London Southend Airport has been named the best airport in London, UK, with an 84% score in passenger satisfaction, according to the latest survey conducted by consumer body Which?.
The facility was given a score of just 29% in the Which? annual airports survey – the lowest ever received by a United Kingdom terminal. The ongoing building work from the £110m expansion project, which began last year, is likely to have contributed to this year’s low score. Others called it “chaotic” and “crowded” to capacity, and gave it very low scores in categories for food outlets, toilets, attitude of staff and range of shops.
Glyn Jones, CEO, London Southend, said, “We’re delighted our guests voted us by far the best in the capital, but it shows just how badly customers are being let down by aviation policy, which has led to appalling congestion both in the air and on the ground”.
“Of the 1.7 million people who responded to our ongoing customer service tracking, during the first six months of 2017, 75 per cent told us they were happy with their experience, a five per cent improvement on the same period previous year”, he said.
Luton Airport was quick to defend itself, however, claiming the Which? results did “not accurately reflect” the experience of most of its passengers.
Customer satisfaction at airports attracting more than 10 million passengers every year was getting worse, the survey found.
“Since then we have made significant improvements to the airport’s infrastructure, added new shops and restaurants and passenger services, such as free wifi”.
Both Doncaster Sheffield and Southend scored five stars for customer service, but both are small airports with only limited services. “We appreciate the patience of our passengers as we develop the airport, which will result in a better experience for everyone”.
This year, Stobart Aviation-owned London Southend has topped the poll in the region for the fourth time, with 16% more points than London City Airport, the second best airport in the United Kingdom capital with a score of 68%. Alongside Doncaster Sheffield, among the best rated United Kingdom airports were London Southend (84%), Norwich (75%), Southampton (75%) and Exeter (71%).
Of the larger airports, Birmingham and Heathrow Terminal 5 scored the highest with a 61% customer satisfaction rating.