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The Best and Worst European Airports to Fly From

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

A new study has ranked Europe's ten biggest airports by how stressful they are for passengers to fly from, with Charles de Gaulle in Paris coming out on top.

The Best and Worst European Airports to Fly From

Holiday car rental experts at StressFreeCarRental.com have analysed the ten busiest airports across Europe and ranked them based on what gets holidaymakers stressed before take off.

Most travellers can tolerate a packed-out departure lounge if the travel time to the airport is quick, parking is cheap, and there are restaurants to unwind in with wifi access.

The research reveals this isn’t always the case, with many of Europe’s busiest airports far away from city centres with poor facilities and expensive parking.


The Best and Worst European Airports
Each Country Was Given a Nominal Score Which Was Totaled up to Give a Final Ranking.

Charles de Gaulle Airport in the French capital has been named the most stressful airport for holidaymakers to fly from, with over 57 million passengers passing through annually.

The Paris airport is over 40 km away from the city centre, making it tricky for tourists to travel easily and boasting relatively few restaurants for its size.

London Heathrow is the second most stressful airport with the worst record for delays in Europe’s busiest airports.


Ranking third most stressful is Gatwick Airport - at 45.7 km, it is the furthest away from its nearest city, meaning passengers often arrive tired even before check-in.

Frankfurt Airport in Germany ranks seventh as it’s the most expensive to park at for a week (€234) - a vast difference from the cheapest spot at Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, costing just €20 for seven days.

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Frankfurt is also the airport closest to the city centre, just 13.3 km away, followed by Barcelona at 13.7 km away and then Istanbul at 17.2 km away.

Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in Spain has been ranked the least stressful airport across Europe, with some of the lowest passenger traffic numbers, cheap parking, few departure delays, and being close to the city centre (Barcelona).

Ranking fifth most stressful, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam greets over 52 million passengers annually - yet scores 2.1 for departure delays and expensive parking charges at over €110 per week.

Despite the slow Wi-Fi, Munich has the second lowest score for plane departure delays (1.7) and serves 31 million passengers in the 65 restaurants at the airport.

Comparatively, Heathrow Airport in London serves its 51 million annual passengers in 47 restaurants.

John Charnock, CEO of StressFreeCarRental.com, said that considering which airport tourists will fly to can make or break their holiday.


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He said: “The whole airport experience can be very stressful, and wait times, expensive fees and slow WI-FI for entertainment can quickly dampen your holiday.

“We’ve found that Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is the most stressful spot in Europe, with pricey parking, few restaurants and over 40 km away from the city centre.

“However, Barcelona Airport has been named the least stressful, with low departure delays, fast Wi-Fi and significantly cheaper parking.

“This year, holidaymakers should consider a staycation or using other means of getting to their destination - such as hiring cars for the ultimate summer road trip, where you can take your time and not be bothered by the anxieties of an airport.”

To learn more about Europe's most stressful airports, visit https://www.stressfreecarrental.com/.


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