At their best airports are still not great. Long queues, overpriced shops and bars, plus that weird empty feeling you get in pretty much every airport check-in zone. But some airports are worse than others, and according to the latest Which? survey the worst airport in Britain is Luton. Again, because this is the third year in a row they've won that title.
The survey involved 11,265 passenger visits to the UK's airports, focussing on categories like queues at bag drop, passport control, and security, along with state of baggae reclaim, toilets, and the amount of seating. Luton came out with a customer satisfaction score of just 35 per cent, with passengers citing poor customer service, passport control queues, and generally poor facilities in general.
Despite this there were some categories where other airports fared worse Both Manchester Terminal 3 and Stansted were given one star ratings (out of five) for the queues at security and passport control, but still managed to come out with a score of 44 per cent each. But right at the top of the list is Doncaster Sheffield Airport with a satisfaction score of 87 per cent, closely followed by London Southend with 84 per cent. Apparently passengers were fond of each airports short queues, good facilities, and efficient baggage claim work.
Which? has also pointed out Birmingham Airport's recent expansion hasn't made much impact on scores with only 61 per cent overall. Still it noted that it was the second best city airport, and is only two per cent behind first place winner Heathrow Terminal 5. Unfortunately, however, the experience at the UK's biggest airport was largely determined by the terminal passengers are travelling from. Terminal 3 came out worst of the four still in use, with just 55 per cent. Evidently passengers weren't happy with the queues and limited range of shops.
Now I'm quite happy to be flying out of Terminal 5 for IFA next week.
You can read the full results for both large and small airports over on the Which? website. But be warned, if you don't have an account you won't be able to see any of the airport names. Which is helpful, but they have to fund their research somehow I suppose. [Which?]