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 10 outdoor spaces include great views of airplanes, taxiways, and runways and some offer travelers such extras as cocktails, dining, and Wi-FI access.
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. It’s close to the terminal's Food Plaza, so visitors can take food and eat outside and at the entrance is a small gift shop.
The airport charges 3€ ($3.39 US) per person for a day pass and 12€ ($13.58 US) for a family of five.
The Panorama Terrace, recently closed for a limited period of time for a renovation project, 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, and visitors can enjoy a meal and the views when they eat at either Touchdown, a buffet-style restaurant, or Dakota's Cafe and Bar.
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. There’s also Wi-Fi access and charging stations for electronic devices.
And, Delta Sky Club members can now enjoy pre-flight cocktails from a full-service bar on a sprawling outdoor patio decorated with local Texas art at the new 9,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club located on the mezzanine level of the airport's Barbara Jordan Terminal.
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.
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. It’s an open area with no shade, so wear a hat and use sunscreen as you enjoy the aviation view.
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. The space also features free Wi-Fi and three food and beverage carts for a meal or quick snack.
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.
In a new renovation plan due to be completed in 2021, the airport will be adding a "meet and greet outdoor courtyard" so that visitors can enjoy fresh air with passengers outside the secure areas.
You need to have status to enter the Star Alliance Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. But if you do find yourself in possession of the golden ticket, you can expect fire pits and amazing views of Hollywood and the mountains, along with a free open bar and an expansive food buffet.
If you’re departing from this airport down under, you’re most likely looking at a long flight. Before going through security, check out the Cloud 9 rooftop bar at the Rydges Sydney Airport hotel. The bar features signature cocktails, spirits, champagnes, wines and food. But it also has killer views of the airport runway, Port Botany, and the city’s skyline.
The Aspire Lounge, open to all international travelers, is located in the airport’s Midfield Terminal above Gate E. It not only offers free cold and hot meals and drinks, it also offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and airport gates from its outdoor terrace seating.
You can walk-in for a stay at the Aspire Lounge but if they are over capacity, you may be turned away. Entry is charged at CHF 38 ($38 US) per person with children free.