Three UK airports have been placed in the world’s worst 10 based on quality of service, take-off punctuality, and general passenger sentiment.
Stansted is named second worst in the world, after Kuwait’s Farwaniya International, while fifth worst is Manchester and seventh worst is Edinburgh.
Other UK airports including Heathrow and Gatwick, while coming middle of the pack in overall scoring, drew an uncommon amount of venom by users.
The league table of glory and shame was compiled using data and sentiment expressed on Twitter by AirHelp, a company that helps travellers gain compensation.
The 10 best airports:
- Hamad International, Doha
- Athens International
- Tokyo Haneda International
- Cologne Bonn Airport, Germany
- Singapore Changi Airport
- Nagoya Chubu Centrair, Japan
- Viracopos, Campinas, Brazil
- Amman Queen Alia, Jordan
- Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre, Recife, Brazil
- Quito International, Ecuador
And the 10 worst:
Â Â Â Â 132.Eindhoven, Netherlands
Â Â Â Â 133. Bordeaux Merignac, France
Â Â Â Â 134. Edinburgh
Â Â Â Â 135. Boryspil International, Kiev, Ukraine
Â Â Â Â 136. Manchester, UK
Â Â Â Â 137. Stockholm Bromma
Â Â Â Â 138. Paris Orly
Â Â Â Â 139. Lyon-Saint-Exupéry, France
Â Â Â Â 140. London Stansted
Â Â Â Â 141. Kuwait International
The UK facilities all had average performances with regard to punctuality and the quality of their services, but passengers apparently hated them anyway: Stansted scored 1.1 out of 10 for passenger experience, Edinburgh 1.8, Manchester 2.6.
Heathrow, which comes in at 80th out of the 141 facilities ranked, scores a creditable 8.2 for punctuality, but only 2.8 for passenger approval.
But the most disliked airport in the world in 2018 turns out to be Gatwick (123rd overall), with an astonishing 0.6 for passenger experience – which is surprising given that it scores 7.3 for punctuality and 7.6 for service quality.
It is possible that the airport itself is not entirely to blame for the disgruntlement of its passengers – it is served by Southern, the UK rail franchise that has become notorious for poor service.
This led to headlines about overcrowding during the most recent May bank holiday weekend as passengers took to Twitter to complain about the "absolute chaos" and "shambolic management" at the airport, as they waited for rail replacement buses.
The result also underlines the approaching capacity crisis, and the UK’s great difficulty in planning for it.
According to the latest government figures, the five airports that serve London will all be at maximum capacity in 2034, which is six years sooner than originally expected.
When it comes to the best airports, passengers feel most joyful in Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International, which has 9.3 approval.
Cologne offers the best punctuality, and Singapore’s Changi the best services. The most popular over all is Hamad in Doha, followed by Athens International and Haneda in Tokyo.
AirHelp also names its best and worst airlines, and here Qatar came first again: its national carrier gained an overall rating of 9.08, some distance ahead of second placed Lufthansa (8.57) and the UAE’s Etihad (8.43).
When it comes to the worst, WOW Air of Iceland beats Royal Jordanian to the wooden spoon, with Easy Jet fourth worst and Ryanair sixth. All of these carriers scored badly for their claims processing performance, despite reasonable quality of service and punctuality.
Anyone who enjoys travelling rough should book their flight with Ukraine International Airlines – it scored 4.5 for quality of service compared with 6.0 for the next worst. Those who are in no particular hurry should opt for Air Canada, which has the worst record of leaving on time, a little ahead of South Korea’s Asiana and Air India.
Image: London Gatwick: the most angrily-Tweeted-about airport in the world (Andre Wadman/Creative Commons)