Gatwick was the fifth worst airport in the UK for flight delays last year, an investigation has found.

Departures from the airport were almost half an hour behind schedule on average in 2022, according to analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data.

With an average delay of 27 minutes, Gatwick was behind Birmingham, which was the worst in the UK for flight delays for a second year in a row with flights being delayed 30 minutes on average.

The Argus: Flights were delayed for an average of 27 minutes at Gatwick last yearFlights were delayed for an average of 27 minutes at Gatwick last year (Image: PA)

That was more than twice as long as the previous year when it was also ranked last for punctuality.

Doncaster Sheffield – which closed in November – and Manchester airports had the joint second poorest punctuality records in 2022 with an average delay of 29 minutes.

Just ahead of Gatwick in fourth place was Luton where flights were delayed an average of 28 minutes.

East Midlands airport had the best performance, with an average delay of just 13 minutes.

The average across all airports was 23 minutes.


The analysis took into account all scheduled and chartered departures. Cancelled flights were not included.

A spokesman for Gatwick said: “A rapid bounce back of passenger demand following Covid-19 travel restrictions drove some operational challenges at London Gatwick last year.

“In response, the airport took early action, including recruiting over 400 security staff to reduce delays. The airport has increased its resources again for this summer and we are looking forward to providing the service our passengers expect.”

The Argus:

When flights are significantly delayed, airlines are required under consumer laws to provide passengers with assistance, which can include refreshments, a means of communication and accommodation if required.

If the cause of disruption is under an airline’s control, passengers are also due compensation of up to £520 depending on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight.

“Our data tells us that too many passengers faced disappointing levels of delays across UK airports last year," said Anna Bowles, CAA's head of consumer experience. 

“It is important consumers experience a high-quality service from both airlines and airports this year.

“We expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are disrupted.”