bmi regional CEO Cathal O’Connell says: “The chaotic scenes we have witnessed at London Heathrow over the past couple of days rarely happen at other airports. Heathrow and Gatwick are working at capacity and travelling to and from them is often stressful and time consuming. “
The UK’s most punctual airline says more travellers are now realising the benefits of flying from regional airports, which include less stressful and more pleasant journey times to the airport, cheaper car parking and/or overnight hotel rates, quicker check-in, fewer crowds, time and space to enjoy the shops and restaurants before departure, less luggage time.
Business parking at Heathrow costs up to £88.70, compared to just £19.84 at Manchester Airport according to a Which? survey. Furthermore, average baggage carousel waiting times are listed as 29 minutes 29 seconds at Heathrow, compared to 16 minutes and 15 seconds at Manchester.
Cathal O’Connell adds: “Flying from regional airports will really cut down on parking charges – and the parking is much closer to the airport so saves time. Bristol is amongst the cheapest in the UK for on-site seven-day parking offering rates from just £29. At Birmingham Airport, you can literally walk to the long term car park in ten minutes – less time than it takes to get to the short term car park in Heathrow.”
Smaller airports tend to be easier to travel to either by road or public transport, meaning shorter and more pleasant journeys.
With high-level security checks, there are generally fewer security delays at regional airports. Heathrow currently advises passengers to allow three hours at the airport for long-haul flights, two hours for European flights and 90 minutes for domestic flights, although waiting times at smaller airports can be substantially shorter.