Four of the most efficient airports in the United Kingdom

We all know that airports serve a purpose, of course; they get us from A to B in a functional, if rather impersonal, way and in general the experience is not great but it gets the job done. Some are better than others, however, thanks to convenient and helpful amenities like valet parking, comfortable passenger lounges and opportunities to shop for reduced price goods.

Gatwick airport, London

Gatwick airport, London

In the UK, the international traveller can choose from a range of airports in all parts of the country. Some are able to offer a superior passenger experience, while others might leave something to be desired. As always, you will have a choice to make, and which you choose will depend on your own personal tastes. Here are four which may be at the top of the list.

Gatwick, London

Although an airport designed to serve the UK’s iconic capital, it is located some miles to the south of London close to the Surrey and Sussex border. Train and bus links to the centre of London are good, however, but be aware there is no Tube station at Gatwick. The airport has two terminals (North and South) and flies to a number of destinations across the globe.

Birmingham, West Midlands

Although not one of the busiest airports in the UK, Birmingham offers a pleasant experience for passengers and a wide selection of international and domestic destinations. Like the city it represents, the airport is located in the centre of the country, making it a rather attractive proposition for people coming from or going to a large number of British towns and cities.

Ringway, Manchester

Only London’s Heathrow and Gatwick handle more passengers each year than Manchester. The third-busiest UK airport is located to the south-west of the city, and boasts three main passenger terminals. Like many British airports, Manchester was once used by the Royal Air Force as a base. In 2012, it handled almost 20 million people on its two runways.


There are two main international airports in Scotland (the other is at Glasgow) and Edinburgh is the busiest. A former World War One aerodrome, it has one main terminal and offers flights to places across the UK and Europe as well as to the other side of the Atlantic. A new control tower and many upgrades to services have taken place in recent years.

Airport photo: ACW367

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