Gatwick Airport was recently rated the second worst airport in a study by AirHelp. Punctuality and quality were the two main criteria.
In fact, a poll ranked four British airports at the bottom of 20 for “punctuality and quality,” for passengers flying inbound and outbound of the United Kingdom (UK). Heathrow Airport was the 20th-best of the 76 airports that were under study. Kuwait was rated the world’s worst airport with Singapore’s Changi, followed by Munich and Hong Kong, as the top airport.
This information is forthcoming just after a bad year of airport issues, not the least of which involved a British Airways IT (Information Technology) crash which stranded thousands in London last month.
Claiming that airport delays were “outside its control,” a spokesperson for Gatwick downplayed the survey results, because of continental strikes.
In April 2017, a Which? poll indicated that Gatwick airport lounge displayed a “floor was grubby and the facilities were basic,” with customers complaining saying it was the worst. In May 2017, people traveling for the bank holiday we angry because of having to fly sans luggage. A conveyer belt employed to sort suitcases prior to passengers boarding was broken.
In 2016, Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal brought forth a £186 million terminal link up they termed “state of the art.” It sported a brand new luggage processing system, representing the airport’s largest single expenditure since getting new owners.
AirHelp’s UK manager Marius Fermi said that, “it’s important – now more so than ever – that passenger service is a top priority of both airlines and airports, ensuring they receive the experience they deserve, so it’s fantastic to see that Singapore is setting the standard for customer-first service.
“This research should hopefully give airlines and airports across the world, particularly in the UK, a nudge to improve their quality and punctuality urgently before the travel rush starts this summer,” Fermi concluded.
With a look at airlines, British Airways ranked seventh in the world out of 87 carriers, despite the IT outage mentioned above, stranding travelers at both Gatwick and Heathrow when the systems crashed. Travelers indicated they had to spend thousands at hotels in close proximity to the airport(s).
Ryanair and Monarch placed in the bottom five of the rankings with Flybe showing at 22nd. The rankings assess the quality of service, on-time performance, and the process for compensation claims.
The top-ranked carrier in the world was Singapore Airlines.
When Sig Watkins, of Hampshire, took off from Gatwick with a rugby group of under 12s going to Lyon, it was right when the conveyer belt broke in May 2017, she said there were the “biggest queues I’ve ever seen” coupled with confusion at the airport.
Upon arrival in Lyon, despite Gatwick airline staff assuring her that their luggage would be on board, she and the team got to Lyon with luggage nowhere to be found, she said.
“That’s the frustration. If they would have told us, then maybe we would have taken hand baggage,” said Watkins.
Nathan James labeled the airport a “nightmare” saying he witnessed “chaos” after the belt break.
A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport indicated that, “Gatwick recognises the inconvenience that delays cause to our passengers and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent them from occurring.
“However over recent years repeated strike action on the continent and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London, have led to a significant increase in the number of delays caused by wider air traffic control issues outside Gatwick’s control.
“Surveys conducted amongst real passengers travelling through Gatwick currently show record levels of satisfaction and advocacy, with other third party passenger surveys also telling a different story and rating Gatwick’s service levels highly,” he concluded.