A new investigation has revealed Stansted Airport to have the longest flight delays in the UK, keeping passengers waiting for an average of 25 minutes in 2018.
Tied for second place behind the Essex airport were Luton and Birmingham, both clocking in at 19 minutes with their delay time, while Belfast City (George Best) claimed the best performance with an average delay of only eight minutes.
A spokesman for Stansted claimed “a particularly challenging summer last year” had contributed to the result, saying that “adverse weather and air traffic control issues had a dramatic impact on airline on-time performance”.
The analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data ranked 24 major UK airports in total (not including cancelled flights), giving an average flight delay time for all airports as 16 minutes in 2018.
Liverpool (John Lennon) was the second best airport (10 minutes), followed by Doncaster, Sheffield, Exeter and Bournemouth, all in third place with 12-minute delays.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “It’s completely unacceptable for passengers to be regularly delayed by nearly half an hour.
“These delays aren’t just an inconvenience but can leave holidaymakers hundreds of pounds out of pocket because of missed connections, transfers and fines for picking up their hire car late.
The busiest airport in the UK, Heathrow, came 17th on the list, with delays of 13 minutes. Gatwick was fourth, with average delays of 18 minutes.
Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK, mainly using low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, which has invested several million pounds to support its ground operation at the airport. This “has already helped deliver significant service improvements to flight punctuality,” added the Stansted spokesman.