Times are changing. If you think of airports as stress-inducing places filled with recycled air and convenience food, you might be surprised by how far many have come. We wanted to find out just how far by ranking 25 of the world’s busiest airports to see which is best for wellness. And by that, we mean these airports are making active efforts to help passengers to be healthy and feel good – both physically and mentally.
We analysed a range of factors, from massage access and spas, to meditation areas and gyms, to find the best airport for wellness. We calculated the score by analysing the amount and quality of facilities in the 25 airports, then ranked them according to their overall score.
Use the filter buttons below to see which airports have certain facilities, or to see the overall list.
Then, of course, there’s wellness while you’re in the air. Ali Houmani has been a pilot for five years with Middle East Airlines. He spends 18 hours a week in the air, so maintaining his health is a big priority. We asked him for some expert tips on staying healthy onboard.
“Flying requires a lot of sitting, especially when travelling long haul. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or you’re due to jet off on your first long-haul trip, there are several measures you can (and should) take to combat the long hours spent sat down,” he says. Take a look at his top tips to find out more.
Try to move when you fly
“When flying, try to move at least once every hour. As I fly often, I have reminders set on my watch to tell me to stand up and move every hour, so I don’t forget. You should also stretch whenever possible. When you notice the seatbelt sign is off, walk to the galley part of the plane, where you’ll have some space, and stretch your legs and arms to keep the blood flowing normally. Don’t worry – cabin crew are used to this and they won’t see anything strange in it!”
“Once you land, a good post-flight workout is just walking from the gate to the airport’s arrivals exit. Avoid the moving belts if you’re not in a rush.”
Eat healthily before and during your flight
“It is very easy to have an unhealthy diet when travelling because of the wide availability of fast-food restaurants in airports. If you think you’d be tempted to default to an unhealthy choice, prepare something healthy and take it with you instead.”
“Another big tip is to stay hydrated. Limit your intake of sugary food and drinks, coffee and alcohol both before and during your flight. Really, it’s best to stick to water. You might need to use the toilet during your flight but see it as a bonus – you’ll be getting up to move more.”