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readytotaxi
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UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:53 am

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... WEML6619I2

The annual airports survey carried out by Which? consumer group.

Well, you gotta hand it to them, at least they are consistant. :rotfl:
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StTim
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:59 am

It has got worse at the moment. The airport is busier and the revised facilities are not yet in place.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:22 am

It was bloody dire in the early 90's when I last used it.
Massively busier these days, dread to think how awful it is......and then throw in the stupid charges for things like actually having the balls to turn up at the entrance.
 
mrbonfire
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:28 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
stupid charges for things like actually having the balls to turn up at the entrance.

Haha. Brilliant.
 
Bongodog1964
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:29 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
It was bloody dire in the early 90's when I last used it.
Massively busier these days, dread to think how awful it is......and then throw in the stupid charges for things like actually having the balls to turn up at the entrance.


LTN once again prevented STN from achieving bottom ranking !!

The infrastructure and access at LTN is way worse than STN, otherwise they both suffer from the effect of their major airlines and their customers. The passengers are looking for bargain fares, in order to provide them the airlines seek low landing and passenger handling fees. The airport operator then looks for alternative revenue sources to make up the difference, the most obvious of which is a fee to allow you to drop passengers outside the terminal. In the case of STN they agree to not use the airbridges, which is a major pain if you have young children or people who don't walk very well.
Then you have the airside area crammed full of shopping as it subsidises the low passenger handling fees, at STN you have no alternative but to walk through the middle of a duty free shop on your way to the gates.
Michael O Leary of FR has gone on record in the case of DUB wanting to build better facilities stating that he isn't going to "expletive deleted" pay for them

Just remember, we the travelling public loved the idea of cheaper fares, initially it was easy for the LCC's to undercut the established airlines by operating single model fleets, offering lower pay to crew, contracting out handling etc. Now that the other airlines are following their lead, the LCC's have to keep looking for more savings, and shafting the airport operator is one of them.
 
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shamrock350
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:54 pm

It's a horrible experience all round.

I admit I use Luton a lot more than any other London airport thanks to the dirt cheap flights by Wizz and Ryanair but everything from the arriving by car or public transport to actually taking off is a mess. The current roadworks have caused massive delays, it's behind schedule, over budget and probably won't solve anything in the long term once it's complete. It's a common sight to see people getting out of their cars on the approach road with their luggage and walking/running to the terminal due to traffic, this has happened every morning for the past two summers in fact. Once inside the airport, it's a dump, very little facilities land side and security can be a nightmare, still slightly better than STN in that department though! There's a serious overcrowding problem in the duty free shopping area, a lack of seating and people standing and staring at the display waiting for their gate to be called while simultaneously blocking the only route to the gates.

Boarding flights is the usual low cost style that most Europeans are used to, you get called for boarding and get your boarding pass scanned only to be sent into holding room where you stand and wait to walk out onto the aircraft for up 30 minutes, usually in sweltering heat with no air. The Luton experience isn't over once you're on board though, taxi times can take an age for such a small airport. One of my recent Wizz Air flights to Kaunas was stuck on the ground for 45 minutes waiting to take off, biz jet after biz jet landed and departed along with the usual array of scheduled and charter flights every morning before we eventually lined up, it just felt like the airport was struggling to keep up with demand in every aspect.

Arriving is actually a breeze, never had a problem apart from the E-Passport gates not recognising my face now I've got a trendy hipster beard and the staff insisting I use them before going to an actual person. If you stay ahead of the crowd you can be out of the airport within a few minutes, it's not pretty but it's fast. It hasn't quite beaten by 10 minute aircraft to car record at Heathrow T2 last summer but it's not far off.

I'll still use Luton, it's handy for North Lononders like myself, flights are cheap and the range of destinations on offer is pretty unique thanks to Wizz having such a big operation there. It's not pleasant but something has to give when flights are so cheap.
 
max999
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:48 pm

Bongodog1964 wrote:
Then you have the airside area crammed full of shopping as it subsidises the low passenger handling fees, at STN you have no alternative but to walk through the middle of a duty free shop on your way to the gates.


