Gatwick Airport has been ranked second worst airport in the world, with two other UK airports in bottom six.
Britain’s ageing airport facilities, poor design and delays have contributed to three of them being voted into the bottom 10 in the world, according to a study published 13 June.
Research encompassing 76 airports worldwide put Gatwick second bottom and ranked Manchester third bottom and Edinburgh 72nd.
Stansted came in at No.65 in the ranking commissioned by AirHelp, the flight delay compensation company.
Only Heathrow was anywhere near the leaders, ranking 20th.
Researchers say long queues and inefficient design have contributed to the poor British performance.
Clearly some airports are struggling to accommodate rising numbers of passengers, with a record 268m people passing through UK air terminals last year.
Marius Fermi, UK manager at AirHelp said of the research results: “This research should give airlines and airports, particularly in the UK, a nudge to improve their quality and punctuality urgently.”
Singapore’s Changi airport headed the list, with Munich second and Hong Kong third.
UK airports have been among the last to start using e-passport gates and, according to aviation analyst Alex Macheras, are “massively behind in terms of services and the speed of modernisation”.
The Airport Operations Association has clairmed that £10bn worth of investment is planned over the next five years and says that the association is working with airlines to ensure there is a framework to modernise the heavily congested UK airspace.
Gatwick blamed its poor showing on repeated strike action and heavily congested airspace, issues it said were outside of its control.
Hundreds of passengers waited in queues for several hours at Manchester Airport, 13 June, because of a ‘technical failure’ with the check-in system. Twelve Thomas Cook flights were affected after staff have had to switch to a manual check-in system, leading to delays of two hours. Two flights at East Midlands Airport have also been affected, the airline said. The chaos follows the BA incident last month which saw thousands of passengers delayed over the Bank Holiday after a global IT failure. The airline’s cabin crew have also voted for a four-day strike later this month.