The airports where you’ll have the best (and worst) experience this summer

The best airport experience for holidaymakers? It could be Athens (Getty Images)
The best airport experience for holidaymakers? It could be Athens (Getty Images)

Travellers will have their best airport experience this summer in Athens, according to research into some of the top travel holidays destinations for Britons.

Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in the Greek capital leads the way, taking first place in the ranking – scoring highly for punctuality and its shopping offering.

At the other end of the table is Berlin’s Brandenburg airport, which scored worst of all 23 locations included in the study.

The research, carried out by airline compensation consultants AirAdvisor, gauges punctuality, Google reviews after combing through more than 735,000, distance from the city, shop rating, and the cost of transfers. The ratings from each category were then combined to produce an overall score.

After Athens, which opened two decades ago, came Palma de Mallorca in second place, followed by Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in third.

Eight of the top 10 airports were in Europe, with only Los Angeles International Airport (5th) and Orlando International Airport (7th) from outside the continent.

The highest-ranking British airport – Edinburgh – only just made the middle ground in 11th position; however, the Scottish airport did take join first place (with Faro) for cost of transfers. London Heathrow reached 15th place, and Gatwick came in 18th position.

Stansted, in lowly 21st position, received the lowest ranking in the category of distance from the city. Top performers included Los Angeles for punctuality, Athens for Google reviews, Madrid Barajas for the shopping experience and Venice Marco Polo and Nice Cote d’Azur Airport for distance from the city – both of which are less than 30 minutes away from the main drag.

On the flip side, with only 14 shops to its name, Tenerife South (Tenerife Sur) was the worst performer when it comes to shopping experience. Paris Charles De Gaulle was identified as the least punctual airport. Venice had the most expensive airport transfers and Bordeaux Merignac had the worst Google reviews.

Anton Radchenko, chief executive of AirAdvisor, said: “Most of us only consider our choice of airport as a point of convenience – selecting a departure that is closest to our home. And airports are rarely a consideration when selecting a holiday destination. But airports can significantly impact your holiday experience. Especially if flights are delayed or luggage is lost.

A recent report showed that operators were losing bags last summer at the highest rate for a decade, with a total of 26 million bags misplaced in 2022.

The best (and worst) ranked airports

  1. Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport

  2. Palma de Mallorca

  3. Rome Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport

  4. Madrid Barajas

  5. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  6. Barcelona El Prat

  7. Orlando International Airport

  8. Dublin Airport

  9. Amsterdam Schiphol

  10. Tenerife South (Tenerife Sur)

  11. Edinburgh Airport

  12. Venice Marco Polo

  13. Faro Gago Coutinho Airport

  14. New York JFK

  15. London Heathrow

  16. Nice Cote d’Azur Airport

  17. Bordeaux Merignac

  18. London Gatwick

  19. Frankfurt Airport

  20. Manchester

  21. London Stansted

  22. Paris Charles De Gaulle

  23. Berlin Brandenburg