Glasgow Airport • Scotland's growing international hub ....
Glasgow Airport is second busiest in Scotland, after Edinburgh Airport
now catering for close on 7 million passengers every year. And though it may not be huge, its management would say it's perfectly formed. In fairness, they may have good cause • it was named "Best Airport With Over 6 Million Passengers" in the 2010 Airport Operators Association Awards.
SkyHub, the major terminal extention competed in 2008 at a cost of some £31 million, plus further refurbishments completed in 2011 increased retail space providing a wider choice of bars, restaurants plus new tax and duty free shopping options.
If you're interested in contemporary souvenirs and gifts inspired by the land of thistles, take a look around the airport's new Discover Glasgow store, which offers arts and crafts, clothing, gourmet food, jewellery • you name it, and all with a Scottish twist. The recent refurbishment also saw the opening of a new women's fashion retailer, A Bientot.
No trip to or from Scotland would be complete without being tempted by a wee dram, of course. The World Duty Free store is the place to go for a bottle or two of the country's trademark tipple. The store holds everything from blended whiskies to award-winning speciality single malts, led by the likes of Glenfiddich
and Highland Park, plus whiskies with an international flavour. WDF also stocks an excellent range of premium spirits such as Jack Daniel's and Gordon's gin.
Also under the WDF roof you will find a range of cosmetics and fragrances from prestige brands: think Estée Lauder, Dior and Bobbi Brown. For more cosmetics beyond WDF, the airport has a stand-alone MAC Studio which sits at the heart of the terminal and offers over 800 items and exclusive travel retail sets.
For fashion and accessories, you might want to try the airport's Dorothy Perkins store with its 2000 square feet of retail space. This store stocks a comprehensive range of accessories, along with some specially selected clothing ranges. For more niche accessories, swimwear and a fabulous selection of lingerie, check the ultra stylish La Senza store.
If you're flying within the EU and are keen to shop before your flight, but you don't cherish the idea of shouldering a load of heavy bags, then you can make use of Glasgow Airport's free Shop & Collect service. This allows you to shop in any and all of the airside shops, without having to pick up a single bag. Everything you purchase is stored securely and insured during your trip. All you have to do it pick it up from a convenient location on your return to the airport, after you have cleared customs. It's particularly good for heavy or delicate purchases, and it means you can avoid the restrictions on carrying liquids on your flight home. If you have no time to browse on your outward leg, don't despair • there is also a WDF store in the arrivals area of the airport.
If you are more interested in getting away from the crowds and relaxing than shopping, you also have choices. The hands-on option would be the airside Relaxation Station, which offers a range of through-the-clothes massage treatments. Alternatively, you could book some space in Glasgow Airport's Skylounge, which boasts a family friendly Holiday Wing and a fully decked out Business Wing. Find some comfortable chairs, tuck into a range of complimentary drinks and snacks and thumb a magazine or newspaper while you await your flight.