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UK Airports

Best and worst large UK airports

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Want to know the best airport to fly from on your next holiday? Which? reveals the best and worst UK airports, based on thousands of customers' experiences. 

The airport experience can conjure up a mix of excitement and anticipation about your upcoming trip. So which airports can you expect to send you off in style, and which could leave you stuck in a lengthy queue? To find out, we asked passengers about their airport experiences and' with more than 10,000 responses' you can use their views to fly from the best UK airports and avoid the worst.

Large UK airport reviews

The majority of UK airport passengers use the large airports in our ratings table below. Although they are well used, passenger experiences are on average better when flying from small UK airports. Make sure you compare all the airports in our guide, both small and large, to help you choose the best for you.

Birmingham airport and Heathrow Terminal 5 are the top large airports - both manage their passport control queues well and received a 61% customer score.

Which? members who passed through Luton airport on their travels were typically not so impressed with their experience. The UK’s fifth busiest airport achieved a pretty dismal customer score of just 29%. It scores just one out of a possible five stars for seating provision, toilets and security queues.

London Stansted also fared poorly, receiving a customer score of just 38%.

Large airports - Ten million or more passengers per year
Airport Queues for bag drop Queues at passport control Queues at security Baggage reclaim Seating Toilets Customer score
Birmingham (544) 61%
Heathrow Terminal 5 (944) 61%
Heathrow Terminal 2 (389) 57%
Edinburgh (292) 56%
Manchester Terminal 2 (358) 53%
Gatwick South Terminal (841) 52%
Heathrow Terminal 3 (642) 52%
Heathrow Terminal 4 (242) 52%
Gatwick North Terminal (903) 51%
Manchester Terminal 1 (402) 50%
Manchester Terminal 3 (219) 43%
London Stansted (558) 38%
London Luton (435) 29%
Using the table: Star ratings range from one to five. The more stars the better. A dash indicates we didn't receive enough respondents to provide a rating. Sample sizes in brackets.
Queues at bag drop: Having checked in online.
Seating: Numbers of seats, comfort and location.
Baggage reclaim: Waiting time on your return journey.
Customer score: Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the airport to a friend.

How we rate UK airports

In April/May 2017, we asked Which? members to complete an online survey about their experiences of flying from and to a UK airport. Our results are based on 10,532 member experiences.

Large airports have 10 million or more terminal passengers every year. Small airports have fewer than 10 million passengers.

You can have your say on what we research and help us achieve change by joining Which? Connect.

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