From Hong Kong through Taipei and onto FAB-ulous Ontario International Airport

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I’m a flying Kiwi again as I prepare to transfer terminals at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, in my view one of the finest examples of an airport truly fulfilling its role as a gateway into, through and out of a location

What is there not to like about Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport? The transit and transfer experience – in my case out of Hong Kong International Airport and from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 at the Taipei gateway en route to Ontario International, California – was beautifully seamless. And what awaits the transferring passenger inside T2 is simply a delight.

This 24-year-old terminal has a lovely vibe. Sure I’ve arrived at a quiet time – early evening on a Saturday – but I reckon the combination of cultural integrity, themed gate rooms, guest consideration and services, and excellent (and diverse) shopping and restaurant options would be a winner whatever the time of day.

Can you believe this is a gate room? Heck I would fly here just to experience waiting for my onward connection.
Another example of how to turn an otherwise utilitarian zone into a regional showcase
A beautiful display of Taiwanese products greets transferring passengers as they enter T2
And there’s plenty of international flavour too with activations from big international spirits brands

Super impact from Belgian chocolate house Godiva in this high-profile promotion
Tasa Meng Duty Free, as always, does a fine job of collaborating with its illustrious brand partners

After a rapid-fire store and F&B tour, I’ve opened a (very) Interim Bureau inside the China Airlines lounge, before I board that carrier’s 11-hour flight across the Pacific to southern California.

I’m bound there for our annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) + Hospitality Conference & Awards being hosted by Ontario International Airport. FAB is always a fantastically engaging and social event and with airport F&B and lounge services under the spotlight as never before, the 2024 edition promises to be a cracker.

There’s just time to sip on a chilled 2023 Banrock Station Chardonnay from South Australia that’s a lot sprightlier than me and munch on some stir-fried cabbage with fungus and celery. The ways I spend my Saturday evenings…

Before what I hope will be a FAB-ulous flurry of stories from Ontario, here are some snapshots from two of my all-time favourite airports, Hong Kong International and Taiwan Taoyuan International. ✈


A passenger stands in front of a flight information display screen at Hong Kong International Airport. Why do I love this shot? Firstly, because it captures the essence of what airports are all about, helping to transport people all around the globe. And secondly, simply because of how busy the screen is. Hong Kong International Airport went through dreadful times during the pandemic. How good it is to see such a strong recovery.
Now this is what you call a compelling brand statement from Jo Malone. Great visual impact in the airside departures zone from the niche fragrance house in partnership with JCDecaux.
Time to go airside where another fragrance brand, Chanel, is also making an impact, this time via a high-profile promotion

Inside Duty Zero by cdf, things are positively blooming

Beauty & You (The Shilla Duty Free) now boasts an alluring new digital wrap, helping to draw passengers into its well-ranged perfumes & cosmetics offfer


Tasa Meng, one of two anchor retailers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport alongside Ever Rich Duty Free, works closely with its brand partners to add vibrancy to the airport shopping offer

Sustainability (here championed by Ever Rich Duty Free) is a pervading theme right across the airport

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