‘Overcrowded’ airport named worst in UK in new ranking

A new ranking from the team at Which? Travel has named the UK’s best and worst airports. The worst airport was described as “noisy and overcrowded”.

Airports were judged by 4,000 members of the public on the number of flight cancellations, queues, shop prices, Wifi, toilets, seating and staff.

Liverpool John Lennon was crowned the UK’s best airport and customers praised the airport as “first class” giving it five stars for check in and security queues. One traveller described the airport as “well run” and “efficient”.

Manchester Airport was named the worst airport in the UK with Terminal 3 taking the bottom spot and Terminal 1 just one place from the bottom.

Travellers complained of “huge queues” at check in and moaned about the “crowded, noisy, generally stressful” experience which one person called “dispiriting from start to finish”. Another slammed the airport as “overcrowded”.

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Which? Airport ranking

  1. Liverpool John Lennon
  2. London City
  3. Southampton
  4. Bournemouth
  5. East Midlands
  6. Newcastle
  7. Glasgow International
  8. Leeds Bradford
  9. London Heathrow T4
  10. London Heathrow T5
  11. Bristol
  12. Aberdeen
  13. Edinburgh
  14. London Gatwick South
  15. London Heathrow T2
  16. London Heathrow T3
  17. Birmingham
  18. London Stansted
  19. Manchester T2
  20. Belfast International
  21. London Luton
  22. Manchester T1
  23. Manchester T3

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London Luton was rated the worst of the capital’s airports and was slammed for queues at check in and bag drop. London City was the Big Smoke’s best airport with five stars for the queueing experience.

The airport recently brought an end to 100ml liquid limits for passengers with new security scanners offering a more streamlined experience.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “Choosing the right airport isn’t often high on travellers’ holiday checklists, but taking the time to think about where you’re flying from can really pay dividends. We’d recommend opting for a smaller airport, as our survey shows they generally tend to perform better on queue times and customer service, giving holidaymakers the positive start to their holidays they should expect.”

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “We are committed to providing a great experience to all passengers. Our customer service is driven by investment in our people – we have recruited more than 3,000 colleagues since April 2022 and established a new 100 strong resilience team, trained in a variety of roles so they can respond at short-notice to ensure passengers get a good level of service.

“It is also driven by investment in our facilities, especially the £1.3bn transformation of Terminal 2, through which more than 80 percent of our passengers will fly by 2025. The Which? survey creates a deeply flawed and misleading picture. Not only is the Which? survey out of date, it is also based on a tiny and unrepresentative sample of the 25 million passengers who travel through Manchester airport every year.

“We surveyed 840 passengers in July and August this year, and 94 percent rated their overall satisfaction with the service they received as either good, very good or excellent. Since April this year, we have welcomed more than 10.4m people through Manchester Airport and 95.6 percent of them have got through security in under 15 minutes. Almost three quarters got through security in under five minutes and 99.8 percent in under 30 minutes.”

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