The busiest airports in the United Kingdom

Here is a list of the busiest airports in the UK. Busy airport can lead to delayed or cancelled flight. Claim flight compensation and get up to £520 per passenger!

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Key takeaways

  • The busiest airports in the UK are Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Luton

  • The busier the airport, the more likely you are to experience flight delays or cancellations

  • If you experience a flight delayed or cancelled, you can claim flight compensation up to £520 per passenger, the refund of your ticket, or both!

  • Claim with — we take care of the whole claim process for you, up until you receive your money!

The busiest Airports in the UK

Visitor numbers at the UK's airports have been growing for years. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, more than 300 million passengers were transported in 2019. With numbers like that, it's only natural that delays will occur. Passengers on flights departing or arriving in the United Kingdom who are affected by delays of more than 3 hours are often entitled to up to €600 in compensation per person. This follows the EU Passenger Rights Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004. Additionally, passengers also have certain rights in case of flight cancellations due to COVID-19. In this event, you can demand a refund of your ticket costs.

But which are the busiest airports in the United Kingdom? Where are the most passengers sent on holiday? And which UK airport has the most departures and landings? searched and found that the largest airport in the UK is...

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1: London Heathrow

London Heathrow (LHR) is not only the largest London Airport, but also the busiest one in the UK and even in Europe. Worldwide, only 6 airports are bigger and busier than London Heathrow.

  • Number of Passengers in 2022: 61.6 million (25% less compared to 2019)

2: London Gatwick

The second-busiest airport in the United Kingdom is London Gatwick (LGW). The airport has been used for commercial flights since 1933 in is the tenth-largest airport in Europe.

  • Number of Passengers in 2022: 32.8 million (29% less compared to 2019)

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3: Manchester

Manchester Airport (MAN) is the only airport on this list, that does not belong to London. The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion which will double the size of the airport's Terminal 2.

  • Number of Passengers in 2022: 23 million

4: London Stansted

London Standsted Airport (STN) is actually located in Essex, around 42 miles (68km) away from Central London. The airport serves around 160 destinations and acts as a base for multiple low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair.

  • Number of Passengers in 2022: 23,3 million

5: London Luton

London Luton Airport (LTN) is located near Luton, around 28 miles (45km) north of Central London. The airport used to be called Luton International Airport and first opened in July 1938.

  • Number of Passengers in 2022: 13,1 million

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The busiest airports in the UK: More passengers, more delays?

A high passenger volume leads to a high number of flights, which in turn results in a very tight schedule, where even small delays can trigger a chain reaction and last the whole day. This can have various causes, such as technical defects on the aircraft or at the airport, strikes by airline or airport staff, or simply bad weather conditions. The fact is, if a flight is delayed early in the morning, the plane is often late for the next flight, and the one after that. On average, about 27 per cent of all flights at the United Kingdom's largest airports were delayed.

Busiest airports united kingdom flight delay amount of compensation

For passengers, a delay or cancellation is always annoying - no matter the reason! But if the airline is responsible, travellers have a right to compensation for delays of 3 hours or more or a flight cancellation. This can amount to up to £520 per person, depending on the flight route.

How to claim flight compensation for my delayed or cancelled 

Submit your delayed or cancelled flight claim in just a few clicks with — the hassle-free way to claim flight compensation.

Our international team of experts will get to work for you immediately and you don't have to worry about anything else. works with a no win, no fee model. This means that you will only have to pay our success fee on the enforced amount if we are successful - otherwise the service is free of charge for you!

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