UK’s worst airports revealed

Stansted ranks bottom in new list

Helen Coffey
Thursday 27 February 2020 14:18 GMT
Stansted airport was found wanting
Stansted airport was found wanting (Getty/iStock)

Stansted is the UK’s worst airport, according to a new ranking.

Compiled by The Points Guy, the list of the nation’s best and worst airports looked at the largest 20 facilities and scored them out of 100.

London Stansted scored the lowest, followed by London Southend, Aberdeen, London Luton and Belfast International.

At the other end of the spectrum, Glasgow was named the UK’s best airport.

London Heathrow, George Best Belfast City, Newcastle and Edinburgh came second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

The ranking was based on three factors: amenities, commute and on-time flights.

Amenities were scored on the ratio of restaurants to passengers, the ratio of lounges to passengers, the ratio of spas to passengers, the ratio of children’s areas to passengers and the ratio of jet bridges to flight movements.

Commute was scored on drive time to the city centre, public transport time to the city centre, public transport cost to the city centre, parking costs and rideshare costs.

Minimum connection time between flights, delays (percentage of flights 0-15 minutes late and average overall delays of flights), presence of eGates at passport control and number of cancellations all contributed to the “on-time flights” score.

Data taken from the Civil Aviation Authority, directly from airports, local public transport organisations and taxi firms, rideshare apps and ExpertFlyer was used to inform the scores.

“With a solid score across both commute and timeliness, Glasgow Airport comes out as our champion,” said The Points Guy report. “Heathrow, the largest airport in the country, takes the silver spot and was head and shoulders above the rest when it came to amenities, with its plethora of lounges, spas and eatery options, but this wasn’t enough to carry its particularly low commute score.”

Across the individual categories, London Heathrow came top for amenities, George Best Belfast City was number one for both commute and on-time flights.

A Stansted airport spokesperson told The Independent: “Millions of people travel to London Stansted from our core catchment of north and east London every year, making use of the convenient and affordable travel options that mean we have the highest proportion of passengers using public transport of any UK airport.

“A multi-million pound programme of improvements has also resulted in in record satisfaction scores among our passengers, including the choice and quality of shopping and restaurant options, with revenue from these helping us keep our airline charges among the lowest in the country.

“Significant investment by the airport and our airline partners has also helped ensure that in the last 12 months we have been one of the best performing airports across Europe for on time performance, in particular during the busy summer peak.”

The 20 biggest UK airports, ranked

  1. Glasgow 
  2. London Heathrow
  3. George Best Belfast City 
  4. Newcastle 
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Birmingham
  7. Manchester
  8. Cardiff
  9. Liverpool John Lennon
  10. Doncaster
  11. London Gatwick
  12. London City
  13. East Midlands
  14. Southampton
  15. Leeds Bradford
  16. Belfast International
  17. London Luton 
  18. Aberdeen 
  19. London Southend 
  20. London Stansted

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