The most beautiful airport in the world?

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Sean O'Neill

I had never heard of Samui Airport until I visited it last month during a trip to Samui, an island off the eastern coast of Thailand. It instantly became my favorite airport in the world. Here's why:

• At the departure gates, free pies and fruit juices (blueberry, orange, or pineapple) are offered at a counter. And they were delicious!

• The lounge is full of wicker chairs and couches with plush upholstery.

• A children's playground lets kids unwind, but at a quiet remove from the other waiting passengers.

• The airport takes advantage of the tropical weather by having an open-air design. Fresh-cut flowers decorate all sections.

• Airy, modern, and superclean bathrooms.

• An airline representative circulates through the departure lounge, pre-clearing passengers for departure and thus circumventing the need for lengthy waiting boarding lines.

• Free Wi-Fi.

• The TVs are silent, with closed-captioning. And they're tuned to sports news, not financial or political news.

To quote another passenger I overheard, "This airport is so pretty, I'd spend the night here."

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