Luton Airport Rated Worst
24 August 2018, 06:55 | Updated: 24 August 2018, 07:19
London Luton has been named the UK's worst airport after passengers expressed concern about its toilets, staff and bag drop queues.
The Bedfordshire airport was ranked bottom of an annual study by consumer group Which? for the third consecutive year.
It received a customer score of just 35% after being given the lowest rating for half of the 10 categories assessed.
The airport responded to the findings by stating that its own research found that 70% of passengers were "happy with their experience".
Recent Press Association analysis of Civil Aviation Authority data found Luton is the worst UK airport for flight punctuality, with departures typically 20 minutes behind schedule last year.
Stansted and Manchester (Terminal 3) both scored 44% in the Which? study, putting them in joint second-to-last place in customer satisfaction.
Doncaster Sheffield earned the highest score of 87% after passengers were particularly impressed with its security queues, baggage reclaim, prices in shops and food outlets, seating, toilets and staff, which were all given five stars.
Southend was closely behind in second spot on 84%, followed by Newcastle (74%) and Southampton (73%).
The best score out of Scotland's airports was earned by Inverness (68%), while Aberdeen received the lowest (49%).
Cardiff was given a score of 64%, while Belfast International and Belfast City were given 50% and 62% respectively.
The research was based on a survey of 11,265 passengers which was conducted in April and May. Some 521 were questioned about London Luton.
Scores were based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely respondents were to recommend the airport to a friend.
Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said:
"Travellers want to start their trips in the smoothest way, but long queues through airports and a lack of facilities can cast a rain cloud over any getaway.
With new routes launching all the time, passengers have an increasing choice over not just who they fly with but where they fly from.
If you can pick a smaller airport, choose Southend over Luton, and Doncaster Sheffield or Liverpool instead of Manchester, to get your holiday off to a better start."
Luton chief executive Nick Barton said:
"Which? polled 521 of its subscribers who had travelled through the airport between May 2017 and May 2018, 0.003% of all passengers in that period.
During this time we've undergone a period of significant change, investing £160m redeveloping the airport to increase capacity and transform the passenger experience.
In the first six months of 2018 alone, 1.2 million passengers responded to our customer service tracking, 70% of whom told us they were happy with their experience."
Here is the full ranking compiled by Which?, which customer scores in brackets:
1. Doncaster Sheffield (87%)
2. London Southend (84%)
3. Newcastle (74%)
4. Southampton (73%)
5. Exeter (72%)
6. Bournemouth (71%)
7=. Liverpool (70%)
7=. London City (70%)
9=. Inverness (68%)
9=. Norwich (68%)
11. Bristol (66%)
12. Cardiff (64%)
13=. Glasgow International (63%)
13=. London Heathrow Terminal 5 (63%)
15. Belfast City (62%)
16. Birmingham (61%)
17=. East Midlands (60%)
17=. London Heathrow Terminal 2 (60%)
19. Edinburgh (59%)
20. London Gatwick North Terminal (57%)
21. London Heathrow Terminal 4 (56%)
22=. London Gatwick South Terminal (55%)
22=. London Heathrow Terminal 3 (55%)
24. Leeds Bradford (54%)
25. Manchester Terminal 2 (51%)
26. Belfast International (50%)
27. Aberdeen (49%)
28. Manchester Terminal 1 (46%)
29=. London Stansted (44%)
29=. Manchester Terminal 3 (44%)
31. London Luton (35%)