For some they are stressful thoroughfares but for the rest they are objets d’artes and why airports are museums.
If you are a seasoned traveller then it is inevitable that you will have spent hours on end in airports.
Denver: Now if you have found yourself with eight hours before your next flight from Denver you might wonder what you’ll do.
Where’s a mini-golf course when you need one?
Well, yours is at the south end of Jeppesen Terminal in the pre-security area.
That Denver International Airport should have a mini-golf course should come as little surprise.
To those of us greeted by a giant blue Bronco installation, entering the airport.
The hip and humorous hombres from Denver have a thing for big blue animals as we know from our own perigrinations in Mile High City.
When in Rome
Rome: It would have been the preserve of the Gods, of Mercury, to fly in Ancient Rome.
And so in today’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport they celebrate their seafaring past.
And so when I last visited the Eternal City they had an exhibition to Ostia.
Of course it wouldn’t be Rome if they weren’t honouring their most famous citizens with sculptures scattered through the airport.
And an array of mosaics including part of a mythological depiction of signs of the Zodiac and the four time zones, or the four seasons.
Athens: Now what the fast food chain was in the days of Socrates and Plato is anybody’s guess but I’m thinking Figs on the Run.
Civilisations meet near the Burger King on the upper level of the main departures hall (before security).
And there you’ll see 172 authentic artefacts dating from the Neolithic and Early Hellenic eras to the post-Byzantine period.
I will be back to check them out only I’d messed up my connections through Munich and had a date with Athene on a hill. But that’s another story.
Amsterdam in miniature
Amsterdam: The Netherlands have long been a crossroads from these islands, Britain and Ireland, where I live.
And, while of course, we should always take time out to see its largest city, the gem that is Amsterdam, there are times when Schiphol Airport will be a layover.
Now I’m a long-term advocate for art galleries, and believe that there is never a wasted minute, hour or afternoon spent in one.
And so if you have time on your hands, and even if you don’t, then you should check out the Rijksmuseum.
Which became the first art museum in the world to open a branch at an airport in 2002.
And where travellers can visit the museum free of charge, 24 hours a day.
Qatar welcomes the world
Qatar: Now Qatar will be welcoming peoples from around the globe at the end of this year when they host the World Cup.
So we’ll all see the herd of metal oryxes, a nice treat in arrivals.
As well as the jumbo yellow Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer after departures, security and passport control at the South Node.
Or the wooden toy Small Lie which looms 32 feet over passers-by in the North Node.
And the larger-than-life sculptural Playground.
All of which we’ll appreciate all the more as we get back out flying again.
That’s why airports are museums.