Luton is UK's worst large airport for fourth year in a row

Francesca Specter
·Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
London Luton Airport, passengers' least favourite large UK airport. [Photo: Getty]
London Luton Airport, passengers' least favourite large UK airport. [Photo: Getty]

London Luton Airport has again been voted the worst large airport in the UK.

The transport hub, which sees 16.8 million passengers pass through it each year year, has been named the nation’s least favourite large commercial aviation spot for the fourth year running.

It managed a customer satisfaction score of just 43% in an annual airport survey by products and services reviewer Which?.

The survey was based on 6,237 passenger experiences at UK air terminals, and passengers were asked to rate based on factors such as passport control queues and food and drink prices.

READ MORE: The world's top 10 airports have been revealed

Long queues, limited seating and airside crowds (i.e. when getting on to planes) are said to blame for Luton’s continuously low scores.

Despite recent retail additions including a Wasabi and an Oliver Bonas store, participants described the airport, which is located 51km (32 miles) north of the UK capital, as “tatty” and “antiquated”.

Last year, a Reddit user went viral for sharing a picture of the disappointing breakfast they were served at the airport.

Saddest breakfast ever? Awful-looking £5.70 eggs on toast at Luton Airport goes viral
This £5.70 eggs on toast breakfast at London Luton Airport went viral in 2018. [Photo: Reddit/M1BG]

Meanwhile, a £160 million expansion of London Luton Airport was officially announced last December.

However, Luton did not get the worst score overall; that honour went to small Belfast International with 42%, a rating said to be down to expensive parking charges, slow-moving queues and crowded terminals.

Best UK airports

The survey also highlighted the nation’s favourite airport.

Doncaster Sheffield received this honour, with a customer satisfaction score of 86%.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the UK's favourite airport. [Photo: Getty]
Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the UK's favourite airport. [Photo: Getty]

The airport is said to please its annual 1.2 million travellers with a “small and uncrowded” atmosphere, easy-access parking and “short or non-existent” queues.

READ MORE: Twitter fury after British Airways loses entire flight’s worth of luggage

Londoners, meanwhile, might look to the similarly well-loved London Southend – which garnered a satisfaction score of 79%.

The capital’s smallest commercial airport – which is so compact the largest walk from departure lounge to gate takes just two minutes – was called “uncrowded and comfortable” by those surveyed.

Which? Travel: Full list of airports ranked

Best large airports

1 London Heathrow Terminal 5 – customer score 66%

2 Birmingham – customer score 65%

3 London Heathrow Terminal 2 – customer score 64%

Worst large airports

1 London Luton – customer score 43%

2 Manchester Terminal 3 – customer score 47%

3 London Stansted – customer score 49%

Best small airports (under 10 million passengers annually)

1 Doncaster Sheffield – customer score 86%

2 London Southend – customer score 79%

3 Southampton – customer score 77%

Worst small airports

1 Belfast International – customer score 42%

2 Aberdeen – customer score 50%

3 Leeds Bradford – customer score 53%