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easyJet planes at London Gatwick
Photograph: Ceri Breeze /

Revealed: the UK’s worst airport for delays in 2023

One hub saw nearly three-quarters of all flights delayed this year

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

The past couple of years of air travel in the UK haven’t been particularly smooth – and that’s putting things lightly. After travel restrictions were lifted in 2022, the aviation industry has been plagued with everything from flight delays and cancellations to lost luggage. 

But some airports have struggled with all this stuff much more than others, with recent data showing that one UK air hub saw nearly three-quarters of its flights delayed in 2023. That’s right: three-quarters

The hub in question is London Gatwick, which apparently saw a whopping 74.1 percent of its flights delayed this year. That’s according to research by, which used Civil Aviation Authority data to rank UK airports and airlines by the number and length of their delays. 

Of course, just because an airport has lots of delays doesn’t mean those delays are long. But Gatwick has some pretty lengthy delays, too. The same study saw Gatwick come second in the UK for having the longest delays, with an average delay of nearly 28 minutes.

So, bad news for London Gatwick. Also performing pretty poorly in’s study were Bournemouth and Bristol airports, which came in the top five for both number of delays and the average length of delay.

Here are the top five worst airports for number of delays, according to, along with the percentage of delayed flights.

  1. London Gatwick (74.1 percent)
  2. Bournemouth (73.6 percent)
  3. Newcastle - 73.6 percent)
  4. Bristol (72.5 percent)
  5. London Stansted (70.2 percent)

And here are the top five worst airports for the average length of delay.

  1. Isle of Man (33.22 minutes)
  2. London Gatwick (27.71 minutes)
  3. Bournemouth (25.43 minutes)
  4. Luton (25.03 minutes)
  5. Bristol (22.37 minutes)

If you’re lucky enough to get to choose which airport you can fly from, it can be handy to know which ones are more and less reliable. At Time Out we’ve recently reported on flight routes with the longest delays, the best (and worst) major airports in Europe and a ranking of airports in the UK.

Did you see that Ryanair is launching more cheap flights to Cornwall?

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