7 Best Airports In The UK Right Now

What is the best airport in the UK right now? We’re glad you’re here to find out. The following information will help guide you on the best places to book your next flight. 

Recently, the UK’s airports haven’t been the most welcoming places to be. Flight cancellations, long lines, and passport complications have made it difficult to go away for a vacation.

Any help you can provide yourself to make your trip more bearable and comfortable will go a long way in your next trip. Consider, for example, the importance of selecting the nearest and safest airport.

Book your next flight from one of these best airports in the UK. These are the best and worst airports in the United Kingdom:

1. London City Airport

British Airways Plane landing at London's City Airport on a sunny day with Canary Wharf in the background.
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Located in London, England, London City Airport serves as a regional airport for the capital city. Within walking distance of Canary Wharf and 6 miles from London’s financial district, it may be found in the Royal Docks in the London Borough of Newham. The airport sees a lot of traffic from the city’s financial district, which has two major hubs here.

London City Airport is a little closer to the city center than Heathrow, although the prices tend to be higher. There are also decent connections from Heathrow to downtown London, and if you’re staying on the Piccadilly Line, this would be a better option than London City for transportation.

Add this to your list for the best airport in England. 

2. Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport, UK-06.08.2022. The international arrivals hall in the South Terminal.
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Second on the list of best airports in the UK is Gatwick Airport in London. Located 29.9 miles south of central London, Gatwick Airport (sometimes known as London Gatwick) is a significant international airport in West Sussex, England. (I wish all airports in England were like this one.)

As a secondary and second-busiest airport, Gatwick follows close behind. 26 miles separate London Gatwick Airport (LGW) from London City Airport. There are 52.5 miles between here and there.

Low-cost carriers that can afford the slightly higher landing fees at Gatwick than those at Stansted and Luton have begun to take the position of long-standing full-service carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and China Airlines.

It’s a two-and-a-half-hour trip south of the city center.

Before COVID-19, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offered long-haul flights from Gatwick to destinations such as Florida and the Caribbean.

Short and long-haul flights are often planned by Norwegian’s London operations at Gatwick. Airlines like TUI fly to “southern European sun” destinations from Gatwick.

Some airlines used Gatwick instead of Heathrow because of a lack of extra Heathrow slots. The likes of Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways have been involved in this combined Heathrow and Gatwick operation.

Gatwick Airport, EasyJet’s primary UK base, provides a convenient gateway to short-haul leisure destinations.

Using a free shuttle service, travelers can travel between the airport’s North and South terminals.

British Airways, Norwegian, TUI, and Vueling are just a few of the well-known airlines that use the South Terminal. Emirates, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, and WestJet all have major hubs in the North Terminal.

There are numerous lounges operated by both airlines and non-affiliated businesses.

To get to Victoria Station in the heart of London from Gatwick Airport, take the Gatwick Express. Even though the National Rail service takes five minutes longer, it will cost you a fraction of the price. From the airport to the city center, buses and cabs can take anywhere from 80 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and where you are in the area.

To get to London from the south, Gatwick Airport is a decent choice.

A lot of people will be trying to squeeze through a lot of bottlenecks in the summer at Gatwick because of how many vacations spots it serves. One of my favorite new features at Gatwick is the British Airways lounge. It can take a long time to get to the farthest gates from security.

3. Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Terminal 5 is an airport terminal at Heathrow Airport. Opened in 2008, the main building in the complex is the largest free-standing structure in the UK
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Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom, located 14 miles west of London’s central business district. If you’re flying into London on a full-service carrier, you’ll likely land here. A vast number of international airlines fly out of Heathrow Airport in London.

Heathrow is home to the majority of British Airways flights, making it the busiest airport in the world. Virgin Atlantic also has a significant presence at Heathrow Airport, as does British Airways.

At a “full-service” airport, you’ll have access to the most up-to-date technologies and services because there are many high-end shops and restaurants. Terminals 2 and 5 are new and state-of-the-art and are located here and here.

While many airlines run their own lounges, there are also a large number of independent lounges that charge a fee for entry and accept both Priority Pass members and paying customers. With so many people passing through Heathrow every day, exit security is usually swift, but if you can’t get through the eGates, you may face huge immigration lines.

The Heathrow Express train travels 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport to Paddington Station in central London. Picadilly line Tube service into the city is another option, but it is more expensive and takes longer. Terminals 2/3, Terminal 4, and Terminal 5 are all served by the Heathrow Tube. If you don’t get off at the right stop, it can take a long time to change terminals..

Regardless of where you decide to go, it will take around an hour to get to the city center by bus or taxi.

Heathrow is especially convenient for those who reside or are staying in the west of the city. Many overseas travelers are put off by Heathrow’s lengthy and unpleasant terminal transitions.

Given the lengthy drive from the east coast, I was pleasantly surprised by the airport’s efficiency upon arrival at Heathrow. Airport Terminal 2 is one of my favorite locations to be.

