Passengers across the country have ranked the UK’s airports, with Newcastle emerging victorious.
In a poll by global flight search and travel deals website Cheapflights, frequent air travellers scored 16 of the UK’s biggest airports across categories including shopping, cleanliness and security.
This is the second annual poll by Cheapflights and the second year running that Newcastle International Airport ranked first overall, coming top for cleanliness, toilets and check-in and taking second place in many other categories.
Newcastle was ranked as the overall best airport in a poll taken by over 2,500 frequent fliers
Meanwhile almost all of London’s airports languished at the bottom of the scoreboard, with the exception of City which came in second place overall but came top in the Security, Immigration, Wifi, Baggage Wait and Lounge categories.
Luton was ranked worst overall in the poll of 2,500 people, with Stansted voted the second-worst overall. Gatwick and Heathrow were not far behind, in slots 13 and 11 respectively.
Andrew Shelton, Managing Director of Cheapflights said: ‘For many, Britain’s airports are seen as a necessary evil on the way to somewhere hot and sandy during the summer months, and our poll provides some clear signals on areas for improvement.
‘Once again our smaller, regional airports score highest – demonstrating that size isn’t everything and stressing that Brits just want to be able to board their flight with the minimum of hassle.
‘That said, it’s great to see London City rank so well as it makes its first appearance in the poll.’
Shelton added: ‘Our annual poll indicates that airport users accept the impact that increased security measures and growing passenger volumes will have on the airport experience.
‘Passengers are willing to credit the airport operators and authorities when they do what they can to minimise discomfort caused by factors which are largely out of their control.
‘About a third of Brits still cite the airport as one of the most taxing parts of planning and taking an overseas holiday, though, and these results reiterate that those same users are less forgiving when they feel other aspects of the experience continue to be neglected.
‘As the summer getaway looms, many will be bracing themselves for what they’ll expect to be several hours of discomfort in the hinterland between home and holiday – unless, seemingly, they happen to be flying out of Newcastle, that is.’
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Despite coming bottom overall, Luton has made clear progress since last year with improvements in the security, immigration and lounge rankings – beating Stansted and Belfast for security and Stansted again for immigration.
A spokesman for Luton Airport detailed the ongoing improvements being made there: ‘We’re working hard to minimise disruption for passengers as we make a £150million investment to transform the airport.
‘In the past year, we’ve added new shops and restaurants, opened a new multi-storey car park and dual carriageway and expanded the security area to make it quicker and easier for travellers.
Luton ranked lowest of 16 UK airports, but a spokesman claimed a £150million investment would ‘transform the airport’
‘As our transformation continues, we’ll double the size of our immigration, security search and departure lounge and improve road and rail connections to further improve the airport experience for our customers.’
However, the poll’s results have been met with skepticism by Stansted Airport.
A spokesperson stated that the airport doesn’t ‘recognise the methodology used’ by Cheapflights and other commercial rating systems.
A spokesperson for Stansted Airport (pictured above) refuted the results of the Cheapflights poll, claiming that it was ‘random and contrary’
He said: ‘They tend to be driven by blatant commercial interests and their methodologies are rarely robust.’
The spokesperson instead cited the global standard ASQ ratings system which shows that Stansted passenger satisfaction levels are increasing, with the airport rated the best in Europe for retail, food and drink.
‘An example of the random and contrary nature of these surveys is the fact that last month, Cheapflights named Stansted runner-up as favourite airport for short-haul flights,’ he added.
Full results of the Cheapflights poll show how Newcastle pipped other airports to the post and emerged as the UK’s overall best airport
The Cheaplflight’s annual poll details how London airports are lagging behind their regional counterparts