London's Best and Worst Airports

London's Best and Worst Airports photo

Our capital is surrounded by six internationally-recognised airports and a number of smaller airports catering to domestic travellers. London's major airports connect passengers to nations far and wide on a daily basis, but the excessive passenger traffic has left many travellers with stressful experiences. Despite Dubai Airport stealing Heathrow's title as the "world's busiest airport" and reportedly expecting to service 79 million passengers in 2015, travellers still remain hesitant to fly through London's major international airport because of the potential congestion.

In fact, results from an annual BBC survey demonstrated top customer satisfaction for London Southend for the second year in a row, jumping from 84 to 85 percent. Compared to Southend's top score for overall customer satisfaction, survey participants ranked Luton as the worst airport in the UK. It received a score of 37 percent, along with descriptions on the Internet by disgruntled customers labelling the airport a "hell hole". London Stansted was also rated poorly with a score of 43 percent.

On a whole, the participants answering the survey appeared to be let down mostly by services and facilities at London's larger airports. The survey results depended on several factors: passport control, queues at security, pickup and drop off areas, baggage reclaim, seating provision, among others. All of these are major factors that tend to be overlooked by operators.

From the looks of it, the larger and busier airports missed the mark on the basics, however Gatwick didn't measure too poorly compared to the other major airports. Though Gatwick is famed is known as our second busiest airport, the majority of travellers have indicated a preference for this airport over the others within and nearby London. With highly rated parking options for passengers, according to Parking4Less, and its reputation as UK's best connected airport, Gatwick still seems to be the superior choice regardless of smaller airports receiving arguably better reviews than the internationally-recognised airports. Plus, flights are generally cheaper when departing from Gatwick rather than the smaller airport on the outskirts of London.

The whole travel experience is often destroyed by the strains of airport travel, thus anyone who is working in the industry really needs to start paying attention to customer reviews. Holidays are meant to be enjoyable are not something that should be approached with apprehension.