REVEALED Top 10 worst UK airports according to customers

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Avator By Jonathan Owen
Marketing Manager
Published 18th August 2023
Last modified 8th September 2023
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loveit coverit, experts in travel insurance, aggregated Google review scores and customer ratings from the airport and airline review site SKYTRAX to calculate the average customer review score for each of the UK’s international airports.

Top 10 Worst International UK Airports

1. Manchester – 2 out of 5 Stars
2. Luton – 2.05 out of 5 Stars
3. Leeds & Bradford – 2.1 out of 5 Stars
4. Stansted – 2.15 out of 5 Stars
5. East Midlands – 2.2 out of 5 Stars
6. Belfast – 2.5 out of 5 Stars
7. Norwich – 2.4 out of 5 Stars
8. Bristol – 2.45 out of 5 Stars
9. Bournemouth – 2.5 out of 5 Stars
10. Birmingham – 2.55 out of 5 Stars

Manchester Airport

Manchester airport takes the unfortunate distinction of ranking as the worst airport in the UK, with an average customer review score of just 2 out of 5. One disgruntled passenger, who left a Google review, expressed their dissatisfaction, stating, “During my lifetime I have travelled through many airports and this one is by far the worst. The staff were rude and unfriendly, all machines were slow and everything took twice as long as it should.”

Luton Airport

Luton airport ranks second-worst on the list with an average customer review score of 2.05 out of 5 which one traveller labelled on Google as “one of the worst in Europe”. They said “Low cost airport… one of the worst in Europe. Overcrowded, uncomfortable and stressful. Little places to [sit], impossible to relax, dodgy aspire lounge. Poor internet.”

Leeds & Bradford Airport

With an average customer review score of 2.1, Leeds & Bradford Airport faces criticism for its lack of infrastructure and management with one passenger on SKYTRAX saying, “Easily the most deplorable god awful airport in the 21st century. My question is who manages that airport. Queue for 2 hours nearly missed my flight. People had to ask to be put to the front of the queue as to avoid missing their flight. Understaffed. Security was a mess.” 

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport ranks fourth on the list, receiving an average customer review score of 2.15 out of 5. Passengers have cited issues such as poor signage, “Pretty poor on the whole. Crowded and cramped with too many shops. Food and drink options are fair by UK airport standards. Signage particularly is abysmal.”

East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport receives an average customer review score of 2.2 out of 5, placing it as the fifth-worst airport in the UK. One google reviewer said, “Drop off [is] outrageously expensive. £5 for 15 minutes and then £1 PER MINUTE after that. Chaotic pedestrian crossing took at least 5 minutes at our expense! Waiting to exit through the single barrier took a further 5 minutes at our expense! The car park surface [is] beyond repairable. Like a third world airport. Avoid with your last breath.”

The airports that round out the rest of the top 10 worst international airports in the UK include Belfast, Norwich, Bristol, Bournemouth, and Birmingham.

A spokesperson Loveit Coverit commented on the findings, “The study reminds us that behind the glossy brochures and enticing travel ads, the reality of airport experiences can sometimes fall short. It stresses the value of travel insurance, guaranteeing that should anything go amiss, you won’t be liable for the expenses while having to endure a substandard journey.”