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Best and worst large UK airports

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 customer experiences
Which?Editorial team
Uk airportsbest and worst large uk airports 442224

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 6,000 responses you can use their views to fly from the best UK airports and avoid the worst.

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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.

Heathrow Terminal 5 and Birmingham are the top large airports, with customer scores of 66% and 66% respectively.

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 43%. It scores just one out of a possible five stars for range of shops, seating provision and security queues.

Manchester Terminal 3 and London Stansted also fared poorly, both receiving customer scores under 50%.

Large airports - Ten million or more passengers per year

AirportQueues for bag dropQueues at securityQueues at passport controlBaggage reclaimSeatingToiletsCustomer score
London Heathrow T5 (655)66%
Birmingham (342)65%
London Heathrow T2 (274)64%
Edinburgh (213)61%
London Gatwick North (655)59%
London Gatwick South (565)59%
London Heathrow T3 (437)59%
  • 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.

How we rate UK airports

In April/May 2019, we asked Which? members to complete an online survey about their experiences of flying from and to a UK airport in the last year. Our results are based on 6,327 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.