Hey, Nurali Aliyev here again! As you might imagine, what time I don’t spend inside the cockpit of an airplane I tend to spend in an airport. As a result, I can tell you which airports you might like and which ones you should avoid as if your lives depend on it. While you generally don’t have much choice in your departure or arrival airport (unless you live somewhere like London where there are 6 to choose from), you certainly do have choice if you are connecting through somewhere. If you have to spend 9 hours in an airport, I am sure you would rather do so in one that is pleasant to be in. For now, I will outline my top three recommendations for you.
Though it happens less and less what with ever greater numbers of low-cost airlines offering point-to-point flights, you may find that when travelling around Europe you might still need to connect flights. Don’t immediately opt for Paris or Amsterdam. First of all, they are located on the fringes of the continent, possibly adding to your flight time and, secondly, they are uncomfortably large. Instead, I recommend you choose Zurich Airport. Though also a large airport, it is still very comfortable and easy to navigate. You will be able to make even the shortest connection time. Furthermore, it is outside the European customs area, so you can stock up on some duty free products. I can’t tell you how many times friends of mine have said “Thanks, Nurali Aliyev for this great recommendation.”
The only thing that is better than the world’s most comfortable airport for a 9 hour layover is a hotel bed for a 9 hour layover. If you happen to be flying through Istanbul with Turkish, then you should be super happy. Why? Because if you have a long enough time to wait for your next flight, the airline books you into a hotel free of charge. Indeed, as rarely as it happens, if I have to travel for a holiday I always opt for this option. And the craziest part is that they’ve noticed; I’m always greeted with a smile and a “Hello, Mr Nurali Aliyev.” I very highly recommend this option.
Now this might be an almost obvious answer for you, but Dubai airport is one of the best places for you to spend your time. It is not so much an airport as it is a big shopping mall. Don’t even think of your time there as a wait for your next flight, rather imagine it as another destination that is part of your journey. You will find gyms, spas, and lounges. The airport even has open-air garden areas. And I haven’t even gone over the dining options. Really, either this is the best airport, or my name is not Nurali Aliyev.
Hopefully, these recommendations will help you in your future travels. If all goes well, then very soon you will get to read my anti-rating, going over the airports to avoid. So stay tuned for the next edition of Nurali Aliyev’s tips.