Saga panel votes for best airports in UK

Thursday 30 October 2014

• Top 10 rated airports as voted for by over 50s travellers • Saga survey reveals our biggest pet hates at UK airports

Saga panel votes for best airports in UK

Travelling abroad for a well-deserved break is something we all look forward to, but sometimes, it seems the very beginning and very end of the holiday can be a bit of a chore.  Saga asked over 10,0000 people to put the UK’s airports under scrutiny and to tell us what they most look for at an airport and what they most dislike.

Queuing at check-in to drop off your bag and then at security were the top rated frustrations for all travellers.  Luton and Stansted are best avoided if you want to start your holiday feeling fresh and relaxed and to avoid standing around.

The cost of refreshments can be expensive and, to top it off, the choice is limited according to our panel.  Heathrow came out as the leader for choice of food, followed by Gatwick.  Alternatively, if you live outside the London hub areas, flying from Jersey, Manchester or Birmingham and Glasgow International airports, will offer plenty of choice when it comes to finding refreshments.

Over half of our panel told us that baggage reclaim was not their favourite experience and the results suggest steering clear of Aberdeen Dyce and Luton.  The easiest luggage collection points are from Southampton or Jersey.

For ease, many of us drive to the airport and leave our vehicles at airport car parks.  But this comes at a cost – and one which hits our list of top frustrations.  If you’re travelling from George Best Belfast City Airport – think about taking other modes of transport before you even fly, as a third of our panel said they thought it was too expensive.  If driving is your only option, consider Liverpool John Lennon, Southampton or Leeds Bradford airports.  According to the panellists, each of these airports offers a good deal on parking.

For the top 10, best overall experience, Glasgow International claims poll position across a range of voted for services, followed closely by Birmingham and Manchester airports.  This left Luton, Stansted and London Gatwick trailing in the bottom three.   Well over three quarters of our panel said that making travel plans to various destinations hinged on flight availability from their local airports.

Saga Travel’s Louis Myers says – “We know that holidays are something to look forward to and clearly, the smaller regional airports offer more of what our travellers in particular like – a comfortable place to wait for flights without the hassle and stress which plagues the larger airports.  Flying from 23 different UK airports to European destinations alone, Saga offers much more flexibility and choice to help start holidays on the right footing.

Based on what the panellists have said, the survey results could add some weight to the airport expansion debate.”  

Saga panellists voted Glasgow International Airport as the best in the UK, leaving London Stansted Airport in last and tenth position.


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

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.Airport ranking: 

1st    Glasgow International
2nd    Birmingham
3rd    Manchester
4th    Edinburgh
5th    East Midlands
6th    London Heathrow
7th    Bristol International
8th    London Gatwick
9th    London Luton
10th    London Stansted

About Saga Travel:
Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.  Saga also provides domiciliary and primary healthcare services through Allied Healthcare.  In addition to more than 2.1 million active customers it has built a proprietary database of more than 10.4 million contactable names.  

Airport survey table

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