Manchester Airport: Officially the worst

I really hate Manchester Airport. Everything from how slow they process booking in but, particularly, their security. It’s a rarity I get through without some kind of issue. But, hey, I’ve only been to a handful of UK airports, so I’m sure it’s not the worst. As it turns out, it is.

Loveit Coverit aggregated Google review scores and customer ratings from the airport and airline review site SKYTRAX to calculate the average customer review score for each of the UK’s international airports. Manchester airport takes the unfortunate, but not surprising, distinction of ranking as the worst airport in the UK, with an average customer review score of just 2 out of 5.

Why? One passenger, who left a Google review, expressed their dissatisfaction, stating, “During my lifetime I have travelled through many airports and this one is by far the worst. The staff were rude and unfriendly, all machines were slow and everything took twice as long as it should.”

If we just go back to my own experiences with their security, I can confidently say…

  • Their staff are incredibly unfriendly
  • The queues are often long
  • You’ve got a high chance of getting stopped for no good reason
  • They’ll make things up to justify stopping you (see below)

I don’t know what they do with their equipment (or its those operating it) but it’s a rarity I get through without triggering something. The metal/body detector will alert to a random part of my body and my backpack will get pulled aside for a check for something (and, again, different each time).

One time my backpack was separated into 3 individual boxes, 2 of which were put aside. A large proportion of boxes were being stopped, so there was a 20-30 minute wait to see someone to have your box contents analysed. The box that got through had individual, smaller, items in it – my bag was in one of the others, so I had to hold them all whilst waiting. I finally got called for them to look at one box, they found no issues and waved me on. I let them know I had another box, expecting them to do that as well, but they told me I had to go to the back of the queue and wait again. Now I had more items. And no bag.

Another time, my backpack contents were pulled because… I had an empty, reusable bottle in it. I was told they were not allowed in cabin luggage. Never been told that before or after and, yes, that’s bullshit.

Do yourself a favour – save yourself pre-travel stress and avoid Manchester Airport.


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