Smaller airports better bet for travellers looking to avoid hassles when jetting off

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IT APPEARS that small is very much beautiful for holidaymakers who are flying off to more exotic and sunnier climes.

A study published by Which? has revealed that air travellers should head for the nation’s smaller airports to avoid holiday hassles.

While some of the UK’s biggest airports scored customer satisfaction ratings of under 50 per cent in the survey, the smaller ones had scores of between 78 per cent and 85 per cent – with Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire among the best.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “The message from travellers is clear – larger airports continue to let people down on the basics, from baggage reclaim to food outlets. People deserve an enjoyable break without any stress, so we want to hear from consumers so that we can help to stop the holiday hassles.”

More than 7,000 Which? members were asked to rate airports on categories including pick-up and drop-off, seating provision, queues at security, passport control and baggage reclaim.

Small airports were deemed to be those that handled fewer than four million passengers a year, while large ones were those through which more than four million passengers passed each year.

The survey showed that of the small airports, Southend in Essex and Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield topped the satisfaction table, each with a score of 85 per cent.

Bottom of the large airport table was Luton with a score of only 37 per cent.

The next-lowest score was 43 per cent for both Stansted and Heathrow Terminal One, with Heathrow Terminal Three getting 46 per cent, Heathrow Terminal Four getting 48 per cent and Gatwick’s Northern Terminal getting 49 per cent.