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UK Airports You’re Most Likely To Be Delayed At

21 December 2022

UK Airports You’re Most Likely To Be Delayed At
  • Latest quarterly data exposes London Gatwick and Luton Airport as the most unreliable airports in the UK with over 30% of flights delayed by more than 30 minutes between August and October
  • Over 1,000 flights were cancelled from the London Gatwick during the same quarter, representing the highest amount in the UK
  • Meanwhile, East Midlands, Belfast International and London Heathrow airports were the most reliable as less than 20% of their flights were more than 30 minutes late
  • As the aviation industry starts to experience its own round of strikes, holiday goers are being warned to expect further delays this month and should prepare for further delays

London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and Luton Airport (LTN) have been exposed as being the most unreliable airports in the UK, with 30% of flights from the airport delayed by over 30 minutes between August and October this year.

The latest punctuality report released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), revealed that Luton came out as the country's worst offender with delays of more than 30 minutes totaling 35% of their outbound flights, followed by Gatwick with 31% during the three month period.

Manchester (MAN), Edinburgh (EDI), Bristol (BRS) and Stansted (STN) airports were also shown to have over one quarter of their flights delayed by over 30 minutes.

The CAA release also showed that Gatwick had the most flight cancellations between August and October, with the number reaching 1071.

East Midlands Airport (EMA) was able to claim the crown as being the most punctual with their 30 minute delay averaging just 15% of their total number of flights. However, London Heathrow (LHR), the UK's busiest airport, which handled 100,061 flights during the three-month period also performed well with delays over 30 minutes just below 20%.

With August representing a difficult month for the travel industry, as many airports struggled to cope with the surge in flight bookings and staff shortages following Covid-19 restrictions being lifted, this latest data does not bode well for the upcoming Christmas rush.

Leading Flying Experience provider,, warned around the pressures the industry is facing. Dan Jones, Operating Manager at commented: "Having any trip delayed due to circumstances out of your control is never a great way to start a trip."

"The amount of pressure on the aviation and travel industry right now, following three years of Covid restrictions mean it was always going to take time to get back up and running. The planned strike actions will just further compound the struggles airports face to get holiday goers out on time."

Indeed, this latest data will be unwelcome news for flyers as it comes amid the most recent wave of industrial action planned by various areas of the aviation industry meaning further delays and disruptions at airports are to be expected.

The UK border forces are set to strike at London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow between 23rd - 26th December and between 28th - 31st December, as well as baggage handlers at London Heathrow going on a 72 hour strike on 29th December.

Dan Jones concluded with some advice for those caught up in long delays: "Customers should make sure that they are aware of the compensation airlines must provide if their flights are delayed or cancelled. Each airline will have this clearly outlined on their website along with how to make a claim."

"Food and drink vouchers, overnight accommodation and monetary refunds are available but only if passengers are delayed by a certain time period."

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