Posted: Wed 30th Aug 2023

Liverpool outshines Manchester again in UK’s best and worst airports survey

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 30th, 2023


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Liverpool John Lennon Airport has soared above its competition to be named the best airport in the United Kingdom, according to Which?’s annual survey.

Meanwhile, Manchester Airport, situated just 30 miles down the road, has received the dubious honour of being named the worst.

The survey involved almost 4,000 people who were asked about their experiences at various airports over the last twelve months.

Participants rated the airports across eleven categories, including seating, staff, toilets, and queues at check-in, bag drop, passport control, and security.

The customer score was calculated based on a combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport topped the charts with a customer satisfaction score of 82% and was also granted the Which? Recommended Provider status for the second consecutive year.

Customers praised the airport as “first class” and awarded it five stars for check-in and security queues, indicating an unusually hassle-free experience.

The airport also received four stars for staff, baggage reclaim, and queues at bag drop and passport control.

In stark contrast, Manchester Airport found itself at the bottom of the rankings with a dismal 38% customer satisfaction score for Terminal 3 and 44% for Terminal 1. Terminal 2 fared slightly better but was still in the bottom five with a score of 50%.

Respondents reported “huge queues” at check-in, “crowded, noisy, generally stressful” conditions, and an experience that was “dispiriting from start to finish”.

Manchester Airport criticised the methodology of the Which? survey, highlighting that their customer service has recently been bolstered by significant investment in their staff and facilities.

The airport says it has recruited over 3,000 staff since April 2022 and formed a 100-strong resilience team trained for rapid response to ensure good service levels.

Additionally, a £1.3 billion transformation of Terminal 2 is underway, which is expected to serve over 80% of their passengers by 2025.

A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “We are committed to providing a great experience to all passengers. ”

“The Which? survey creates a deeply flawed and misleading picture.”

“Not only is the Which? survey out of date, it is also based on a tiny and unrepresentative sample of the 25 million passengers who travel through Manchester airport every year.”

“We surveyed 840 passengers in July and August this year, and 94% rated their overall satisfaction with the service they received as either good, very good or excellent.”

“Since April this year, we have welcomed more than 10.4m people through Manchester Airport and 95.6% of them have got through security in under 15 minutes.”

“Almost three-quarters got through security in under five minutes and 99.8% in under 30 minutes.”

[Source, Which?]

Close behind Liverpool, in second place with a score of 78%, is London City Airport, a popular choice for business travellers due to its well-served transport links.

The airport received five stars for queues at check-in and security, where new scanners have been installed, allowing passengers to keep liquids and electronics in their bags.

This feature was praised as a “game-changer” by one respondent and contributed to the airport’s “relaxed” atmosphere.

Completing the top five airports were Southampton (77%), Bournemouth (75%), East Midlands, and Newcastle, both tying at 72%.

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, commented on the results: “Choosing the right airport isn’t often high on travellers’ holiday checklists, but taking the time to think about where you’re flying from can really pay dividends.”

“We’d recommend opting for a smaller airport, as our survey shows they generally tend to perform better on queue times and customer service, giving holidaymakers the positive start to their holidays they should expect.”

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