London Heathrow Airport – World's Worst Again?

Oh Dear, World’s Worst Airport Again!

Members of Priority Pass, the world’s leading independent airport lounge programme, have voted London Heathrow Airport the World’s Worst Airport for the second year in a row. Responses to the annual survey came from 160 countries and the respondents have taken, on average, 17 flights in the past year.

This year, Heathrow doesn’t have the excuse that they had last year with the ill-fated opening of Terminal 5 and the ensuing teething problems.

Although Priority Pass members are not a representative sample of travellers that pass through Heathrow, they do know what a good airport experience should be.

For the humble traveller what we must have as a minimum are baggage trolleys, quick and hassle-free check-ins, no queues, no surly security staff and on-time departures. Free internet, good coffee and affordable food would make for a pleasant experience and all other services would add to making it a great airport.

The airport’s chief operating officer, Mike Brown said “We are working very hard to make every passenger’s journey to or from better than the last one …… we are rebuilding an airport of which the UK can be rightly proud.”

When Terminal 5 was completed it was hailed as one of the most spectacular architectural spaces in modern Britain!  So, what’s gone wrong with the services?

LHR should take a leaf out of Singapore’s Changi Airport the perennial favourite with travellers of all classes. At Changi Airport they understand what it takes to make the passenger’s journey a pleasant experience and they never stop trying to make it better. Changi is an airport that most travellers are happy to stop at!


  1. Comment by Heathrow Airport Parking

    But it’s actually first in the ranking of airports with the highest number of corridors!

  2. Comment by A.S.Mathew

    I have passed through Heathrow airport since 1971. It seems like
    that some of the police officials are deliberately treating the international
    passengers like refugees, and treated without any courtesy. Changing
    planes, even in the same terminal takes a long walk. If the airport
    authorities won’t take drastic actions to train the employees to be
    passenger friendly, the airport will be avoided by the international
    passengers. The police force at the airport is composed of people
    different nationalities, and some of them act up more and above than
    an ordinary police officer.

    Two years back, when I passed through the airport, I had a small
    brief case, besides the one cabin bag. The officer was so adamant
    and finally I took all the items from the brief case and stocked in
    the carry on case. When I asked, where I can dispose the brief case,
    he told me to exit the airport and re-enter through the customs. How I can catch the next flight? When I asked him to dispose the brief case, he showed no courtesy, but another police officer asked my
    nationality, and since I was a U.S. citizen, he showed the courtesy
    to take the brief case from me. Several passengers with their small
    children had to undergo hardship that day. Laws are made for
    us to abide with, but we are not made for experimenting laws with us.

  3. Comment by Helen

    Thanks for sharing your comment and Heathrow experience.

    Having been through the stresses at Heathrow Airport on numerous occasions, I totally agree with your comments. Whilst holidaymakers endure the pain and then push it out of their mind quickly, business travellers have to face that nightmare over and over on business trips.

    I see on some travel forums that international business executives are already finding alternative routes to get to their U.K. business meeting and avoiding Heathrow. We ourselves now choose to fly to Amsterdam, then on to Leeds-Bradford (LBA) rather than going through LHR. I wouldn’t say that the experience at LBA is fantastic, but at least the problem is on a much smaller scale.

    The problem is that Heathrow gets so much traffic that it will take a long time before avoidance by international passengers makes any real dent. Still, we live in hope.

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