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Singapore: World's most awesome airport gets awesomer

Hailed as the world's best airport, Singapore's Changi is getting a huge new futuristic pleasure dome.

Changi airport Jewel
Changi Airport's Project Jewel is a terminal hub designed to make flying fun.
Changi Airport Group

Last time I was at Singapore's Changi Airport, I was waiting for my flight by relaxing at the swimming pool and sipping a Singapore Sling. I really didn't want to leave.

Brimming with gorgeous tropical plants and stress-busting recliners, with an easy rail link to downtown, Changi is the most heavenly airport I've ever been to. It's almost a vacation unto itself, and makes some world air hubs feel like, well, hell.

And though it often tops lists like the World Airport Awards, it's now adding a futuristic pleasure dome to ensure its global dominance: Project Jewel.

Slated to open in 2018, the mixed-use bubble will be designed by a consortium led by Moshe Safdie, who also did Singapore's opulent Marina Bay Sands resort complex, and will feature a bubble-like structure of glass and steel.

A waterfall will plunge from the roof into a pool ringed by a large tropical garden, creating a greenhouse-style atmosphere. Leisure and retail options will lure travelers using the Jewel to get to three terminals.

The dome, and a planned fourth terminal, is part of Changi's bid to boost passengers from 51 million a year to a capacity of 85 million, which if realized could bring it within striking distance of Atlanta, the busiest.

But in terms of passenger satisfaction, Changi is hard to beat. Aside from its pool, it offers gardens, free Wi-Fi and Internet terminals, free city tours, a four-story slide, movie theaters, playgrounds, and a gym.

What do you think of your local airport? Check out more Changi images and pics in the gallery below.