Being hours early to the airport no longer means having to be cooped up indoors. One of the hottest trends happening at terminals these days is outdoor decks or seating areas as a perk for passengers. Most of these 7 outdoor spaces include great views of airplanes, taxiways, and runways and some offer travelers such extras as cocktails, dining, and Wi-FI access.
1. Frankfurt Airport, Germany
Frankfurt airport’s Terminal 2 is home to the Visitors’ Terrace. The indoor/outdoor space has seating, with some placed under pavilions to protect against bad weather. The terrace offers great views of the activity on the field, along with aircraft taking off and landing. The fence features small gaps that allows visitors to take photos on the tarmac.
2. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
The Panorama Terrace, is usually open to all visitors after they check in. It’s located between Departures 1 and 2. The terrace is popular with plane spotters and travelers alike because of expansive views of aircraft parked in Schiphol’s C, D and E piers, along with city views. There’s a KLM Fokker 100 on display also.
3. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin’s hometown airport is home to the South Terminal, designed to house ultra-low-cost carriers including Allegiant Air and Sun Country Airlines. After clearing security, passengers can sit in a hip, outdoor patio area and catch some sun before take-off. The area has tables and chairs, a pet relief area, and access to food trucks that have become iconic staples in the Texas state capitol.
4. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
The Delta Sky Club in Concourse F features an outdoor deck at the world’s busiest airport that is a delight for its club members. The 1,710 square-foot outdoor space has great views of the airline’s ramp operations. It seats nearly 40 guests and has Wi-Fi access and power outlets. There are large heaters for chilly days and an outdoor bar that regularly features the noted mixologists from across the country.
5. Hong Kong International Airport
In Hong Kong International Airport’s Terminal 2 (near the Food Court on the departures level) is the Aviation Discovery Centre, which features aviation-themed exhibits and graphics. It’s also home to the outdoor SkyDeck. The large platform is the perfect spot to watch the world’s jets, including those of hometown airline Cathay Pacific.
6. JFK Airport, New York
As if New York-based JetBlue’s flagship Terminal 5 wasn’t hip enough, the carrier opened a rooftop deck in 2015. The 4,046-square-foot post-security rooftop includes landscaped green spaces, seating for 50 people, a 400-square-foot children’s play area and a 400-square-foot dog-walk area. It also offers amazing views of both the Manhattan skyline and the historic TWA Terminal.
7. Long Beach Airport, California
After passing through security at California’s Long Beach Airport, passengers have access to nearly 22,000 square feet of outdoor space with canopied seating areas. You’ll enjoy the terminal’s local eateries and can dine outside on wood benches and watch the planes fly in and out. There’s even a patio where travelers can grab a glass of wine or food near a fire pit and enjoy the landscaping that has palm trees and water-friendly native drought-tolerant plants.