelerating when landing. Located 4,300 meters of altitude, it is also the world’s highest altitude airport, which can handle jumbo jets.
Elizabeth is a fitness professional, workshop presenter and freelance writer. She is an active traveler who treks the globe looking for interesting stories to write and places to photograph. Her most significant travel achievements include living and volunteering in Australia twice and studied yoga in India.