If you’re anything like us, your camera is filled with photos of fluffy clouds, hazy landscapes, and farmland that looks like deli meat, because they kinda looked cool for a second from your seat on the plane. Then there are those extra-special flights when the captain alerts you of an upcoming awesome view. Of course, in those circumstances, you’re probably on the wrong side of the plane. It’s not your fault you have flying superstitions and always have to sit in row A.
You may have a few cool from-the-plane pictures but you can never have too many, which is why PrivateFly created a poll to find the most spectacular airport approach photos, and these breathtaking shots prove that the best angle is always from above.
Don’t believe us? Read the quotes from their expert panel for even more convincing.
Maggie Parker is Paste Magazine’s assistant travel editor.
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Kelly Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada
"A spectacular contrast of an island airport in Lake Ontario, set against the backdrop of Canada's largest city. "
2 of 12
Malta International Airport, Malta
"Approached from a churning blue sea, the tiny, isolated rocky island nation suddenly appears and you immediately understand Malta's strategic geo-political importance for literally millennia by sea and later air in the middle of the Mediterranean."
3 of 12
Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, France
"Flying along the spectacular coastline of the Côte d'Azur is every bit as glamorous as staying on the French Riviera itself."
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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands
"Multiple runways to choose from here, but many of the approaches offer spectacular views of the Dutch lowlands and coastline."
5 of 12
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, USA
"Aside from being an extremely difficult approach, Aspen is also a beautiful approach. Snow covered mountains flank the airport on three of four sides, giving passengers a beautiful welcome to a beautiful place."
6 of 12
Daocheng Yading Airport, China
"The highest airport in the world, just over a year old, has a silver saucer terminal building nestled amongst Tibet's spectacular peaks and lakes."
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Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
"When approaching the airport, you discover the archipelago of wild islands in the South China Sea. Before 1998, Kai Tak airport was right in the middle of the city. It influenced the organization of the Kowloon district, which had buildings shaped to give enough space for the aircrafts to land. For those traveling from the West to Chep Lak Kok, sit on the right to appreciate a magical landscape, especially when the sun is rising. Enjoy the green thick forests which will be more and more sparse when approaching the city."
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St. Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport, Caribbean Netherlands
"An #avgeek's dream vacation because it combines lovely Caribbean beaches with amazing, up-close plane spotting opportunities. Planes ranging from an ATR turboprop to a Boeing 747 fly mere feet over your head. Photos from St. Maarten look like they're photoshopped—but they're real!"
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Telluride Airport, USA
"An amazing landing, but not for the faint of heart. The runway is carved into the side of a mountain, and if you miss the approach, you're diverted to Montrose. But the views coming in are spectacular."
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Venice Marco Polo Airport, Italy
"Few arrivals compare to flying through the gauzy morning light over one of the world's most beautiful cities."