Worst airport for security queues revealed

By Lisa James
23/11/2022
Home » Worst airport for security queues revealed

Leeds Bradford Airport had the longest passenger wait times this year, with respondents spending an average of 35 minutes in security queues, according to research.

A survey by Which? found 27% of those who passed through the airport reported queue times of more than an hour, compared with just 5%  of respondents overall.

Overall, there were nine airports in Which?’s survey where travellers reported having experienced security queues of over an hour, including Bristol (17% of respondents), Birmingham (11%), and Manchester (8%). Seven per cent of respondents said they had missed a flight because they were stuck in excessively long queues.

London City Airport was the best performing airport, with an average estimated security queue time of just 12 minutes, and as many as half (50%) of travellers reporting wait times of between just five and 10 minutes. It was also the only London airport not to record any wait times of over an hour.

Belfast City and Glasgow International were also among the airports to have performed well on security queue times, each having an average wait of 13 minutes, according to respondents.

As many as 30% of those who used Belfast City reported waiting less than five minutes to pass through security, with a similar figure of 31% reported at Glasgow International.

In August, Leeds Bradford acknowledged the issues passengers were facing as a result of long queues and installed LCD screens to provide travellers live updates on estimated wait times.

Which? Travel Editor Guy Hobbs said: “Travellers this year have borne the brunt of unprecedented chaos at UK airports, with huge numbers enduring long queues and some even missing a flight due to excessive wait times to clear security.

“Your choice of airport shouldn’t make or break your holiday – but for too many travellers this year, that has been the case. We’d recommend choosing an airport with a better record on queues and treatment of passengers, even if that involves travelling slightly further from home.”

For the research, Which? surveyed 1,296 adults who travelled from a UK airport between mid-February and mid-August 2022.

The full results are here:

AirportAverage Reported Security
Queue Time In Minutes
London City12
Belfast City13
Glasgow International13
Newcastle15
London Gatwick16
Edinburgh16
London Stansted18
Belfast International18
London Luton19
London Heathrow20
Manchester24
Birmingham24
Bristol30
Leeds Bradford35

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