London-Luton has been named the worst airport in the UK for the second year running, according to the Which? annual survey of “holiday hassles”.
Despite a record two million passengers using the Bedfordshire hub over the last two months – largely thanks to the popularity of EasyJet, Monarch and Ryanair who are all based there – many travellers still complain about security control, baggage reclaim and Luton’s pick-up and drop-off point, which has a maximum stay of 10 minutes and costs £2 on exit.
Of the 8,000 Which? members that rated airports in different categories, Luton finished bottom with a 37 per cent satisfaction rating – a six per cent drop on last year. One member described the airport as a “hell hole”.
However, final planning consent for a £100m development of the airport has recently been granted that will increase annual passenger capacity from 12 to 18 million per year by 2031. Many of its frequent users will be hoping the inevitable problems they continue to encounter will be dealt with long before then.
Hampstead cricket club member John Mennis vented his frustration today upon arrival at London Luton. He said: “Another hideous queue at Luton Airport – there must be something that someone can do about it. Such a drag. [Staff] forced a lady in front of me to buy a plastic bag for a tiny bottle of prescribed eye drops – extortion!”
A spokesperson for London Luton said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the findings. She said: “Since the poll was undertaken, we have been given the green light for a £100m redevelopment project which will transform the airport. This marks the start of an exciting new journey for London Luton Airport. We are committed to working with our carriers, baggage handling agents, the Border Force and transport partners to deliver a simple, hassle-free airport experience for our customers.”
I endured this debacle in September and then again in October 2014 when flying with Wizz Air to Skopje (and that’s another story). Long queues, no seating, extraordinary long wait for security checks, slow UK Border Force staff, rude and apathetic airport staff, over-inflated prices (£4 for a capuccino), long walks down halls and then down stairs to ground level gates, £2 for a baggage trolley, car parking scams and ripoffs, London-Luton airport is just one nightmare after another.
I still have not worked out why border control is required for flights originating in another EU country. Oh yes, that’s right; the UK “opted out” of the EU “open borders” policy!
£100m? That might go some way to fixing the airport, but I doubt that there will be a change in attitude! As an international gateway to the UK, Luton does not cut it.
Welcome to Britain? Not!