For jaded air travelers, window seats are overrated.
Not having to climb over snoring seat mates to get to the toilet often trumps the desire to gaze at fluffy white clouds and brown squares of farmland as the plane descends.
There are, however, exceptions.
Earlier this year PrivateFly, a global booking platform for private jet charters, conducted a global survey of the world’s most scenic airport approaches.
When you’re flying into these 10 beauties, which offer views of everything from mountainous landscapes to glittering skyscrapers, you’re going to want to be in the window seat.
New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport came out the big winner, followed by Las Vegas McCarran Airport and Nice Cote D’Azur Airport in France.
The PrivateFly Best Airport Approaches 2016 poll was conducted in February and March of this year and received more than 7,500 individual votes, says the company. A total of 115 global airports received nominations.
A total of 147 global airports received nominations.
“Our poll has become an annual checklist for the well-traveled, and offers a fascinating mix of global descents,” says Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot.
“From iconic city views such as Las Vegas and London City; to tiny remote airstrips such as Saba in the Caribbean (the world’s shortest commercial runway); and the unique beach landing at Barra in the Outer Hebrides.”
Here are the top 10 scenic airport approaches, according to PrivateFly’s 2016 survey:
1. Malta Airport, Malta
2. Las Vegas McCarran Airport, United States
3. Nice Cote D’Azur Airport, France
4. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK
5. St. Maarten Airport (Princess Juliana International), Caribbean
6. Saba Airport (Juancho E Yrausquin), Caribbean Netherlands
7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada
8. Gibraltar Airport, UK
9. London City Airport, UK
10. Cape Town Airport, South Africa
Previous winners of the annual poll include Queenstown Airport in New Zealand (2015), Nice Cote D’Azur (2014), St. Maarten in the Caribbean (2013) and Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides (2012).
Originally published May 2015, updated December 2015.