Manchester Airport has been revealed as the worst airport in the UK, according to a recent survey carried out by Which? The magazine which reviews a range of products and services from air fryers to airports, travel insurance to tumble dryers asked nearly 4,00o of its members to tell them about their experience at airports across the UK in the last year.
Which? recently published its survey results which compared 24 airports including individual terminals, with each being rated on a number of factors to determine an overall customer score. Which? members rated the airports based on the queues at check-in, bag-drop, security and passport control, as well as baggage claim, seating, staff, prices in shops, range of shops and toilets.
Based on the results, Which? found that the smaller airports faired better despite not having the same range of flight destinations as the biggest airports in the country. The six airports with a customer score of 70% or more all served fewer than five million passengers (compared to London Heathrow’s 62 million).
Manchester Terminal 3 came in last place with a customer score of 38%, which was closely followed by Manchester Terminal 1 with a customer score of 44%. Terminal 3 particularly scored low for its queues at security, bag-drop and check-in, in addition to its seating.
Manchester Terminal 2, which has undergone a transformation and will soon feature a champagne bar and food hall, scored highest of all the Manchester terminals with 50%, however it was neighbouring airport Liverpool John Lennon which was named the best with an overall customer score of 82%. Southampton (77%), Bournemouth (75%), East Midlands, and Newcastle (both scoring 72%) rounded out the rest of the top five best airports.
The UK’s Best and Worst Airports 2023
- Liverpool John Lennon – 82% overall customer score
- London City – 78%
- Southampton – 77%
- Bournemouth – 75%
- East Midlands – 72%
- Newcastle – 72%
- Glasgow International – 62%
- Leeds Bradford – 58%
- London Gatwick North – 57%
- London Heathrow – Terminal 4 – 57%
- London Heathrow – Terminal 5 – 57%
- Bristol – 56%
- Aberdeen – 55%
- Edinburgh – 55%
- London Gatwick South – 54%
- London Heathrow – Terminal 2 – 54%
- London Heathrow – Terminal 3 – 54%
- Birmingham – 53%
- London Stansted – 51%
- Manchester Terminal 2 – 50%
- Belfast International – 49%
- Luton – 49%
- Manchester Terminal 1 – 44%
- Manchester Terminal 3 – 38%
In response to the Which? survey, a Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “Manchester Airport is proud to give the people of the North easy and affordable access to a wide range of global destinations. We are committed to providing a great experience to all passengers, and feedback this summer has been really positive, building on the strong Christmas and Easter getaways we delivered.
“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% of our passengers will fly by 2025.
“We take all customer feedback seriously, but the Which? survey creates a deeply flawed and misleading picture of the service we are providing to our customers this summer.
“The survey is out of date – covering June 2022-June 2023 and not including the majority of this summer season – and is also based on a tiny and unrepresentative sample of the 25 million passengers who travel through Manchester Airport each year.
“Year-by-year the Which? survey becomes less and less relevant as response rates continue to dwindle, with half as many people surveyed this year as were 12 months ago. There were only 567 responses relating to Manchester Airport – 0.002% of our annual passenger numbers.
“As part of our commitment to delivering great customer service, we continually survey passengers. In July and August this year, 93% of those passengers rated their overall satisfaction with the service they received as good, very good or excellent.
“Since April this year, we have welcomed more than 10.4m people through Manchester Airport, who have travelled to more than 180 destinations with nearly 50 different airlines – and 95.6% of them have got through security in under 15 minutes. Almost three quarters got through security in under five minutes and 99.8% in under 30 minutes.”