Doncaster Sheffield tops Which? airport survey

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has been voted the best airport in the UK for the second year, according to the Which? annual airport survey.

With a customer satisfaction score of 87%, passengers praised the airport’s short queues, facilities and fast baggage reclaim process.

The survey was based on 11,265 passenger visits to UK airports, covering a range of criteria including queues and bag drop.

Ian Smith, director of commercial and passenger experience at DSA, said: “To win this award consistently, gives us great confidence in our plans for future growth and expansion. As over half of the flights operated from DSA are now low cost, we can look forward to more customers than ever enjoying our first-class service and choice at a very reasonable price.”

London Southend followed closely behind with a customer score of 84% with passengers commenting on the efficient queues through bag drop, security and passport controls. With direct trains to Liverpool Street taking under an hour, the airport was the highest-rated London area airport, above Heathrow and Gatwick.

Birmingham gained the best overall score of the larger airports with a score of 61%, beating Manchester’s T2 (51%) to earn the vote for the best second city airport.

Heathrow’s T5 had a customer score of 63% but passenger’s experience at the airport depended on the terminal they used, with Heathrow T3 the worst rated with a score of 55% with passengers commenting on the queues at passport control or the limited range of shops and restaurants.

The survey also revealed that London Luton remained at the bottom of the ranking for the third year, with a customer satisfaction score of 35% with queues at passport control and poor facilities affecting customer satisfaction.

In response to the survey results, Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport said that during the period the survey was carried out, “We’ve undergone a period of significant change, investing £160 million redeveloping the airport to increase capacity and transform the passenger experience.”

“In the first six months of 2018 alone, 1.2 million passengers responded to our customer service tracking, 70 per cent of whom told us they were happy with their experience.”

The airport has transformed the facilities and added close to a thousand new seats throughout the terminal and doubled the size of the security search area.

Barton continued: “Evidence of our focus on improving the passenger experience is paying off, last week we were voted the best airport in London and objective data from the Civil Aviation Authority shows LLA has a perceived security wait time of just over five minutes with 82% of passengers stating their satisfaction with security. Our advice is people should come and experience LLA for themselves.”

London Stansted and Manchester T3 also both only gained one star for the length of queues at airport security and also finished joint second from bottom in the survey with a customer score of 44%.

“Travellers want to start their trips in the smoothest way, but long queues through airports and a lack of facilities can cast a rain cloud over any getaway,” said Rory Boland, Which? travel editor.

Boland recommended passengers to fly from smaller airports, “With new routes launching all the time, passengers have an increasing choice over not just who they fly with but where they fly from.”


Written by: Kimberley Young

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