Manchester Airport security queues rank in the top five worst in the UK

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 23rd November 2022

The worst airports for security queues in the UK have been unveiled, and once again, it’s pretty grim reading for Manchester.

The UK’s third largest airport grabbed headlines repeatedly due to its scenes of chaos for travellers this past summer – with long delays, unplanned flight cancellations, and queues so long that many were required to turn up hours in advance and even then still miss their flights in the most unfortunate cases.

Just last month, it was officially named the worst airport in the UK for 2023 in the annual rankings by consumer group Which? – which gathered feedback from more than 7,000 people about their experiences of flying from UK airports between July 2020 and July 2022.

And now, instead of looking at the chaos as a whole, Which? has turned its turned its attentions solely to the airport security queues.

After almost 1,300 people who travelled from a UK airport over a six-month period were asked how long they queued at security, Leeds Bradford Airport has ranked top of a list of 14, with Manchester Airport taking the fourth spot.


Top 5 Worst UK Airports for Security Queues

  1. Leeds Bradford – 35 minutes
  2. Bristol – 30 minutes
  3. Birmingham – 24 minutes
  4. Manchester – 24 minutes
  5. Heathrow – 20 minutes

Manchester (8%) was one of nine UK airports where travellers reported security queues in excess of an hour.

7% of respondents also said they had missed a flight because they were stuck in excessively long queues at airports such as Manchester, Bristol, and Birmingham.

Credit: Manchester Airport

On the other end of the scale, City Airport in East London was named the best performing airport with estimated security queue times of 12 minutes, with Belfast City and Glasgow International also among the airports to have performed well, each having an average wait of 13 minutes.

Speaking on the results of the recent survey, Guy Hobbs – Editor of Which? Travel – said: “Travellers this year have borne the brunt of unprecedented chaos at UK airports, with huge numbers enduring long queues and some even missing a flight due to excessive wait times to clear security.

Read more:

“Your choice of airport shouldn’t make or break your holiday.


“But for too many travellers this year, that has been the case, so we’d recommend choosing an airport with a better record on queues and treatment of passengers, even if that involves travelling slightly further from home.”

Featured Image – The Manc Group