Popularity of local regional airports taking off

Tuesday 11 November 2014

According to a Saga poll, using a regional airport is a desire for today’s over-50s

Popularity of local regional airports taking off

A Saga poll of more than 10,000 over 50s showed that many of the nation’s best thought of airports are regional ones, with them scoring well on clear signage, availability of flight information, cleanliness and condition of the airport and smaller queues to check in and pass through security.

The poll shows that routes offered by airlines could impact travellers’ destination choices with a large majority of travellers (81%) saying being able to travel from their local airport was important when making plans for their holiday.

But this strong desire to use local airports is hampered by the route options offered by airlines with half of the panel suggesting that their choice of holiday destination was restricted as a result of flight availability. Most notably, two-thirds of those polled who lived in Scotland said this was an issue along with 64% of those living in Wales and the North East of England.

Saga Travel’s Louis Myers said:

“We know what frustrates people at airports and that local, regional airports are more likely to delight passengers.

“Airlines need to think about offering more routes from regional airports to give people the choice about where they start their holidays. 

“What is clear from our previous research is that passengers can get better services from regional airports. Whilst there is a lot of national debate focussing on expansion at either London Heathrow or London Gatwick, what shouldn’t be overlooked is making sure improvements and developments continue to happen at regional airports."


Notes to editors:

Populus interviewed 10,716 adults, all aged 50+, online between 14th and 21st March 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk

20 airports in total were mentioned during the survey including Jersey, Newcastle, Southampton, London City, Glasgow International, Liverpool John Lennon, Leeds Bradford, Birmingham International, Manchester, Aberdeen Dyce, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Belfast International, London Heathrow, Bristol International, London Gatwick, George Best Belfast City, London Luton, London Stansted, and Glasgow Prestwick.

Breakdown by region showing % of passengers who say being able to travel from a regional airport is important to their travel plans:



 South East


 South West


 West Midlands


 East Midlands


 North West


 North East


 Yorkshire and the Humber


 East Anglia






 Northern Ireland


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