The Worst Airlines & Airports In The UK

by SharonKurheg

There’s been story after story about the sad state of flying in the United States in 2022. You’ve probably read a bunch of them. Thousands upon thousands of flights have been delayed, if not cancelled altogether, with countless passengers stranded at airports for hours, if not days. It got so bad that the DOT got involved.

It doesn’t make anyone feel any better to know that countries around the world are having the same problems as us here in the U.S. You don’t have to look hard for them – there are multiple videos of hours-long queues in Europe, oceans of abandoned luggage in the UK, tales of Australians waiting for their flights for days, etc.

With the vast majority of the world open to travel again, traveling to another country potentially means getting involved in whatever craziness their airlines are involved in. Case in point, there are once again hundreds of flights every day between the U.S. and the U.K. So knowing which airlines and airports in the U.K. are having more problems than others could help in planning that international trip.

Worst Airlines In The U.K.

PA Media is the UK’s leading multimedia news agency and the national news agency of the United Kingdom and Ireland. They recently analyzed data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (the UK equivalent of the FAA). It included looking at scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines that offered more than 2,500 flights, excluding cancelled flights. With that, they were able to determine the worst airlines in 2021 for delays in the UK. They were:

1. Wizz Air: Average delay 14 minutes and 24 seconds
2. TUI Airways: 13 minutes and 18 seconds
3. British Airways: 12 minutes and 42 seconds
4. Virgin Atlantic: 12 minutes
5. Loganair: 11 minutes and 30 seconds
6. Air France: 11 minutes and 12 seconds
7. Lufthansa: 10 minutes
8. KLM: 8 minutes and 42 seconds
9. Eastern Airways: 7 minutes and 48 seconds
10. 7 minutes and 42 seconds
11. American Airlines: 7 minutes
12. Ryanair: 6 minutes and six seconds
13. EasyJet: 4 minutes and 36 seconds
14. Aer Lingus: 3 minutes and 12 seconds

Click here for more information.

Worst Airports In The UK

Meanwhile, PA Media also looked at airports in the UK to determine which were the worst in 2021 for flight delays. Still using data from the CAA, the ranking took into account all scheduled and chartered departures. However, cancelled flights weren’t included. Here’s the list:

1. Birmingham (Average delay of 12 minutes and 24 seconds)
2. Southampton (12 minutes)
3. Heathrow (11 minutes and 48 seconds)
4. Exeter (11 minutes and 12 seconds)
5. Aberdeen (10 minutes and 36 seconds)
6. Doncaster Sheffield (10 minutes and 18 seconds)
7. Luton (nine minutes and 42 seconds)
8. Manchester (nine minutes and 30 seconds)
9. Glasgow (eight minutes and 30 seconds)
10. Leeds Bradford (seven minutes and 42 seconds)
11. Newcastle (seven minutes and 24 seconds)
12. Bournemouth (seven minutes and 18 seconds)
13. Edinburgh (seven minutes and 12 seconds)
14. Liverpool (John Lennon) (seven minutes and six seconds)
15. Cardiff (six minutes and 48 seconds)
16. London City (six minutes and 12 seconds)
17. Bristol (six minutes and six seconds)
18. Stansted (six minutes)
19. East Midlands International (six minutes)
20. Gatwick (five minutes and 54 seconds)
21. Belfast City (George Best) (four minutes and 54 seconds)
22. Teesside International (four minutes and 48 seconds)
23. Belfast International (four minutes and 30 seconds)
24. Southend (two minutes and 48 seconds)

More complete info can be found here.

What does all this tell you? Flying through Birmingham on Wizz Air is probably not the best idea. But Aer Lingus through Southend shouldn’t be too bad. 😉

Seriously though, although the data the PA used for their studies were from 2021, the UK government is just as aware of their current aviation problems as the FAA is aware of those in the U.S. The UK authorities are also currently looking at feedback after consulting on reforms such as increasing the CAA’s enforcement powers and amending compensation rules for domestic flights. So hopefully things will start to look up there. And, let’s face it, here as well.

Feature Photo (cropped): pxhere

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

NB October 3, 2022 - 2:19 pm

You need to interpret these numbers carefully. For example, BA has the majority of flights at LHR, and very few flights at other UK airports. It’s average delay is longer than LHR’s average delays. Which means that the average delay at LHR for airlines other than BA is significantly lower.


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