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Queue at airport
Photograph: Shutterstock/Oleg Elkov

These are the UK airports with the longest security queues

A survey conducted by Which? has revealed the country’s most chaotic terminals

Written by
Ellie Muir

Remember the chaos at airports last summer? There were queues, delays, more queues, lost luggage and cancellations. Our travel plans were in complete disarray. 

Now, a survey conducted by Which? has revealed the worst airports for security wait times between February and August this year. The researchers asked 1,300 people who travelled from a UK airport over that period how long they waited at security. 

Leeds Bradford Airport has been crowned the unfortunate winner, leaving passengers waiting an average of 35 minutes to get their security checks done. The delays are apparently down to staff shortages and a spike in demand for travel after Covid restrictions were scrapped, leading to huge queues often snaking through the terminals. In August, the West Yorkshire airport installed electronic screens providing passengers with live updates on estimated wait times.

Meanwhile, Bristol Airport had passengers waiting half an hour on average, and Birmingham and Manchester had queues lasting for 24 minutes. Heathrow came in fifth place, with wait times averaging at 20 minutes for security checks. 

Here’s the full list of the worst airports for security queues in the UK:

  1. Leeds Bradford, 35 minutes
  2. Bristol, 30 minutes
  3. Birmingham, 24 minutes
  4. Manchester, 24 minutes
  5. Heathrow, 20 minutes
  6. Luton, 19 minutes
  7. Belfast International, 18 minutes
  8. Stansted, 18 minutes
  9. Edinburgh, 16 minutes
  10. Gatwick, 16 minutes
  11. Newcastle, 15 minutes
  12. Glasgow International, 13 minutes
  13. Belfast City, 13 minutes
  14. London City, 12 minutes

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