UK’s best and worst airports for flight delays revealed – full list

UK's best and worst airports for flight delays revealed - full list

The UK’s best and worst airports based on flight delays in 2022 have been revealed.

Birmingham airport topped the list for having the longest average delay per departing flight, for a second year in a row.

The analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the PA news agency considered all scheduled and chartered departures, with cancelled flights not included.

Figures showed that departures from Birmingham airport were half an hour behind schedule on average in 2022.

That was more than twice as long as the previous year, when it was also ranked last for punctuality.

A spokesman from the airport said the flight industry fought “hard to recover” after the global COVID-19 pandemic and said operations were “running smoothly” this year.

Full list of UK airports based on flight punctuality in 2022

    Airports are ordered from the longest average delay per departing flight to the shortest. Birmingham (30 minutes) Manchester (29 minutes) Doncaster Sheffield (29 minutes) Luton (28 minutes) Gatwick (27 minutes) Bristol (26 minutes) Cardiff (24 minutes) Edinburgh (24 minutes) Heathrow (22 minutes) Newcastle (21 minutes) Isle of Man (21 minutes) Aberdeen (21 minutes) Leeds Bradford (20 minutes) Southend (20 minutes) Glasgow (19 minutes) Stansted (19 minutes) Southampton (19 minutes) Bournemouth (19 minutes) London City (17 minutes) Jersey (17 minutes) Belfast International (16 minutes) Liverpool John Lennon (15 minutes) Belfast City (15 minutes) Exeter (14 minutes) Teesside (14 minutes) East Midlands (13 minutes)

When flights are significantly delayed, airlines are required to provide passengers with assistance.

This can include refreshments, accommodation and communication.

Passengers are also due compensation of up to £520 if the cause of disruption is under an airline’s control. This is dependent on the length of the delay and flight distance.

Last year, over ten million people travelled through Birmingham airport, making it the seventh-busiest airport in the UK.

In addition to flight delays, many departing passengers were forced to spend several hours in long queues for check-in and security.

Around 50 airlines operate at the airport, including Ryanair,, TUI Airways, Air France and Emirates.

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‘We expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights’

A Birmingham airport spokesman said: “The start of 2022 was devastated by COVID.

“After travel restrictions were lifted, the aviation industry fought hard to recover.

“This year, the first since 2020 not impacted by COVID, our airport is running smoothly with customers set to equal or exceed pre-pandemic numbers.

“Customers using Birmingham airports this summer can expect changes to walking routes as we build our £40m new security hall, set to be ready for June 2024.”

CAA head of consumer Anna Bowles said: “Our data tells us that too many passengers faced disappointing levels of delays across UK airports last year.

“It is important consumers experience a high-quality service from both airlines and airports this year.

“We expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are disrupted.”


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