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Ranked: The Best Airports in the World for Shopping

Airports + Flying
by Katie Scott Aiton Jul 10, 2024

I’m one of those people who gets to the airport early just to browse duty-free. I even choose my layovers on the quality of shops (and dining options.) Even if you’re window shopping luxe goods, a good selection of shops can make the most of airport downtime. And although we can find good sales online these days, you can still save on things like electronics, perfumes, and cosmetic bundles. If you’re looking for a good deal, some airports have better shopping facilities than others. Many are inexcusably poor — I’m looking at you, LAX, and then there’s the likes of Singapore Changi and Amsterdam Schiphol that transport you to a department store like the toy shop from Miracle on 34th Street.

To help you plan your duty-free shopping, CouponBirds analyzed thousands of SKYTRAX reviews to find the airports that offer the best shopping experiences, with great prices, a variety of stores, and a welcoming atmosphere. After filtering out airports with less than 20 reviews, CouponBirds calculated average scores out of five and ranked the remaining airports globally and by continent.

For the ultimate airport shopping experience, head to Singapore Changi Airport. This Southeast Asian aviation hub holds the top spot globally, with an impressive average rating of 4.44 out of five stars from travelers. That’s 10 percent higher than the second-place contender, Hong Kong Airport. This shouldn’t surprise — Changi handles a whopping 5.73 million monthly passengers, nearly as many people living in Singapore. Its strategic location as a transcontinental hub means there’s a captive audience eager to spend during layovers.

The overall trend suggests that East Asian and US airports dominate the best shopping experiences. With five of the top ten airports in Asia, it’s clear this region prioritizes offering travelers a delightful shopping experience during their journeys.

Tampa International Airport in Florida has the best shopping experience in the US, with a solid rating of 3.81, followed by Detroit and Portland.

Unfortunately, not all American airports are stepping up. Kansas City Airport in Missouri has the dubious honor of being the worst airport for shopping in the country, with a low rating of just 1.35. And it’s not just the shopping experience that’s poor. “The airport is dirty, moldy, and smelly,” says a reviewer on SKYTRAX. “Places to eat and shop are almost non-existent, so a layover is unpleasant.”

Popular hubs, such as La Guardia, New York JFK, and LAX, also made the list of the worst US airports for shopping. Considering the amount of footfall these big-name airports have, the facilities are truly sub-standard.

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