Well, have you? We are willing to bet that yes, you have wondered. You have probably considered it intently, with furrowed brows, whilst stuck waiting for two hours in a sweltering departures lounge, depressed with the news that your flight out of this country has been delayed again, wishing you could be somewhere else, anywhere but Luton; anywhere that doesn’t require ear plugs to drown out the noise of howling children.
You might have guessed that we don’t like Luton very much. You would be right. Chalk it up to one or two bad experiences among the staff (But, just for future reference, the office’s least favourite is actually Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, but that doesn’t exactly qualify as a UK airport!). Your outbound airport can be important to keeping your stress levels down, especially if you’re about to embark on a long-haul flight to Canada, for example.
We’ve brought together a few of our favourites in this handy little list – use it when you’re thinking about your next holiday abroad!
#3 – East Midlands
East Midlands is a pretty small airport in comparison with most of the popular airports in the country, thus it has less planes taking off and landing each day, which in turn means the airport itself tends not to be busy, allowing you to have a quiet, relaxing wait.
They have a modern gaming arcade in the form of Sceptre Leisure, as well as a gift shop dedicated to aeroplanes and aviation in general. It’s pretty good for your basic supplies too, with staples like Smiths and Boots being the main draws.
Boarding speed is increased dramatically with the recent addition of automated passport gates, and they also have the Aeropark to keep you occupied if you have a long wait ahead, with around 30 classic aircrafts!
#2 – London Heathrow
You might be surprised, but any time spent at the busiest airport in the world (in the world!) is usually rather pleasant! As far as shopping opportunities go, Heathrow has it all, including Harrods! There’s also a display of some of the world’s best supercars for you to gawp at.
If you’re a family, try and go from Terminal 3, as they have the lovely Jetterz Kids Club Lounge – a space for children up to the age of 14 to keep entertained with a variety of books, toys and video games.
The best thing about Heathrow, however, is the 4D lounge. The lounge is spread over two storeys and offers complimentary snacks and drinks as you sit watching the runway.
#1 – Manchester
Our personal favourite is Manchester’s own, as it has everything you’d expect of a major airport and more. The Runway Park offers amazing views of two of the runways and is home to a wide variety of historic aircraft, including the spectacular Concorde.
Express Check-in is available throughout, and you can even put your bags through the drop desks for added convenience.
For families, the Aviation Education Centre is a must, as it has its own replica flight deck. Terminal 2 has a play area stocked with games, and the Real Food Company allows the kids to have fun picking each part of their meal. If your kids are bored, get them into the vacation spirit and let them play the packing game – it’s more entertaining than it sounds!