Manchester Airport named in top 10 UK airports with the longest delays

Well, this isn't ideal.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th March 2024

It’s not a title we’re massively buzzing to hear about… but Manchester Airport has just been named in the top 10 UK airports with the longest delays.

It’s all according to a new study by travel tips and discount platform, Tripplo

We can all pretty much agree that delays are one of the worst parts about flying, but where in the country are you most likely to get held up and find yourself having to kill a couple of hours waiting around? In a bid to get to the bottom of this, Trippolo has analysed the latest travel data from the Civil Aviation Authority to see which UK airports were experiencing the longest delays on average.

Manchester Airport has, unfortunately, found itself sitting within the not-so-coveted top 10 – but thankfully, our region wasn’t found to be the worst offender in the study.

That honour (if you can even call it that) has been awarded to Aberdeen in Scotland, where the airport sees the longest delays of any in the UK.


With an average delay of 20.70 minutes from 6,757 flights studied – which is over four minutes longer than any other airport – the latest data from December 2023 shows that the average delay at Aberdeen that month was 26.04 minutes.

Second place on the list goes to Isle of Man Airport, also known as Ronaldsway Airport, where there was an average delays of 22.53 minutes, and then the UK’s second-busiest airport, London Gatwick, has claimed the third spot, with an average delay of 15.47 minutes for 58,762 flights studied in 2023.


Manchester Airport comes in fourth place on the list.

It’s all according to a new study by travel tips and discount platform, Tripplo / Credit: Anete Lūsiņa (via Unsplash)

Our region‘s travel hub saw average delays of 14.02 minutes in 2023 for a total of 39,771 flights that were studied, and data from December showed the average delay that month to be 21.63 minutes.

Rounding out the top five is another London airport in Luton, while some of the other airports featuring in the top 10 include Heathrow, Bristol, and Edinburgh.


Top 10 UK airports with the longest average delays

  1. Aberdeen – 20.7 minutes
  2. Isle of Man – 16.22 minutes
  3. Gatwick – 15.47 minutes
  4. Manchester – 14.02 minutes
  5. Luton – 13.58 minutes
  6. Heathrow – 13.56 minutes
  7. Edinburgh – 13.31 minutes
  8. Teeside – 12.51 minutes
  9. Bristol – 12.44 minutes
  10. Stanstead – 12.43 minutes

“While it’s never ideal for any of your flights to be delayed, you’ll likely experience it at some point, especially if you’re a frequent flyer,” commented Axel Hernborg, who is the founder of, on the study’s finding.

“That being said, it’s interesting to see the big difference in the length of delays at certain UK airports, and it will be worth seeing if this correlates with the number of cancellations at each of these airports as well.

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“With the summer holidays also coming up, whether the amount of cancellations we have seen across the UK in recent years keeps up will be worth noting too.”

Featured Image – Albert Bridge (via Pxhere / Geograph)