UK airports with worst security waiting times revealed

Manchester Airport has the longest wait times at security of any large UK airport, according to new research.

Queuing times average 16 minutes per passenger, with one holidaymaker reporting a wait of 90 minutes, reveals a Which? survey.

The consumer champion asked 4,499 passengers to provide an estimated wait time at security for their most recent visit to the airport.

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Stansted and Luton airports also fared badly, with average security waiting times of 14 and 12 minutes respectively.

The worst small airport was also the worst overall: Belfast International had wait times averaging 22 minutes per passenger, with the longest wait recorded being 130 minutes.

It comes after Belfast was voted the worst airport in the UK by a separate Which? study. Passengers complained of long queues, crowded terminals and high parking charges.

Overall, some 10 UK airports – including Heathrow Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 – were reported as having had queues of an hour or more at some stage.

However, Heathrow Terminal 5 performed much better, with waits of just 8.6 minutes on average.

In the small airports category, Southampton, Southend and Exeter came top, with average wait times of 5.2, 5.2 and 6.9 minutes respectively.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: “Never-ending queues through security are a pain at the best of times, but if you are left waiting for hours on end you could find your flight has left without you.

“To add insult to injury, if this happens you are unlikely to qualify for compensation as the time it takes to get through security is out of the airline’s control.

“Airlines will rarely delay a flight due to long queues at security so it’s important to arrive at the airport in plenty of time, especially if you are flying from Manchester or Belfast.”

Large airport waiting times

Small airport waiting times


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