Wellbeing encompasses a state of being healthy, happy, and comfortable, both physically and mentally, and is fundamentally important for both leisure and business travellers alike.
Often, UK hotels are well-equipped with gyms, swimming pools and spa areas, complete with hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and healthy food options. However, the pursuit of well-being during travel extends beyond hotels alone.
Over recent years, there has been a notable shift towards prioritising considerations for health and wellbeing and recognising the impact of airport experiences on overall journey experiences.
To shed light on this matter, this study by delves into the available facilities and healthy food options across all twenty-four domestic airports in the United Kingdom to reveal the best UK airports for wellbeing facilities.
To accomplish this, Good Travel Management identified all the UK domestic airports and the latest available data for ten data points, including lounges, private resting and shower facilities, quiet zones, business buildings or areas, spas, and other services such as beauticians or hairdressers, their own meet and greet carparking services, fast track, if healthy food options are available and average review score from both TripAdvisor and Google Reviews have been covered to provide a comprehensive tick chart and overall score out of five. The full data can be viewed here.
In top position is London Heathrow Airport with an overall score of 4.1/5. Although in ninth place for average review score (3.15/5), London Heathrow has ten lounges, eight of which have shower facilities which can provide a great way to refresh during flight layover periods. Heathrow Airport also has multiple quiet zones, a Be Relax Spa offering massages, nail care and beauty services, Bradley Smith Hair Express Bar and Regus Express Business Lounge, offering a relaxed atmosphere, dedicated to work.
When it comes to healthy food options to keep you fuelled for your journey, London Heathrow has Pret A Manger in all four terminals, offering salad and protein pot options. For fresh seafood connoisseurs, Caviar House and Prunier Seafood Bar can also be found in all four terminals. Other options in various terminals include Leon, Wondertree, Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Giraffe and Itsu. When it comes to health and wellbeing, London Heathrow really has something for every wellbeing need.
Birmingham Airport’s commitment to providing a range of amenities and services caters to the diverse needs of travellers. With a score of 3.2/5, this airport holds second place, and its facilities accommodate travellers looking for a place to relax in one of their three lounges across two terminals, those that are seeking an efficient and hassle-free security clearance with the fast track option, meet and greet services or healthy food options including salad and protein pots from Pret A Manager and Giraffe’s bowls for the soul, this airport ensures a satisfying travel experience for its passengers, this airport has you covered.
Newcastle Airport secures the third spot with an overall score of 3/5. Setting it apart from other UK airports in a particularly distinctive feature – the Private SnoozePods in their Aspire Plus Lounge. These exclusive SnoozePods offer a one-of-a-kind experience, providing travellers with a choice of single or dual occupancy, and within each pod, a Smart TV with on-demand services is available for ultimate relaxation and entertainment.
London Gatwick Airport takes fourth position with a score of 2.6/5 and an average review rating of 2.7/5. While it offers half the number of lounges compared to London Heathrow, the airport does not fall short in providing two quiet zones where travellers can find solace and unwind. Additionally, visitors can indulge in the AeroSpa. Considering the immense yearly football, it was hardly surprising to find both the main London airports securing a place in the top five rankings.
London City Airport secures the fifth position with a score of 2.5/5, while boasting a commendable average review rating of 3.35/5. Despite having fewer facilities and just one terminal compared to its neighbouring airports, it has still managed to impress travellers, earning its spot in the top five rankings based on customer experiences. Notably, the airport offers an AeroSpa, fast track, and meet and greet services to enhance the overall travel experience.
For health-conscious travellers, London City Airport doesn’t disappoint, as its single terminal provides three excellent food options. One can relish a variety of salad and protein pots at Pret A Manger, enjoy the nutritious offerings of Soul and Grain, featuring salad, snacks, and breakfast pots, and savour a good selection of healthy choices for both breakfast and the day’s menu at the Cabin Bar. Despite its relatively smaller size, this airport ensures that travellers have access to quality services and appetizing healthy food choices, earning its place among the top-ranked airports.
The wide variety of facilities available in UK airports is positive to see, especially with well-being a crucial factor to a positive airport and travel experience. By viewing the full dataset here, you can view what facilities are available to you and in which terminals and lounges.
As the aviation industry continues to evolve, probably, airports will further embrace and prioritise health and well-being considerations to enhance their passengers’ travel experiences. This shift in focus is a response to the growing awareness of the importance of mental and physical health, both in everyday life and during the travel experience. Rather than merely being hubs for transportation, airports are transforming into holistic spaces that cater to the well-being of their passengers.