Which? has revealed the order after having spoken to 4,000 passengers over the past year and compared the findings across 11 categories which also included toilets and parking.
With delays and cancelled flights these past few days, holidaymakers are keen to maximise their time off, and the choice of airport can be either a good or bad start and end to the experience.
Twenty-four airports were compared, although for Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwich, the different terminals were considered to be different airports.
These are the findings published by Which? on Wednesday.
Which is the UK’s best airport?
Parking was said to be ‘reasonably priced’ and security takes an average of 11 minutes to get through - among the best of any.
John Lennon Airport was given five stars for queues at the check-in desk and four stars for staff and toilets, which was the joint leader.
London City Airport came second, with 78 per cent overall but was not recommended by Which? because of the two star-rating for its toilets - which reviewers said were “minimal”.
Southampton comes next at 77 per cent and was rated strongly for its short queue length and choice of destination.
Interestingly, no airport scored more than three out of five for the prices in its shops.
Which is the worst airport in the UK?
Ranked 24th and last is Manchester Airport - which is only 30 miles from Liverpool but at the other end of the table for quality, scoring just 38 per cent for Terminal Three.
Terminal One and Two rank at 44 per cent and 50 per cent respectively and are also near the bottom for the hub but Terminal Three takes the wooden spoon, thanks in part to its “horrendous” queues at bag drop.
Which? said: “When they weren’t queueing, there was nowhere to sit; staff were rude and the terminal needed ‘a good clean in places’. Terminal Three received a particularly poor customer score and the star ratings failed to uncover a single redeeming feature. As one customer put it ‘the whole experience is generally unpleasant’.”
Also in the proverbial relegation zone was Luton Airport, which was at 49 per cent with overpricing, long waits and queues for toilets reported.
“Luton’s new shuttle service from the train station, dubbed Britain’s most expensive railway at a staggering £4.90 for the 1.25 mile trip, has done little to improve the airport’s rip-off reputation,” Which? said.
Stansted finished two places higher than Luton while Gatwick and Heathrow were both mid-table.