Airport statistics

Which airport in the UK is the worst?

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Come rain or come shine, at some point in your life you will probably end up in an airport. The top 10 biggest airports in the UK look after a huge 250.6 million passengers per year, so we decided to look into what each one offer and how they compare.
From the amount of parking spaces available, to the number of shops, lounges and free Wi-Fi offerings, this guide will let you know exactly what to expect next time you take to the skies.

Number of passengers

Heathrow is a clear frontrunner in terms of size, with over 80 million passengers being handled in 2018. Manchester is approaching 30 million passengers per year, and is the only airport outside of London to crack the top five. Belfast comes in as the 10th busiest airport, seeing over 6 million passengers pass through every year.
Airport Passengers
Belfast 6,268,960
Bristol 8,699,529
Glasgow 9,656,227
Birmingham 12,457,051
Edinburgh 14,294,305
Luton 16,769,634
Stansted 27,996,116
Manchester 28,292,797
Gatwick 46,086,089
Heathrow 80,124,537

Aircraft movements

An aircraft movement is defined as a takeoff or landing, and it is no surprise that Heathrow leads the way again with almost 500,000 each year. In fact the only difference in the order above is Stanstead, which climbs above Manchester in terms of aircraft movements (201,614 v 201,247), despite welcoming slightly fewer passengers each year.
Airport Aircraft movements
Belfast 60,541
Bristol 72,927
Glasgow 97,157
Birmingham 111,828
Edinburgh 130,016
Luton 136,511
Stansted 201,614
Manchester 201,247
Gatwick 283,919
Heathrow 477,604

Parking spaces

Finding a parking spot – and being charged an extortionate amount – can be a familiar problem for those who drive to the airport, but what airports should you look out for in particular? By comparing the ratio of passengers handled to parking spots, we have determined that Bristol is the best airport for finding a spot, even though it handles over two million more passengers than 10th placed Belfast every year. Despite having the most spaces, Heathrow is the worst offender – it is twice as hard to find a spot here than at Bristol. The second hardest place to find a parking space the UK’s second busiest airport, Gatwick.
Airport Parking spaces
Belfast 8,000
Bristol 17,154
Glasgow 7,937
Birmingham 13,000
Edinburgh 11,121
Luton 12,323
Stansted 35,000
Manchester 22,000
Gatwick 30,527
Heathrow 51,500

212,012 parking spaces

is the total number of parking spaces in the top 10 UK airports.

Airport facilities and statistics

Here are all the statistics you could ever need on the UK’s 10 busiest airports. You may be going away soon and want to check the lounge situation at the airport you’re flying from, or perhaps you’re just curious to see how many destinations each airport flies to?
Features
Runways 2
Airlines 84
Gates 231
Most popular destination New York (JFK)
Fast track £12.50
Lounges 12: One free, the rest £24.99-£50.00
Number of sockets available 3,050 power plugs
Seats and rest zones Plenty
Wi-Fi Free, unlimited
Shops 79
Restaurants/cafés 37
Hotels 6
Features
Runways 2
Airlines 50
Gates 115
Most popular destination Barcelona
Fast track Passport control: £9.99. Security: £5
Lounges 7, £21-£38
Number of sockets available Plenty
Seats and rest zones Plenty
Wi-Fi 90 minutes free
Shops 39
Restaurants/cafés 32
Hotels 6
Features
Runways 2
Airlines 56
Most popular destination Amsterdam
Fast track Passport control: £7 Security: £6
Lounges 2, £21-£30
Number of sockets available Few
Seats and rest zones Plenty
Wi-Fi 4 hours free
Shops 26
Restaurants/cafés 27
Hotels 16
Features
Runways 1
Airlines 22
Gates 88
Most popular destination Dublin
Fast track From £8
Lounges 1, from £25
Number of sockets available Few
Seats and rest zones Poor
Wi-Fi 4 hours free
Shops 22
Restaurants/cafés 20
Hotels 10
Features
Runways 1
Airlines 11
Gates 28
Most popular destination Amsterdam
Fast track Security: £6
Lounges 1, £22.49-£50
Number of sockets available 440
Seats and rest zones Limited
Wi-Fi 4 hours free
Shops 23
Restaurants/cafés 16
Hotels 4
Features
Runways 2
Airlines 37
Destinations 157
Most popular destination Amsterdam
Fast track From £5
Lounges 2, from £25.99
Number of sockets available Plenty
Seats and rest zones Limited
Wi-Fi 2 hours for free
Shops 23
Restaurants/cafés 15
Hotels 5
Features
Runways 1
Airlines 50
Destinations 143
Most popular destination Dublin
Fast track Passport control £5, Security £3.75
Lounges 4, £24.99-£34
Number of sockets available Limited
Seats and rest zones Limited
Wi-Fi Free
Shops 23
Restaurants/cafés 13
Hotels 6
Features
Runways 1
Airlines 30
Destinations 101
Most popular destination Amsterdam
Fast track Security: £4.99
Lounges 2, £23-£40
Number of sockets available Plenty
Seats and rest zones Plenty, frowned upon passengers sleeping
Wi-Fi 1 hour free
Shops 18
Restaurants/cafés 14
Hotels 5
Features
Runways 1
Airlines 13
Destinations 125
Most popular destination Palma
Fast track Security: £3.95
Lounges 2, £22.99-£34.99
Number of sockets available Limited
Seats and rest zones Limited
Wi-Fi 2 hours free
Shops 9
Restaurants/cafés 8
Hotels 12
Features
Runways 2
Airlines 7
Most popular destination Alicante
Fast track Priority security £4
Lounges 1, £27.50
Number of sockets available Limited
Seats and rest zones Poor, none
Wi-Fi 2 hours free
Shops 6
Restaurants/cafés 10
Hotels 1

Sources

Heathrow Airport
Gatwick Airport
Manchester Airport
Stansted Airport
Luton Airport
Edinburgh Airport
Birmingham Airport
Glasgow Airport
Bristol Airport
Belfast Airport
CAA

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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