Which? favourite airport

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Newcastle Airport; the "best" of the "big" airports

The publication by the Consumers Association – Which? – of their list of worst and best airports has got the usual media coverage that would be expected of anything that has such a prestigious name as Which? Because they are rarely analysed, people take what they say to be true and reliable.

Sometimes, this is not the case and this report shows just that. The 11,537 responders to the survey that were analysed are all members of the Consumers Association and no non-member was asked for their views. CA members are nothing like representative of the UK population being more up-market, financially above the average and biased to southern England. So it is very likely that more people were acquainted with airports in the south than in the north. That doesn’t mean the evidence wouldn’t be unreliable. The researchers would highlight where that might be the case and they haven’t done so.

My main moan is that it doesn’t fairly represent the feelings of all of us.

Because smaller airports have fewer people flying through them, the number of responders is low so that Southend Airport which tops their poll has had only 79 responses; the second airport – Humberside had just 32 and the third, Robin Hood near Doncaster, had 57. This can still be statistically fine but it means that just a few people may sway the results whereas the airport with the highest response, Heathrow’s terminal 5 had 1,699 responders, In all almost 60% of all the responders covered Heathrow and Gatwick. Add in London City, Luton, Stansted and nearly 75% of responders cover London airports.

Finally, you might like to fly from small airports but airlines may not fly to the airports you want to go to because the airport you like may not be able to supply sufficient passengers to make it economically worthwhile. So you end up travelling to Heathrow or Manchester anyway because you have no option. And if you have no option, is it worth paying any attention to this survey?

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