Which? names London Southend best airport in the capital

  • Which? survey rates London Southend by far the best airport in the capital with a customer rating of 84% - a whopping 16 percentage points more than any other airport in the region
  • London Southend also boasts a maximum five stars for staff friendliness, with an impressive four stars for baggage reclaim, seating, toilets, and queues at security and passport control
  • London Southend CEO, Glyn Jones believes Londoners are being let down daily by a failure of aviation policy which has led to a lack of capacity and increasing congestion in the air and on the ground at other London airports
  • He adds “London Southend’s customer ratings show what can be done when capacity is available to serve the capital’s passengers; we are part of the solution to today’s capacity squeeze.”

London – August 30: London Southend Airport has been rated by far the best London terminal, leaving all other airports in the region trailing, according to the latest Which? airport passenger survey.

It’s the fifth time the capital’s newest airport has topped the poll in the London region. This year it has boasted a customer score of 84% - 16% points more than the next closest airport, London City (68%). London Southend has also held the title for “Best Airport in the UK” for three years in a row (2013, 2014 and 2015 – Which? did not carry out the survey in 2016).

London Southend scored a maximum five-star rating for staff friendliness and helpfulness and also received four stars in another five out of eight categories assessed (baggage reclaim, seating, toilets, and queues at security and passport control)1.

By stark contrast, other London airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick struggled to satisfy just over half their passengers, with Stansted getting a miserable 38% and London Luton was named “Britain’s Worst Airport” out of 31 UK terminals surveyed. It scored just 29% - the lowest rating ever seen with passengers marking them down for queues, overcrowding and lack of seating.

London Southend has grown its network rapidly in 2017 and now boasts around 30 short-haul domestic and European routes served by easyJet, Flybe* and Thomson, Recently additions include Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow, Malta, Sion, Lyon, Milan, Budapest, Venice, Prague, Vienna, Reus, Perpignan, Dubrovnik, Zadar.

The following table shows the London airport terminals and their customer scores from the Which? survey:

Airports Rated Customer Score
London Southend 84%  
London City 68%
Heathrow Terminal 5 61%  
Heathrow Terminal 2 57%  
Gatwick South Terminal 52%  
Heathrow Terminal 3 52%  
Heatherow Terminal 4 52%
Gatwick North Terminal 51%
London Stansted 38%
London Luton 29%

Source Which?

Which? members were asked to complete an online survey about their experiences of flying from a UK airport in the past year. Categories surveyed included queues at Check-In, Bag Drop and Airport Security, Baggage Reclaim, Seating, Food Outlets and Passport Control.

Customer scores were based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the airport to a friend.

Many passengers for other UK terminals suffered nightmare airport experiences, according to Which?, with stories about overcrowding, rip-off prices, chaotic queues and a lack of facilities.

A spokesperson for Which? says: “If you’re lucky enough to always fly from Doncaster Sheffield or London Southend then you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

“Passengers at these smaller airports told us that they breezed through well-equipped, queue-free terminals aided by friendly staff. The experience was so good, in fact, that some told us they are willing to drive that bit further to use a better airport.”

Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Airport adds: “Of course we’re delighted our guests voted us by far the best in the capital. But it shows just how badly customers are being let down by aviation policy, which has led to appalling congestion both in the air and on the ground. This failure affects London passengers in particular and this survey reflects the frustration they’re suffering on a daily basis.

“By contrast, Which? members have recognized that London Southend offers a substantially better way to travel with up to seven trains an hour from London, a raft of new routes and exceptional service. They’re all key factors in our success and why more and more passengers are repeatedly choosing London Southend Airport over all the others.”


Thursday, 31 August 2017