With an astonishing 5 billion travelers passing through the world's airports last year, owners and developers around the globe are seeking to turn hassled and harried peons into pampered customers. "Surely, there's more going on here than making nice-nice with travelers," notes Hooper, an architect and Principal at Gensler. "'Aspirational' airports-those that have mastered the art of distracting and ultimately luring travelers-have the potential to make big money."
"In Munich, the airport takes travelers to a precisely-honed Bavarian wunderland, a microcosm of Munich with an onsite brewery, indoor beer garden and slick Audi showroom. Changi Airport in Singapore has a Balinese-themed swimming pool among its long list of amenities. In Hong Kong, the airport entertains. Consider the outdoor nine-hole golf course and 350-seat IMAX theater that claims the largest projection screen in Hong Kong."