LHR, the airport for full fare and legacy airlines, does the same thing! At Heathrow, the airport traps you in those shopping malls. I call it a trap because airport management does not provide the adequate number of seats at the gates or outside the malls; it becomes the only place to wait for your flight. They also trap you in the mall by withholding the gate information until the last minute so you have nowhere to go. In fact, the terminal layout was designed to ensnare you in the mall for as long as possible.
Last edited by max999 on Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:53 pm

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest - LTN is a dump. They couldn't pay me enough to fly from there.
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jsnww81
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:35 pm

Luton was definitely ahead of its time - as far back as the 70s and 80s, when many other airports in the UK were actually designed and run for the benefit of passengers, they weren't afraid to break the mold and set a new standard for how terrible an airport experience could be. Hardly surprising that they continue to top the least-favorite list, although the rest of the British airports are doing their level best to catch up. Luton has so many factors going for it, though:

- Horrible cul-de-sac access for anyone arriving by vehicle
- "Terminal building" consisting of lots of tacked-on extensions and labyrinthine layout
- Obsessive focus on retail at the expense of passenger circulation and comfort
- Inefficient airfield layout and no room for expansion
- Hostile neighbors who'd rather have gridlock traffic idling through their communities than approve any sort of sensible access scheme

Well deserved, LTN - truly the standard-bearer for the miserable experience that using a British airport ought to be. Don't rest on your laurels though, as you've got loads of competition.
 
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thekorean
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:08 pm

Whatever happened to linking LTN to the railways station nearby with people mover?
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:15 pm

thekorean wrote:
Whatever happened to linking LTN to the railways station nearby with people mover?

Here you go.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1355965
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User001
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:24 pm

British airports are always going to be dire, except T2 and T5 at Heathrow.

The issue is that they are lowly funded, and rely on retail/car parking to make their revenue. With low cost airlines not really paying decent rates to upgrade the infrastructure (infrastructure that is in a lot of cases inherited from old RAF dromes), then things will never change (and why would airlines worry about the low fees they pay, end of the day as long as they get pax on planes, the airport experience seems to be low down their priority list), including the race to the bottom with handling agents too just mean the whole experience is cr*p.

UK airports outside of LHR (which is highly funded) are NEVER going to be to the standard of KUL/HKG/CAN/PEK/SIN etc, the money just isn't there to fund that sort of airport experience, and as long as British pax want to pay the lowest possible price for their airfares, they will forever be on a self defeating loop of paying nothing for airfares -> complaining about airport infrastructure -> nothing changing -> paying nothing for airfares etc etc etc.
 
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Vasu
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:49 am

Of all the British airports I've flown from, LTN is my least favourite by far. The main departure lounge is far too small for the number of passengers and has very few windows to the outside world. It always feels chaotic and claustrophobic. Baggage reclaim isn't much better - sometimes they are delivering two flights' baggage on the same conveyor at the same time. Plus immigration can take forever - we call it 'the line ride'.
 
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Vasu
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:50 am

Vasu wrote:
Of all the British airports I've flown from, LTN is my least favourite by far. The main departure lounge is far too small for the number of passengers and has very few windows to the outside world. It always feels chaotic and claustrophobic. Baggage reclaim isn't much better - sometimes they are delivering two flights' baggage on the same conveyor at the same time. Plus immigration can take forever - we call it 'the line ride'.


Having said all of that, would I endure LTN for a significantly cheaper flight ticket? Yes.
 
SCQ83
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:29 am

Bongodog1964 wrote:
LTN once again prevented STN from achieving bottom ranking !!


I have never understood the bias against STN in this forum. Unless most people here link STN to Ryanair; and since Airliners love to hate FR, they love to hate STN too.

I find STN quite functional and well designed. Much better than LGW, for instance.

STN is not the ultimate airport experience but IMO it works reasonably well.

Bongodog1964 wrote:
Then you have the airside area crammed full of shopping as it subsidises the low passenger handling fees, at STN you have no alternative but to walk through the middle of a duty free shop on your way to the gates.


What is specific to STN about all that shopping arcade? This is the new standard in any new airport layout or renovation around the world.

Notably in the UK which started this trend earlier than continental Europe airports.
 
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:36 am

SCQ83 wrote:
Bongodog1964 wrote:
LTN once again prevented STN from achieving bottom ranking !!


I have never understood the bias against STN in this forum. Unless most people here link STN to Ryanair; and since Airliners love to hate FR, they love to hate STN too.

I find STN quite functional and well designed. Much better than LGW, for instance.

STN is not the ultimate airport experience but IMO it works reasonably well.

Bongodog1964 wrote:
Then you have the airside area crammed full of shopping as it subsidises the low passenger handling fees, at STN you have no alternative but to walk through the middle of a duty free shop on your way to the gates.


What is specific to STN about all that shopping arcade? This is the new standard in any new airport layout or renovation around the world.

Notably in the UK which started this trend earlier than continental Europe airports.


What is specific about STN is that you have to actually weave a path through the shelves in the duty free shop to access the rest of the departures area, I've experienced other airports where the duty free shop is "in your face" and difficult to avoid, but not where it is impossible to avoid. Also STN has now been laid out to make you walk past every shop before you reach the main part of the departure lounge, its a very long and winding road. Mostly you go though security and there's a broad avenue running left to right with shops, but at STN its deliberately just a long meandering pathway to make sure you can't miss anything.
In its BAA days STN was a significantly nicer experience, free drop off, better layout beyond security etc.
 
