Does Manchester Airport really have the longest security queues in the UK?

It’s been all over the news: Manchester Airport has the worst security queues in the UK. According to research collected by the consumer group Which? in an online survey, which asked passengers at airports throughout the UK to estimate how long they waited at security, Manchester Airport ranked dead last. Heathrow, Stansted, and Birmingham all outperformed Manchester. After the report came out, and it was picked up by several outlets (including the BBC), the airport was quick to take exception with Which?’s findings – citing both the ‘limited sample size’ and the ‘not time-specific’ results. So, what can we take from the survey?  Do you really have to queue for longer at Manchester Airport than anywhere else in the UK?

The survey

Across April and May 2019, Which? asked its members to estimate how much time they spent queueing for security in the last airport they visited. Which? received around 4500 responses. They used this data to chart the average waiting time of passengers flying from the UK’s airports. Waiting times at Terminals 1,2 and 3 at Manchester Airport were longer than anywhere else in the UK. On average, the Which? survey indicated that passengers had to wait 17 minutes to get through security.

The criticisms

In Manchester Airport’s response to Which?’s findings they highlighted two problems with the data: the small sample size and the lack of a specific time frame.

Limited sample size

On the face of it, 4500 responses seems like a large enough number from which to extrapolate meaningful conclusions. In reality, it represents just a fraction of the total number of people flying from UK airports, making it very difficult to draw airtight conclusions from the data.

Subjective data

Because the Which? survey asked customers to estimate the amount of time they spent queuing for security in the last airport they visited in an online survey, it does cast doubt over the accuracy of the results.  Still, considering they received responses from all over the UK, the results do give an indication of waiting times across the UK – making for uncomfortable reading for Manchester Airport and passengers due to fly from the airport in the coming months.

Lack of corroborating data

Manchester Airport have insisted that their own data is a more accurate reflection of wait times for passengers. In their busiest month, August, It indicated that passengers had to wait on average for 4.37 minutes. Figures from the Department of Transport show that 85% of people were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience.

Book airport transfers to Manchester Airport

Regardless of the validity of the survey’s findings, it nevertheless underlines the importance of getting to the airport as early as possible to avoid the potentially disastrous fallout from being stuck in security queues for too long. 

By booking airport transfers to Manchester Airport with us, you can rest assured that you’ll get to the terminal you need to with plenty of time to spare. We take our responsibility to deliver an impeccable service to every customer incredibly seriously. Constant communication, our drivers’ knowledge of the North West’s roads, and our extensive fleet of reliable, comfortable vehicles results in an unfailingly punctual service. 

Whether you need to book a Liverpool to Manchester Airport taxi or a corporate chauffeur service for colleagues, Cyllenius Travel Services can help. Call us on 0151 523 7734 to discuss your requirements further.

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