Faster and smarter in the app... Download now

Survey rates best UK airports

[March 31st 2009]

The best and worst airports in the UK have been named in a comprehensive new survey.

Blackpool airport was voted favourite airport, while Heathrow Terminal 1 was bottom of the table with just 31% in the Which? Holiday magazine survey.

More than 9,000 Which? online panel members took part in the survey. They were asked to rate their satisfaction with, and say how likely they would be to recommend, any UK airport they had used in the previous 12 months. Scores were combined and weighted to give an overall score out of 100.

Blackpool airport, which flies to fewer than 20 destinations, came out on top with 80%. London City airport was a close second with an overall customer satisfaction score of 78%.

A total of 38 terminals at 30 airports were rated in the survey. Airports were marked for the distance from security to boarding gate (50%), time taken to get through security (35%) and distance from check in desk to security (15%).

Marks were also awarded for design of the airport (40%), signage (20%), flight arrivals and departures monitors (20%) and the attitude and efficiency of staff (20%).

Blackpool airport and London City airport both received five stars for the efficiency of check-in, the time it takes to clear security and distance from check-in to the gate, and the overall airport experience, including signage, design of the airport and attitude of staff.

Two other regional airports - Doncaster Sheffield (Robin Hood) and Exeter - were voted in the third and fourth place overall.

London airports generally performed badly. Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and the North and South terminals at Gatwick were all in the bottom six. But Heathrow Terminal 5, despite its disastrous opening, did better ranked in joint 23rd place of out 38 terminals. Another BAA airport, Southampton, was voted one of the best with an overall score of 71%.

“It seems clear that Which? members prefer the experience of flying from smaller regional airports to using the larger ones. So it is well worth looking into the routes offered from smaller airports when planning a holiday to short-haul destinations,” comments Which? Holiday editor, Lorna Cowan.

“But people still need to use Gatwick and Heathrow for long-haul trips - our results suggest that these large airports need to work much harder to provide a better service for their passengers,” she adds.

Written by: Nick Purdom