SCQ83
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:47 am

Bongodog1964 wrote:
What is specific about STN is that you have to actually weave a path through the shelves in the duty free shop to access the rest of the departures area, I've experienced other airports where the duty free shop is "in your face" and difficult to avoid, but not where it is impossible to avoid. Also STN has now been laid out to make you walk past every shop before you reach the main part of the departure lounge, its a very long and winding road. Mostly you go though security and there's a broad avenue running left to right with shops, but at STN its deliberately just a long meandering pathway to make sure you can't miss anything.
In its BAA days STN was a significantly nicer experience, free drop off, better layout beyond security etc.


I know, I have been many times at STN.

But I just say this is the new normal in pretty much any airport in the world. There is nothing unique about STN in that sense.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:53 am

Bongodog1964 wrote:
What is specific about STN is that you have to actually weave a path through the shelves in the duty free shop to access the rest of the departures area, I've experienced other airports where the duty free shop is "in your face" and difficult to avoid, but not where it is impossible to avoid.


You need to travel more, that's quite common, and becoming more and more...
 
Nickd92
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:01 am

I'm afraid bongodog1964, most airports are now designed like this as duty free is where most money is made. As an example, coming further up north;

MAN T1 - You walk through security, are presented with a couple of shops, a starbucks, before you have to go through the duty free to get to the rest of departures.
MAN T2 - Again designed just like T1; there is an area of shopping before you have to go through duty free to get to the rest of departures.
LBA - You go through security, up some stairs; have burger king and another food outlet before heading through duty free towards the rest of the gates & departure lounge.
NCL - Before you head to the departure lounge your presented with duty free - No other retail or food outlets - Just like STN.
BHX - Before you head to the departure lounge your presented with duty free. No other retail or food outlets - Just like STN.
EMA - Before you head to the departure lounge your presented with duty free - No other retail or food outlets - Just like STN.

You can't escape duty free in terminals anymore; the way that airports are designed are to maximise retail revenue out of every passenger. The very passenger which has drove down fares and driven them to design their terminals this way.
 
george77300
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:24 pm

I am still of the opinion LGW is by far the worst in the UK. And the worst I've been to globally. LGW should definitely be bottom.
 
Cunard
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:10 am

george77300 wrote:
I am still of the opinion LGW is by far the worst in the UK. And the worst I've been to globally. LGW should definitely be bottom.


When did you last use LGW and what terminal?

LGW has had massive investments made in both terminals over the last few years and the experience is a much improved one than from the former BAA ownership.
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:25 am

StTim wrote:
It has got worse at the moment. The airport is busier and the revised facilities are not yet in place.


Not sure if your upto date with the redevelopment at LTN but everything is more or less finished at LTN except the terminal extension where the former coach station was situated, the opening of the new pier plus the new taxi way extensions parallel to the runway.

The revised drop off zone was completed before the summer season but it hasn't lived up to expectations and has caused even more chaos and will again have to be altered once work commences on the new station for the proposed people mover to Luton Parkway Station.

Luton Airport has never been a favourite of mine even from my days as a young lad plane spotting in the early 1980's I've always found the airport a complete dump and having flown from the airport as an adult I still find the airport a complete and utter dump and I would never ever again consider flying from the airport regardless of how cheap the flight might be.

It's a pathetic excuse of an airport to have the London prefix added to it and I never refer to it as London Luton Airport as it doesn't deserve that recognition.
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JannEejit
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:42 am

Quite clearly it's time to re-visit this successful advertising campaign from the late 1970's...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCYhqYfs8Po
 
KIRFlyer
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:30 am

I have to say that Luton Airport has improved markedly when I visited last week (although it still has a long way to go improvement wise).

The past few summers, when they were doing all the construction/improvement works, it was a complete dump and a nightmare to use. Huge traffic queues to get into the airport! That roundabout near the Holiday Inn was horrific and every single rule of the road went out the window, and it was every man for himself. They have finished the vast majority of the entrance roads, and they are way better than what they were. However, the drop off area is now like a zig-zag and a pain to get through. The fact they charge you to drop someone off is audacious!

I see they are building more onto the airport, filling in the original courtyard area. I've always found security to be relatively quick and painless. Duty free is grand. Their airside facilities are poor, with a severe lack of seating. I always go down to the cafe near Gate 10 or 11, where it is way quieter.

It is a poor airport and I only use it for the FR flight to KIR, other than that I will try and avoid it at every possibility.
 
Antarius
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:18 am

george77300 wrote:
I am still of the opinion LGW is by far the worst in the UK. And the worst I've been to globally. LGW should definitely be bottom.


Second.

Although globally - CGK (Jakarta) and LGA (New York LaGuardia) are the worst to me.
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zeke
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:00 am

readytotaxi wrote:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/30/luton-rated-britain-worst-airport-five-years-row?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=241660&subid=15950196&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

The annual airports survey carried out by Which? consumer group.

