The airport: Either a terminally dull place of purgatory or a destination in its own right. One thing's for sure: Time spent in airports is an unavoidable part of life for jet setters — at least for now.
It stands to reason, then, that many a bored traveler would turn to Instagram while waiting out another connection. In recognition of the combination of more people traveling than ever before, and the evolution in airports over recent years in terms of design and services, the travel search site Wego.com decided to take a look at which airports around the world are being tagged most frequently by travelers on Instagram. And they published the results, declaring these eight airports the world's most Instagrammed.
1. Singapore Changi Airport
Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer of Wego, puts Changi Airport's popularity with Instagrammers down to its thoughtful installations, rooftop sunflower gardens, butterfly garden and annual festival celebrations for Christmas and Chinese New Year." Wicks notes that the 24-foot-high Kinetic Rain installation, installed in 2012 and the world's largest kinetic sculpture, is "possibly one of its most photographed features.”
2. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
Never mind the most Instagrammed airport — in 2012 Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport was named the most Instagrammed location in the world. One of its most photographed elements is its vaulted, wave-like concourse, and intricate Buddhist pagoda. "The airport’s designers have successfully incorporated local Thai culture into the overall experience," Wicks says approvingly.
3. Los Angeles International Airport
Though the realities of air travel have diminished its sheen somewhat, there's still an element of glamour in touching down in the City of Angels. Which probably explains why so many visitors are keen to preserve the moment on their Instagram feed. “It’s probable," says Wicks, "that the concentration of celebrities that pass through this airport contribute to the quantity of tags. Outside of an awards show, it’s possibly one of the most opportune locations for star spotting." (And Bachelor-related PDAs).
4. Heathrow Airport, London
Apparently travelers passing through Heathrow are fond of posting photos of their fry ups — a.k.a. full English breakfasts. There’s also a trend of posting departure lounge drinks, which may provide a clue into why one British lawmaker wants to "examine" 24-hour liquor sales at British airports.
5. Sydney International Airport
Blessed with a stunning backdrop, Sydney International is a big hit with visiting 'grammers. According to Wicks: “Some of Sydney’s stunning skyline, warm sunrises, the ‘G’day, Welcome Home’ sign upon arrival, and a few of the spectacularly designed Qantas First Class Lounge are a feature.”
6. Hamad International Airport, Doha
"Love it or loathe it, Urs Fischer’s ‘Giant Teddy Bear’ dominates as a point of interest in the departure terminal," says Wicks. The 23-foot-tall canary yellow bear cost $6.8 million and was installed when the airport opened for business in 2014.
7. John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
Shake Shack, subway signs, iconic yellow cabs lined up outside and the canine restroom, complete with mini fire hydrant: Instagrammers can have a field day snapping photos at JFK.
8. Haneda Airport, Tokyo
At Tokyo’s Haneda Airport #travelporn meets #foodporn in the Edo-Koji shopping area, a recreation of a traditional Edo-era market. The soaring roof, designed to resemble a cirrus cloud, and open-air rooftop restaurant provide even more premium backdrops for that killer selfie.
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