Doncaster Sheffield Airport has topped the Which? Magazine Best UK Airports survey for the third time running, making the win its fifth appearance in the top five.
The survey measured 6,237 separate airport experiences. Which? said that “a staggering 97 per cent of its passengers would recommend Doncaster Sheffield, praising its personable and helpful staff”.
Robert Hough, chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We’re proud to be judged the UK and the North’s best airport. This is great recognition of the exceptional customer service offered by every single member of the team.
“We have always set out to deliver a top-class passenger experience that people can’t get at any other airport. Lengthy queues, disruption and hassle are not what people should experience when at an airport.“
Passengers also praised Doncaster Sheffield‘s accessible parking and said that short (or non-existent) queues for security and passport control help to create a stress-free journey.
Customers described the Yorkshire hub as a “cosy airport” with no queues, that was “easy to navigate”. The biggest gripe among customers was that it is only
connected to 55 destinations.
VIDEO: Doncaster Sheffield Airport expansion will help Power Up The North
Mr Hough said: “We’ve enjoyed a strong performance this year with more routes announced than any other airport in the UK.
“Looking towards 2020, we will be focussing our efforts in delivering the next stage of our masterplan, which has already received overwhelming support, from our local contribution, to the national level impact we can make with via a simple rail connection into the East Coast Mainline.”
Whilst Doncaster Sheffield topped the survey, Leeds Bradford was voted the UK’s eighth worst airport.
Leeds Bradford scored 53 per cent on the overall customer score. A spokesperson for Which? said this score may not sound great, but when compared with the larger airports it “isn’t that bad”.
One critic of Leeds Bradford said: “I’ve flown a couple of times from Leeds Bradford. It’s convenient but pokey, low ceilings. Cramped, limited seating. It feels like an old doctors waiting room.”
Another said: “Leeds Bradford Airport is not a good layout. Very old fashioned with no flow.”
However, a third respondent said: “The building is a bit shabby and the shops are not great, but there were no queues and the staff were cheerful and helpful.”
Which? Travel’s Naomi Leach said: “It is clear that smaller airports are generally outperforming their larger counterparts with seamless security checks and friendly staff making the biggest impression with flyers.
“So if you have the luxury of choice when it comes to which airport you fly from, choose Doncaster Sheffield over Leeds Bradford, Southend over Luton, Edinburgh over Aberdeen and Belfast City over Belfast International for a smoother start to your trip.”
The Which? poll crowned Doncaster Sheffield as the UK‘s favourite airport, scoring 86 per cent overall.
It received five-star ratings for queues at security and passport control and a four-star rating for staff, seating and toilets.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport named best airport in UK for customer service
Doncaster Sheffield said the Which? award comes on the back of “another great year” with passenger numbers predicted to grow to 1.45 million in 2019/20 and more new destinations for any UK airport since August 2018, including two new long-haul destinations – Sanford, Florida and Cancun, Mexico.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport was recently rated the best UK airport by global airport passenger service survey, The Airport Council International’s Airport Service Quality survey.
Saga members voted Doncaster Sheffield the UK’s best airport in 2018.
Solar farm to help Doncaster Sheffield Airport cut carbon emissions
Belfast International was rated the worst airport in Which?’s annual airport survey, with passengers frustrated by problems including long queues, crowded terminals and pricey parking charges.
Northern Ireland’s busiest airport came bottom of the small airport rankings and achieved an “abysmal“ customer score of 42 per cent - making it the UK’s worst-rated airport overall.
London Luton (43 per cent), Manchester T3 (47 per cent) and Aberdeen (50 per cent) were also among the poorest performers in the survey of more than 6,000 airport experiences.
Which? said if there was an airport passengers would never fly from, a quarter (25 per cent) would pick Luton.
Heathrow Terminal 5 received the best overall customer score (66 per cent) for airports with more than 10 million passengers a year.