4. Newcastle

Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom. May 13, 2023. The exterior of the international airport near Newcastle.
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Newcastle International Airport is a major international airport located in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in England. In North East England, it is the principal and busiest airport, while in Northern England, it is the second busiest airport.

At a distance of 5.9 miles, Newcastle (NCL) Airport is the closest airport to the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Leeds Bradford (LBA) is 76.9 miles away, Edinburgh (EDI) is 96.7 miles away, Manchester (MAN) is 115 miles away, and Liverpool (LPL) is 112. (124.4 miles).

A total of 5.4 million passengers were served by Newcastle Airport in 2018, with nearly 56,000 aircraft movements taking off and landing at the airport.

Newcastle Airport is quickly becoming the preferred airport for both domestic and international flights in the region. We’ve established ourselves as a go-to destination for international travelers flying in from the Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

5. East Midlands Airport

Entrance to Departure building at East Midlands Airport (Nottingham-Leicester-Derby) - East Midlands Airport
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Leicester and Lincoln are nearby, as is East Midlands Airport, an international airport located in England’s East Midlands near Castle Donington in northwestern Leicestershire. When it comes to the best airports in England, add this one to your list. 

More than 4.2 million people use East Midlands Airport each year to go to more than 90 countries.

C.A.A. statistics show that in 2021, the number of flights taking off or landing at East Midlands Airport will increase by 8 percent from the lowest number ever recorded in 2010: 48,265 planes.

6. Luton Airport

View from above the terminal at Luton Airport showing the EasyJet Hanger and control tower with planes on taxiway
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Located in Luton, Bedfordshire, the airport is 1.5 miles east of the town center and 28 miles north of London’s central business district.

One of the UK’s busiest airports, London Luton (LLA) handled 16.6 million passengers last year, a 5 percent rise over the previous year. As a result of its economic importance, the airport directly or indirectly employs roughly 9,400 people in the surrounding area.

7. Birmingham Airport

Birmingham International Airport. Passenger throughput in 2015 was over 10.1 million, making Birmingham the seventh busiest UK airport.
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An international airport serving the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in England, Birmingham Airport, originally Birmingham International Airport, can be found 7 nautical miles east-southeast of Birmingham’s city center and 9.5 nautical miles west-northwest of Coventry.

Outside of London, Birmingham Airport is the third busiest in the United Kingdom. According to current projections, Birmingham Airport will serve 18 million travelers annually by 2033, a 40 percent increase over the present number of passengers.

Elmdon Airport was launched by HRH The Duchess of Kent on July 8, 1939, and it was maintained by Birmingham City Council until World War II ended civil aviation and the airport was expropriated by the Air Ministry for use as an elementary flying school.

What Is The Best Airport To Fly From UK?

Woman with suitcase in airport
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The best airport to fly from the UK is the London City Airport.

Which Is The Biggest Airport In The UK Right Now?

Heathrow Airport. UK- 08.08.2021: the UK Borders in Terminal 5 for passport check and immigration control.
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The biggest airport in the UK right now is Heathrow Airport.

Where Is Cheapest To Fly To From UK?

LONGYEARBYEN, SVALBARD, NORWAY - JULY 25, 2010: Passengers disembarking outdoors from a commercial jet airplane.
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Following are the cheapest place to fly from in the UK:

  • Oslo, Norway. Average flight price: from $26.33 (£19)
  • Stockholm, Sweden. Average flight price: from $26.33 (£19)
  • Dublin, Ireland. Average flight price: from $31.87 (£23)
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Ibiza, Spain
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Baden-Baden, Germany
  • Cologne, Germany

Best UK Airport

Airport Terminal: Woman Waits for Flight, Uses Smartphone, Browse Internet, Social Media, Online Shopping. Traveling Female Remote Work Online on Mobile Phone in a Boarding Lounge of Airline Hub
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With regard to flying out of the UK, The Daily Telegraph has just published a brand-new assessment of the best (and worst) options. From the design of terminals to internet connections to delays, the researchers looked at all of the UK’s largest airports.

So, who topped the list of best airports in the UK? London City Airport won the best option in 2022. This airport is a lot more stylish than Heathrow or Manchester, even if it doesn’t serve as many destinations. With 1,771 charging stations and roughly 90% of its flights arriving on time, it was a big hit with customers. It’s a good one.

The second was Gatwick, which ranked highly for the number of destinations served (192) and the number of adjacent hotels but fell slightly short due to its lack of quality eateries. In a tie for third place, Heathrow and Newcastle were selected for the beauty of their buildings as well as the ease with which they can be reached from the airport into the city. There was, however, no water refill facility at Newcastle Airport.

Bristol and Leeds Bradford are last on the list. The latter charges a hefty £7 drop-off fee (as in, the money you have to pay literally just to drop someone off at the airport). More than 2% of all flights were canceled at Leeds Bradford Airport last year, making it the worst-performing airport in the UK.