Lengthy queues and shambolic organisation were the main gripes after airports struggled to cope with the return of mass travel after the pandemic.
Manchester Airport has been declared the UK’s worst after a year of travel disruption.
The airport’s Terminal 3 got a customer satisfaction score of just 38%, according to a survey by Which? magazine.
Angry travellers said it was “chaotic”, “heaving” and “an end-to-end shambles”.
They were particularly frustrated by the queues for everything from getting through security to buying something to eat and drink.
Terminals 1 and 2 fared little better in the customer survey and were also irritated by long waits.
The top of the table was made up of smaller airports with Doncaster Sheffield taking the top spot, followed by Exeter, Liverpool John Lennon, London City and Southampton.
The smaller airports were praised for their short waiting times and being “easy to navigate”. London City was “slick”, “pleasant” and “painless”.
Terminal 5 at Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, was described as “spacious” and “modern”, registering a middling performance at 13th in the table, however the airport’s other terminals were all much lower down the rankings.
A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “We apologise to any customer who feels their experience was not of the standard we want to deliver over the past two years.
“The pandemic was the biggest crisis faced by our industry in its history. At one stage passenger numbers at Manchester Airport dropped to just 5 per cent of normal levels and airports around the world had to cut costs just to survive.
“We are looking forward to delivering a positive experience to all our passengers this winter, and into summer 2023.”
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “This is an amateur survey with inaccurate and misleading conclusions. What is clear is that Heathrow has faced unprecedented growth this year, as passenger numbers rose faster and higher than any other European hub, with more than 18 million passengers using the airport this summer.
“After the two years of international travel lockdown, this was always going to be a tough year and colleagues across the airport have put in a monumental effort to meet those challenges.”
The list in full
- Doncaster Sheffield
- Liverpool John Lennon
- London City
- Belfast City
- East Midlands
- Glasgow International
- London Heathrow T5
- London Gatwick North
- London Gatwick South
- London Stansted
- Leeds Bradford
- London Heathrow T2
- London Luton
- London Heathrow T3
- Belfast International
- London Heathrow T4
- Manchester T2
- Manchester T1
- Manchester T3
Source: News Sky