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The biggest and busiest airports in the world

Ever wondered which is the biggest airport in the world geographically? Can you imagine how many footfalls it sees in a day? Read on to satiate all your curiosity around the biggest and the busiest airports in the world.

Gone are the days when airports were just a place that enabled you to depart from or arrive at a location. These days, airports have stunning architecture, ample food and entertainment options, unending shopping scenes and of course, a grandeur that you simply cannot ignore. Wondering which airports take away the crown for being the biggest and busiest? We have the details right here!

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

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The Atlanta Airport, also called the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, has been topping the list of the busiest airports in the world for a while now. That’s because it attracts over 100 million passengers (it’s the only one in the world to do so!) and accommodates over 950,000 flights in a year. Located around 10km away from Atlanta’s city centre, this beast of an airport is the hub for Delta Air Lines. It spans across 4,700 acres and has five parallel runways! Food-lovers will be spoilt for choice here with drooling options such as Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Chick-fil-A, Varasano’s and of course, One Flew South. For those who believe in shop till you uumm…board, there are unending glitzy shops including world brands such as Michael Kors, L’Occitane, Tumi and Swarovski. All these dining and shopping options lay stylishly in the airport’s seven concourses located between its domestic and international terminals.

Good to know: There’s free and unlimited WiFi and you can pay and use one of the first class lounges even if you are travelling economy.

Read more: The list of budget airlines you must know

2. Beijing Capital International Airport

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Crawling swiftly up the ladder of the top airports in the world, Beijing Capital International Airport is now the busiest airport in Asia and the second busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic. The airport reported record passenger traffic of 95.8 million passengers in 2017. Located around 30kms away from the city centre, this airport is the main hub for Air China, the country’s flag carrier, along with Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. The Beijing Capital International Airport has three terminals with the last one added in 2008. Apart from the wide variety of shopping and dining options, the Beijing Airport has three adorable playareas for children, two gardens with ponds loaded with colourful fish (yes, you read that right!), a spa and many rest areas to ensure you are pampered enough while waiting for your flight.

Good to know: While it might be difficult to converse with the airport staff in English, the overhead announcements are made in both Chinese and English.

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3. Dubai International Airport

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Since Dubai is synonymous with glamour, it is only obvious that its international airport will live up to those standards too. Ranking first on the list of the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic and third by passenger traffic, this massive airport (spread across 7,000 acres) is an architectural wonder. The airport, with its three terminals, is the hub for Emirates and flydubai. With Dubai growing as a tourist hub, the airport traffic has been rising too. The airport accommodated 88 million passengers and served over 400,000 flights in 2017. Passengers will not have a single dull moment at Dubai International Airport, thanks to their easy-to-connect, unlimited WiFi. The airport is loaded with eateries that are open 24/7 and swanky shops selling envious items. There are also many prayer rooms, spas and pharmacies.

Good to know: If chilling at one of the airport cafes gets too boring, you could take a relaxing dip in the pool or enjoy the rejuvenating Jacuzzi at the airport health club!

Read more: Traveling to the 7 Wonders of the World from India

4. Tokyo International Airport

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Tokyo International Airport, also called the Haneda Airport, perfectly reflects the country’s love for everything cutting-edge. With three terminals, four runways and a variety of shopping and dining options, this airport promises to amaze you with its magnificence. It is the third busiest airport in Asia and fourth in the world (by passenger throughput) and accommodated over 85 million passengers in 2017. Wondering what to do during a layover at this airport? Apart from the regular shopping and dining, you could indulge in some art appreciation at Discovery Museum where art exhibitions are held. You could also explore model airplanes in the TIAT Sky Road or study the history of toys at Juveniland Tokyo. There is also a Japanese shrine, prayer rooms, a barber shop and a pet hotel! Those who are spending the night at this airport can enjoy the dedicated moon viewing platform at Tokyo Pop Town.

Good to know: Want to take a souvenir back home? Head straight to one of the information counters and get rubber-stamped paper, or get your paper or item stamped.

5. Los Angeles International Airport

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This is the largest and the busiest airport on the West Coast of America, and the second busiest in the country. It served around 85.5 million in 2017 and gained the title of the world’s fourth busiest airport by passenger traffic. Los Angeles International Airport has nine terminals (with four parallel runways) and is located 30kms away from downtown. From various coffee shops and restaurants to multiple duty-free shops including premium brands such as Hermes and Gucci, this airport has it all. The airport’s unique white building resembles a flying saucer with four legs. Soak in stunning airport views from a restaurant that is suspended beneath the arches of the building.

Good to know: Keep an eye out for live performances as the airport keeps hosting them.

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