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Singapore Changi Airport world's most family-friendly airports
Photograph: Lennon Cheng/Unsplash

Changi Airport ranks 10th in world’s most family-friendly airports list

We're in a tie with Japan’s Fukuoka Airport, and lost out to others based on just one factor

Rachel Yohannan
Written by
Rachel Yohannan

Earlier this year, Singapore’s Changi Airport was named the best airport in the world for the 12th time – much to no one’s surprise. What might come as a shocker, however, is that we’re not as highly-ranked on the kid-friendly front. According to a new report by travel resource The Family Vacation Guide, our beloved Changi Airport comes in at 10th place on the world’s most family-friendly airports list, tying with Japan’s Fukuoka Airport.

Here’s the full top ten list of family-friendly airports in the world:

  1. Mexico City Juarez International in Mexico and JFK International Airport in New York City (tied)
  2. NIL
  3. O’Hare International Airport in Illinois
  4. Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania
  5. St Paul International Airport in Minnesota
  6. Frankfurt am Main International Airport in Germany
  7. Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada
  8. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia
  9. El Dorado International Airport in Colombia
  10. Changi Airport in Singapore and Fukuoka Airport in Japan (tied)

This list was created based on a pool of 77 of the biggest international airports in the world, so being in the top 10 isn’t too shabby after all. Still, we can’t help feeling a tad indignant, because with all the facilities Changi Airport is equipped with, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be a haven for families. 

Hear us out – some of the many attractions at Changi Airport include a free cinema, video game lounge, butterfly garden, giant slide spanning a couple of storeys, and even a swimming pool with shower facilities. If catching a nap at the Snooze Lounges doesn't feel private enough, there’s always the cushy airport hotel YotelAir, with flexible check-in and check-out timings.

Let’s not forget mega retail complex Jewel Changi, which connects seamlessly to the airport and its terminals. With a hedge maze, mirror maze, bouncing nets and tons of other child-friendly entertainment options, it’s also home to a plethora of F&B and shopping options, including the Pokémon Center Singapore – the first permanent one in Asia outside of Japan.

So, where exactly are we lacking in? Apparently, the answer lies in unlimited free WiFi, one of the pillars for the scoring system. While Changi Airport does have free WiFi@Changi services in both public and transit areas, it’s only available for 3 hours at a go.

Despite this, it’s worth pointing out that Changi Airport still beats many of its higher-ranking competitors when it comes to the other scoring factors. Changi Airport comes in at 81.8% for on-time departures, making it one of the only four in the top ten with a score above 80%. It also has the lowest cancellation rate of 0.4%, with the others ranging from 0.7% to 11%.

On top of that, Changi Airport has a whopping 214 places to eat and 204 things to do. As for the other airports? None of them have more than 200 in either category, with most of them in the two-digit range. Looks like the absence of free WiFi has certainly cost us.

But hey, with so many options for food and entertainment within one airport, we reckon you don’t even need anything close to three hours worth of iPad games and shows in order to keep your kids nicely occupied.

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