Manchester, Stansted and Heathrow are being slammed as airports of shame with some of the longest security check-in queues in the country, according to a new website which is calling for travellers to blow the whistle on badly managed UK airports.
www.ukairportdelays.co.uk has just been set up by independent travel agents Travel Counsellors and has already attracted more than 100 complaints and 2,000 unique visitors. Its league table of airports of shame show that passengers at Manchester airport have waited three-quarters of an hour to get through security checks. Stansted and Heathrow security queues are at least twenty minutes. The worst security delay recorded was at Liverpool’s airport with a wait of more than an hour.
David Speakman, Travel Counsellors’ founder and chairman said he set up the website to help travellers check out the reality of delays at airports and to use the weight of public experience to lobby airports and government of the urgent need for change.
“I’m really angry that British travellers are being made to suffer unnecessarily,” he said. “I’m angry at the appalling way in which British airports have put additional security arrangements in place. Security is absolutely essential in this day and age, but it’s a complete myth that extra security has to come with extra delays. Many of the queues we’re now facing at airports are entirely avoidable and are just caused by poor processes and lack of staff. I’m calling on any traveller who has a bad experience to complain about these UK airports of shame so that we can pressure airport and political authorities to make changes and to make changes fast.”
The new website also highlights other problem points for travellers. Stansted has inbound immigration waits of around 25 minutes while travellers flying into Newcastle recently had to wait in immigration queues for more than an hour to get back into the country.
But it’s not just airport security which is causing problems. Airline check-in queues at Gatwick and Heathrow have lasted three-quarters of an hour and Manchester and Stansted check-in has taken around twenty minutes for holidaymakers. The worst recorded check-in waiting times were more than an hour at East Midlands and Southampton airports.
David Speakman; “to make a difference we need to know from travellers the reality of what they are facing. I’ll take this information to politicians and airport authorities and will campaign hard to make a difference.”