A survey by Which? Magazine has awarded Southend Airport with the title of the best airport in Britain. The survey comprised of 11.537 passengers who said that the Essex terminal was the best according to the 10 criteria that were used. The Airport had an average score of 84% and was rated at 5-stars in over 50% of the 10 categories. The categories included passport control, food outlets, environment, toilets, facilities and shops.
In 2008, the Stobart Group acquired the airport and brought about several changes which include a new terminal, traffic control tower and railway station. Last year, EasyJet started services to the airport, and Aer Lingus, which operates from Southend to Dublin, also started using the airport.
Humberside was the second-ranked airport with a score of 81%. Robin Hood – Doncaster Sheffield was third with 78%. With only 43%, Luton Airport was the lowest ranked airport.The executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said that the study showed a large performance difference in UK airports, with the smaller airports giving better services. This proves that the major airports needed to pull up their stocking when it came to service provision.
A Luton airport spokesman told the media that they have taken several steps in an effort to improve their service provision to passengers, in the last year, at tier London Luton Airport facility, and these would not be reflected in the concluded study.
According to the study, the use of online check-in services was having no effect in the long queues that are characteristic in British airports. The study noted that there was little variance in the number of people waiting at check-in stations compared to those at bag-drop desks despite checking-in online. The longest waiting period at check-in desks, was recorded at Stansted airport and it had a bag-drop average time of about 16 minutes.