I rather like airports. I like the clean, modern international style they often share, and the exciting energy of people moving around the globe. With that said, I don't really want to spend eight hours or more in one. Especially if it's a bad airport.
On a too-long layover, the quality of airport makes all the difference. Is it a mild irritation having to wait, alleviated by having enough to do, see and eat; or is the whole layover spent counting the minutes until you can get back on a plane?
Two of the worst:
1) Pictured above is LAX in Los Angeles, which, I'm embarrassed to say, has one of the worst international terminals I've been to. Lots of places to sit down, but almost no where to eat, shop or hang out, and the whole place just seems a bit faded and run down. Los Angeles is rather good at self-mythologizing, and investing itself with a good show of glamour-- so why does the airport fall so short? It could be a great place to show off the city's food, shopping, and style. Imagine if they had a foodcourt with dining options from the famed Farmer's Market, or shops selling work by local designers?
2) On our way to South Africa this year, we had a depressing ten-hour stay in Frankfurt. I could have left the airport, but as a South African, Bordeaux would have needed an expensive visa. There was very little to do at the airport during that time, and worse, almost nowhere to sit. The airport had wifi, but at a ridiculous price, and despite our searching we didn't find one outlet to plug our laptop in. We ended up spending nearly the whole day in the McCafe, which is about as good as it gets in Frankfurt. We did go elsewhere for lunch though-- the rather glum Cafe Goethe, where we got a somewhat gray sausage with a pile of tired looking sauerkraut. What luxury it felt to board our South African Airways aircraft and actually have a seat, movies to watch, and be provided with something to eat (the bottles of South African wine helped to relieve the memory of the Frankfurt airport).
On the other side, I had a rather pleasant stay at Incheon in Seoul, South Korea. The airport was bright and clean, there were some decent places to get some kimchi or a latte, and not only was there free wi-fi, but they would lend you an adapter so you could plug in your laptop.
What's the best airport you've ever been to? And the worst?