London Luton Airport has been branded the UK’s most unfriendly airport, according to Skyscanner. At the opposite end of the scale, Edinburgh get the thumbs up from summer travellers, coming in as the UK’s friendliest, with Newcastle a very close second.
Skyscanner asked more than 500 travellers to rate UK and European airports according to the friendliness of their staff. Across all airports, check-in staff appear bottom of the list, while things start to pick up after the security gates with staff in restaurants and shops typically the chirpiest.
Of the five airports serving London, four made the top five rudest list including Heathrow, despite immigration staff being asked to turn on the charm during the busy summer Olympic months as the capital was in the international spotlight.
London City Airport which now carries almost three million passengers each year, bucked the trend of low scoring London airports and only just missed out on a mention in our five friendliest, coming in a close 6th place.
Edinburgh Airport, which was recently praised as the UK’s number one family friendly airport, hit the top spot once again, hailed for its customer service skills.
The study also shows a clear north-south divide with Newcastle hailed for its great attitude towards travellers, named as the 2nd friendliest airport followed by Manchester (3rd), suggesting that perhaps people really are friendlier in the North.
Known for its charm and witty banter, Northern Ireland’s two main gateway airports; Belfast International and Belfast City, which between them carry more than 6m passengers each year, ranked 4th and 5th respectively, both praised for their friendly welcome.
Looking across the Continent, Paris Charles De Gaulle; Europe’s 2nd busiest airport carrying more than 60m passengers every year, was named as the rudest in Europe, with Copenhagen Airport the friendliest.
Complaints about members of staff range from abrupt responses following the simplest enquiry, to the endless queues and manhandling at security; resulting in the airport experience for many travellers, feeling more like cattle to market.
Victoria Bailie at Skyscanner comments, “We like to have a good moan and grumble but overall, the average scores were positive for UK’s airports. Despite the summer rush, they’ve clearly been doing a good job to help kick start our holiday on a positive note. However, customers travelling in and out of Heathrow faced quite a few problems during the Olympics with ex-employees being drafted in, many of whom had only completed basic training. Clearly there is still room for improvement. “
1. Luton 5.76
2. Stansted 5.89
3. Heathrow 5.94
4. Gatwick 6.26
5. Birmingham 6.39
1. Edinburgh 7.41
2. Newcastle 7.34
3. Manchester 6.87
4. Belfast Int. 6.83
5. Belfast City 6.78
1. Paris 4.86
2. Moscow 5.03
3. Istanbul 5.91
4. Heathrow 5.94
5. Madrid 6.01
1. Copenhagen 7.08
2. Amsterdam 6.92
3. Stockholm 6.68
4. Barcelona 6.46
5. Frankfurt 6.21
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