Well, you gotta hand it to them, at least they are consistant. :rotfl:


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Ryga
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:12 am

george77300 wrote:
I am still of the opinion LGW is by far the worst in the UK. And the worst I've been to globally. LGW should definitely be bottom.


I've been using LGW for the past 20 odd years, never had issues.
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StTim
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:18 am

Much as I think Luton has it's issues - it is the closest airport for me and I am usually in the door within 60 minutes of the wheels touching down.

That is a huge advantage compared to Heathrow where it can easily by over 2hours for the same.
 
gunnerman
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:16 pm

At least LTN is one of only 12 UK airports to provide water fountains, located just after security, for thirsty passengers to top up their water bottles.
 
BA2037
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:48 pm

LTN is a dump. I had the misfortune of landing here from EDI a couple of years ago as that was the cheapest easyjet flight available at the time. The terminal is very dull, depressing and lacks any character. It certainly gets my vote for being the worst in the UK.
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:59 pm

KIRFlyer wrote:
I have to say that Luton Airport has improved markedly when I visited last week (although it still has a long way to go improvement wise).

The past few summers, when they were doing all the construction/improvement works, it was a complete dump and a nightmare to use. Huge traffic queues to get into the airport! That roundabout near the Holiday Inn was horrific and every single rule of the road went out the window, and it was every man for himself. They have finished the vast majority of the entrance roads, and they are way better than what they were. However, the drop off area is now like a zig-zag and a pain to get through. The fact they charge you to drop someone off is audacious!

I see they are building more onto the airport, filling in the original courtyard area. I've always found security to be relatively quick and painless. Duty free is grand. Their airside facilities are poor, with a severe lack of seating. I always go down to the cafe near Gate 10 or 11, where it is way quieter.

It is a poor airport and I only use it for the FR flight to KIR, other than that I will try and avoid it at every possibility.



The road approach is much improved as is the drop off. The lack of seating in departures is not a problem as bag drop and security take so long you don't have time to sit down before boarding starts!! LTN is a victim of its own success as passenger numbers keep growing.

Geoff
 
beakerltn
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:17 am

Ltn's my local.. last flight Ltn-muc. £59. 2nights in mid stay car park £81.

Both ticket machines at exit knackered, no one answering the 'help' button.

Sums it all up, really.
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blackbox67
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:57 am

LTN was a disgraceful experience for me. Felt more as cattle than humanoid pax. How could anyone allows this amount of traffic into this cramped ramshackle mess ? W/out full taxiway support surrounded by steep slopes its also an absolute safety hazard. Try to avoid LTN at all costs. Britain can do better.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:44 am

gunnerman wrote:
At least LTN is one of only 12 UK airports to provide water fountains, located just after security, for thirsty passengers to top up their water bottles.

So that'll be pretty much all UK 'large' airports then. Shows how low LTN is if that's their main plus point.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:24 am

SCQ83 wrote:
Bongodog1964 wrote:
What is specific about STN is that you have to actually weave a path through the shelves in the duty free shop to access the rest of the departures area, I've experienced other airports where the duty free shop is "in your face" and difficult to avoid, but not where it is impossible to avoid. Also STN has now been laid out to make you walk past every shop before you reach the main part of the departure lounge, its a very long and winding road. Mostly you go though security and there's a broad avenue running left to right with shops, but at STN its deliberately just a long meandering pathway to make sure you can't miss anything.
In its BAA days STN was a significantly nicer experience, free drop off, better layout beyond security etc.


Similar experience at GLA since they unified the three security areas into one area, you exit security checks directly into one big duty free shop before entering the airside terminal zone. I took to calling it 'running the perfume gauntlet' as there is so much of the stuff permeating the air, you often come out reeking. Over elaborately 'cosmeticised' ladies awaiting your feeble attempts at eye contact avoidance, ready to offer you a 3 litre bottle of L'air du temps' at every turn too ! :-)
 
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JannEejit
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:30 am

I take it things haven't improved much since these days then ? ;-)

https://youtu.be/PCYhqYfs8Po
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: UK - Luton rated Britain's worst airport for fifth year in a row

Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:08 pm

It's an overcrowded dump. Although it has grown over the years, the growth hasn't keep up with passenger numbers and they have done everything on the cheap, bolting on extra sections one at a time. They keep moving the passenger drop off point further and further away from the entrance and now they charge a big fee for it.

Stansted used to be terrible and its always busy but it's well organised and its design allows it to take the large volume of traffic quite efficiently. Gatwick is fairly quiet, efficient and easy to use in my recent experience. Heathrow is by far the best, especially at the new T2.

I imagine that Luton might become better after it expands but during construction it is only going to get worse.

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