Europe

UK’s worst airport named after ‘resources pushed to breaking point’

Manchester Airport: Passengers climb behind baggage carousel

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The UK’s “worst airport” has been named by a consumer watchdog. Manchester airport scored one star out of five for the queues at security gates, seating, prices in shops and the range of retailers available. All three terminals at the northern airport came bottom for consumer satisfaction, with terminal three scoring a pitiful 38 out of 100. Angry Britons described the airline as a “shambles” and “chaotic” in the Which? survey.

Terminal one at Manchester airport scored just 41 out of 100 and Terminal 2 didn’t do much better, scoring a paltry 47.

Manchester’s terminals came just above Heathrow’s Terminal 4 and Belfast International which both scored 48 out of 100.

The airport with the highest score was Doncaster Sheffield, which received 85 points and five stars in six out of the 10 categories.

However, this airport will soon be closing, with operations winding down from the end of October. 

Liverpool John Lennon airport and Exeter airport came joint second on the list, both scoring 83 points.

London City and Southampton were joint third with a score of 77 in the survey of 7,500 travellers.

Guy Hobbs, the editor of Which? Travel said: “This year we’ve witnessed unprecedented chaos at many of the UK’s largest airports.

“Travellers reported extensive queues and unhelpful staff, with resources pushed to breaking point. 

“Just a few years ago travellers may have paid little attention to their choice of airport but now it may just make or break your trip.”

Manchester Airport has apologised over the results of the survey, stating that coming out of lockdown had left it facing “unprecedented challenges as demand returned rapidly to the market”.

Commenting on the survey, a spokesperson for the airport said: “We apologise to any customer who feels their experience was not of the standard we want to deliver.”

Heathrow however, dismissed the survey, arguing that it was “amateur” and had “inaccurate and misleading conclusions”.

Heathrow bosses admitted earlier this week that it may take years for them to get back to pre-pandemic passenger levels. 

The chaos at Manchester airport, grew significantly at Easter when Covid restrictions were eased. 

Queues were so long that many passengers were forced to wait outside terminals before checking in for their flights.

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Manchester airport blamed staff shortages for the chaos which ensued inside its terminals. 

It said that hiring new recruits was taking significantly longer than before lockdown.

An investigation carried out over the summer found that passengers had resorted to climbing on top of baggage carousels in an attempt to retrieve their luggage. 

An undercover reporter found that staff shortages at the airport were critical, and described the situation as “chaos with literally no staff”.

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