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The UK’s best value airports revealed

by LLB Reporter
27th Mar 18 7:51 am

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With a number of international airports spread across the UK there are many different options for travellers to consider when booking their trips away, but which airport really offers the best value and is flight price the only factor that should be considered? After looking at several cost factors surrounding the UK’s 15 most popular airports, Skyscanner has today announced Newcastle Airport as the UK’s Best Value Airport for European flights, closely followed by Birmingham Airport.

The global travel search engine looked at more than just average flight prices, delving into passenger drop-off/pick-up charges, car parking charges, fast track costs and lounge access charges to determine which UK airport offers the best value. 

The airports that made it into Skyscanner’s Top Five Best Value UK Airports are:

Skyscanner’s TOP 5 UK Best Value Airports (European Flights)
Ranking Airport
1st Newcastle
2nd Birmingham
Joint 3rd Leeds Bradford
Joint 3rd Liverpool John Lennon
5th East Midlands

When looking at average flight prices³ to six of the most popular European destinations that all 15 airports flew to, Glasgow Prestwick came out on top, closely followed by Liverpool John Lennon.  London Stansted also made it into the top five for the best value flight price to key European destinations.



Ranking Airport Average Adult Return Economy Flight Price
1 Glasgow Prestwick £94.37
2 Liverpool £104.94
3 London Stansted £107.71
4 Newcastle £116.85
5 East Midlands £116.97

The cost of airport passenger drop-off and pick-up charges have been a hot topic of debate, with the RAC announcing that drop-off fees have increased at five of UK’s busiest airports, while eight put up the initial price of pick-up parking in 20174.  Drop-off and pick-up charges at an airport can vary, for example, London Gatwick, London City and Birmingham came out on top for not charging for drop offs.  However, they do charge for collection and those charges vary.  Glasgow Prestwick came out on top overall with passenger drop-off and pick-up charges combined.  Whilst Skyscanner’s data is based on the cost for dropping off and collecting at the nearest location to the terminal, for travellers who don’t need to be dropped off at the terminal doors there are airports that offer free drop off and collection points further away from the terminal, for example Leeds offers a free drop off and collection for up to an hour which is a 4-minute walk to the terminal and London Luton airport offers free drop off and collection in their mid-stay car park.


  Ranking Airport
  1st Glasgow Prestwick
  2nd Bristol
  Joint 3rd Newcastle
  Joint 3rd Leeds
  5th London Heathrow

The cost of airport parking depends on the time of year of travelling and whether travellers book in advance or not.  When looking at the cost of car park charges for a week during Easter, Summer and Christmas, Birmingham Airport came out on top, with Edinburgh flying the flag for Scotland in third place.


Ranking Airport
1st Birmingham
2nd Newcastle
3rd Edinburgh
4th London Stansted
5th Glasgow Prestwick

When looking at fast track prices for a specific week in August this year (11th – 18th August 2018), London Luton and Newcastle Airport came out joint first, with Birmingham in third place. If fast track and lounge access are both important to travellers, then Skyscanner suggests looking to see if the airport offers ‘value added’ bundles as they might find savings if booked together.


Ranking Airport
Joint 1st London Luton
Joint 1st Newcastle
3rd Birmingham
4th Bristol
Joint 5th Liverpool John Lennon
Joint 5th East Midlands
Joint 5th Leeds Bradford

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