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Which are the Worst Airports at Christmas?

Flight delays

For almost a dozen Britons, travelling for the Christmas holidays isn’t going to go as planned. This is because they will likely be the victims of a flight delay, according to a recent survey.

The survey has also stated that the Gatwick and Manchester airports will likely see the maximum number of passengers facing a flight delay

In 2014 and 2015, the Christmas season saw 1 out of 5 flights at Manchester Airport being delayed by over half an hour. That accounts for around 20% of the flights leaving from the airport. As for Gatwick, the numbers have been estimated to be around 17%.

Gatwick and Manchester were followed by Glasgow, Stansted, Edinburgh and Heathrow, in that order.

The average number of delayed flights within the UK, during the season, is estimated to be around 12%, which is 2% more than delays experienced otherwise. Also, the average duration of a delay during the season is estimated to be around an hour.

The survey was conducted by Kayak.co.uk with data being provided by Flightstats.com.

A busy time

Christmas is, naturally, a busy time for every establishment, including airports. This is the time when most people escape the colder regions to look for some sun and warmth. Additionally, the holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

According to travel expert, Suzanne Kerry from Kayak, UK travellers would be wise to plan ahead when travelling during Christmas. This should include checking flight timings as often as possible and booking in accordance with that.

As for inbound flights, it was found that Heathrow was the busiest airport. Travellers arriving here are likely to be 30 minutes behind schedule. Around 15% of Heathrow’s inbound flights are delayed. Heathrow is closely followed by Gatwick and Manchester at 14%. London Luton reports around 12% of its inbound flights being delayed.

However, Heathrow claims that it does everything to ensure minimal delay. According to one of its spokespersons, Heathrow has always prioritized punctuality and spends considerable time looking for innovative solutions to improve things. The spokesperson added that Heathrow was the only hub airport in the UK to operate at 99% of its total capacity.

At the other end

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the survey found that Leeds Bradford had the least delays. The airport reported only a mere 4% of flights being delayed here, with the delays lasting around 30 minutes on an average. In comparison, Manchester was 5 times more likely to experience a delay.Leeds Bradford was followed by Newcastle with 6% of flights being delayed. Newcastle was followed by Liverpool, and Aberdeen.

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns both, Stansted and Manchester, claimed that Kayak’s survey was inaccurate. According to MAG’s own data, Manchester experienced only 11% of its flights being delayed. This number accounted for outbound and inbound flights.

A spokesperson for Glasgow, responding to the survey, stated that many of the delays were beyond their control as they were caused by factors such as bad weather, technical issues or air-traffic congestion.

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