There is nothing more graceful than watching a Boeing 747 on approach to an airport. Equally impressive is watching the same airplane weighed down with passengers, fuel, and cargo, lumbering down the runway and seemingly thumbing its nose at gravity and climbing into the sky. Or even catching sight of a nimble Boeing 737 that rockets off the runway.
But one of the best things I like about airports is looking at the colourful liveries (that's the paint scheme) from airlines around the world. In fact, once you get to know a few, you'll be able to spot them in the air. While white is a common base colour, each livery is unique.
Others are iconic, like QANTAS and Aer Lingus and Swiss -- unmistakable in their origins.
Some Asian airlines like kitchey themes as witnessed by this ANA Boeing 747 from Japan, and Taiwan's, EVA Air's Hello Kitty look.
A relatively recent phenomena that seems to be taking off with some airlines, especially the low-cost variety, are the flying "billboards", as seen here with South Africa's Kulula promoting Europcar car rentals, TUI's Volkswagen advertisement, and Ryan Air covered by Hertz.
Some choose to advertise special events, such as Etihad's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix scheme, or China Eastern promoting the 2010 World's Fair, or Air Canada's support for the 2010 Winter Olympics.