Revealed: This Is the Worst European Airport to Be Delayed in

There’s nothing quite like that pre-holiday feeling. The 3am alarm clock and the 5am airport breakfast officially mark the start of your long-awaited trip. 

But regular travellers will know that things don’t always go as planned. In fact, flight delays are increasing across the continent. In 2023, European flights were delayed by 15 minutes on average. According to a recent study, almost 1 in 10 (9%) people would rather avoid air travel altogether as a result of “airport stress”. 

To help Brits stay ahead this summer, and keep airport stress to a minimum, the travel experts at eurochange have revealed the best and worst airports to be delayed at in Europe. 

Analysing the 30 busiest airports across Europe in its European Airport Index, eurochange researched the number of flight delays, security wait times, number of restaurants and shops, cost of an airport lounge ticket, and even the number of unique attractions for when the airport delay boredom kicks in, to rank the best and worst airports to be delayed in on the continent. 

The research revealed Henri Coandă airport in Bucharest, is the worst airport to be delayed at, with almost half (47%) of its flights being delayed. 

An airport lounge ticket might be off the cards too if you’re delayed, costing £40 at the Romanian airport, the second most expensive in Europe, behind Charles de Gaulle in Paris. 

If you were keen to bag a duty-free bargain at Henri Coandă airport, then you may need to reconsider. There are just 13 shops in the entirety of the airport, although in Heraklion International airport in Crete, which came a close second behind Henri Coandă Airport in the list, the shopping scene was the worst of all, with just 2 shops in total. 

The index revealed the best airport to be delayed in is Berlin’s Brandenburg airport, where an impressive 80% of flights depart on time, and its average security wait time is just 7 minutes. When it comes to unique attractions, Berlin airport scored particularly highly with its many options for kids, including an entire playground and a special children’s TV corner. 

Brandenburg even caters to the art lovers amongst us, who should make sure to look up at the ceiling when they check in. Its beautiful Magic Carpet art installation graces the airport ceiling. 

Munich airport closely followed behind Berlin Brandenburg, where the average security wait time is just 5 minutes, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied if you do experience delays. Its ‘unique attractions’ include the world’s first airport brewery, you can even get a guided tour before you fly home. 

The 10 worst airports to be delayed in

  1. Henri Coanda International Airport, Bucharest, Romania  
  2. Heraklion International Airport, Crete, Greece
  3. Porto Airport, Porto, Portugal 
  4. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, Nice, France 
  5. Warsaw Chopin airport, Warsaw, Poland 
  6. Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, Catania, Italy 
  7. Orio al Serio International Airport, Milan, Italy  
  8. Orly Airport, Paris, France  
  9. Athens International Airport, Athens, Greece  
  10. Alicante Airport, Alicante, Spain  

The 10 best airports to be delayed in

  1. Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Berlin, Germany 
  2. Munich Airport, Munich, Germany 
  3. Brussels Airport, Brussels, Belgium  
  4. Hamburg Airport, Hamburg, Germany 
  5. Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Stockholm, Sweden
  6. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  7. Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy  
  8. Vienna International Airport, Vienna, Austria 
  9. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain 
  10. Frankfurt am Main Airport, Frankfurt, Germany  

Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital engagement at eurochange said: “We created this index as we wanted to provide people with a useful resource before deciding where they travel to next in Europe. 

“Although the airport experience isn’t always the most enjoyable, hopefully this research will help people to make more informed decisions about where they might fly to, depending on their circumstances. For example, families with kids may choose to fly somewhere that experiences the least amount of delays, whereas a group of friends might choose to go somewhere with the cheapest beer.”