Smokers are a dying breed in more than ways than one. Being one and travelling a lot, here are 27 airports in Asia, Europe & the US where you can indulge.
- Check where (and if) there are smoking areas inside the terminal. In large countries, rules differ by region.
- The most smoker friendly airport for the general flyer is Singapore’s Changi.
- If you are a priority passenger, the best are Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Doha, Tokyo.
- Most airports have designated smoking areas outside the departure level. If they do not and you really want it, go down to the arrival level (e.g. Delhi).
- In India/China take out your lighters & match boxes as they are not allowed past security.
- Many countries allow a carton of cigarettes duty free. Some don’t, like Singapore and Hong Kong.
- Most airports with departure smoking areas, do not have them at arrivals. So you have to wait to get the designated smoking areas outside.
Hidden gems at Departure
- In the UK, no indoor smoking is allowed. So Heathrow T4 came up with this great innovation of an outdoor one! Its in the departure area soon after security. You have to go down one level. Always packed with passengers getting on a a long flight, so puffing away.
- US airports generally do not allow this, but rules vary by state. Dulles airport, in Virginia, has smoking rooms.
- In Mumbai’s new T2, at domestic departures, there is one to your right just after security, opposite Street Foods.
- Zurich’s Swiss Airlines/ Star Alliance Gold lounge. Look at Creme de la Creme further down the post.
Airports that allow smoking in departure areas
In Europe, I found large smoking rooms in Frankfurt, Munich, Geneva, Zurich & Amsterdam.
Asia has them here:
- Delhi T3 with an open air area just on the right as the departure gates start. Also in the food court at the level above duty free.
- Pune airport has one in the domestic departure lounge at the upper level. It is on the right as you face the gates.
- Singapore has them in all Terminals. Some are nice open air areas. http://www.changiairport.com/en/airport-experience/attractions-and-services/smoking-areas.html
- Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi has them, but they are small and tucked away in corners often involving a long walk.
- Koh Samui is the quaint little airport that looks like a resort. There is a wonderful smoking area out in the open, near the boarding gates.
- Hong Kong T2 has small smoking rooms near gates 25, 42 and 60.
- Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports have smoking rooms.
- As do Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City airports in Vietnam.
- China also has them, but I believe its going to stop soon starting with Shanghai.
- I have not been to Seoul, Taipei, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Sydney in a while, but they used to.
The Creme de la Creme – a smoking room inside the lounge
This is the best experience, so you can combine your visit to the lounge with a smoke. I have come across this in Frankfurt’s Lufthansa First Class and Senator lounges, Zurich’s Swiss Airlines lounge, Amsterdam’s KLM lounge, Doha’s Qatar Airways lounge, Tokyo Haneda’s Japan Airlines lounge.
The best was in Zurich, where the upper most level has a long bar counter with tables in front for you to read, surf, eat and drink.
The next best thing is a smoking room very near the lounge. You have these in Geneva (Swiss Airlines) and Singapore T3 Krisflyer.
Many airports separate arrival and departure areas. Even if they have indoor smoking at departure, they do not at arrivals. Your next chance to light up is only when you emerge outdoors after baggage claim, again in designated areas. Exceptions are Delhi T3 and Zurich.
In some airports, arrival and departure are in the same area, e.g. Singapore. Here you can access the same smoking areas upon arrival as you do when departing.
As I write on this controversial topic, some interesting images I came across.
The most famous smoker ever, Winston Churchill
And, the campaign to stop it
Hopefully we smokers do not disturb you non-smokers at airports. Any interesting stories both sides have?