“Ladies and gentlemen, the flight from JFK to LAX has been delayed for a few hours. Sorry for the inconvenience and we thank you for your patience.”
How many times have you been on the receiving end of a message like the one above? If you're any kind of frequent traveler, chances are more than once. You roll your eyes, let out an exasperated sigh, and curse your decision to get to the airport the recommended two full hours before departure time. You know it's going to be another two hours before you actually get to board — if you're lucky. So what are your options? Camp out at the gate with fast food? Sit in some dingy no-name airport bar downing cheap drinks? Not necessarily.
At airports all over the world the bar experience has truly been raised. You no longer have to sit in McDonald’s for three hours hoping the seconds tick by a little faster. In Singapore’s Changi Airport, for example, you can lounge with a cocktail and watch planes take off (not yours, sadly) on the rooftop of Terminal 3 at Harry’s Bar. Or if you're in Terminal 1 and happen to have a bathing suit in your carry-on, you can take a dip in the rooftop bar's pool.
Wine enthusiast? Frescobaldi's Wine Bar in Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport has the kind of enviable list you would expect from a wine bar in Italy's capital. Or maybe you fancy yourself a bonafide beer geek? If you're traveling out of Portland you already know you're in capable hands, but the top-notch local microbrews at Laurelwood Public House and Brewery make for a great send off. And in the Belize City International Airport, there may only be one bar in the whole place, but at least they know how to treat a traveler — if you ask, they'll arrange to have your gate call the bar when your flight is ready to board.
So before you hit the skies, check out our list of favorite airport bars — they might help redefine how you feel about layovers and flight delays.