Manchester Airport has released a statement after being named the worst in the UK by Which? magazine.
The magazine released a survey asking nearly 4,000 people about their experiences at UK airports over the past 12 months, naming Liverpool John Lennon Airport as being the best.
Which? members were invited to rate the airports across 11 categories, including seating, staff, toilets and queues at check in, bag drop, passport control and security.
Its 3,842 members who took part in the survey answered questions about their experiences from June 2022 – June 2023, which does not factor in the most recent summer holiday period.
But Manchester has hit back at the claims taken from the experiences of people who took the Which? survey. The airport slammed it as ‘deeply flawed’ and ‘misleading’.
However, the survey did acknowledge that the airports which came out best all had the fact that they’re quite small in common.
It said, ‘the six airports with a customer score of 70% or more in the table below all served fewer than five million passengers (compared to Heathrow’s 62 million)’.
Manchester Airport is a major airport covering the North West, with 25 million passengers from the region travelling here each year to jet off to its many destinations.
In a lengthy statement, a Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “Manchester Airport is proud to give the people of the North easy and affordable access to a wide range of global destinations.
“We are committed to providing a great experience to all passengers, and feedback this summer has been really positive, building on the strong Christmas and Easter getaways we delivered.
“Our customer service is driven by investment in our people – we have recruited more than 3,000 colleagues since April 2022 and established a new 100-strong resilience team, trained in a variety of roles so they can respond at short-notice to ensure passengers get a good level of service.
“It is also driven by investment in our facilities, especially the £1.3bn transformation of Terminal 2, through which more than 80% of our passengers will fly by 2025.”
The airport pointed out that the survey did not cover its service over this summer and that only a fraction of its passengers gave a response, as it continued: “We take all customer feedback seriously, but the Which? survey creates a deeply flawed and misleading picture of the service we are providing to our customers this summer.
“The survey is out of date – covering June 2022-June 2023 and not including the majority of this summer season – and is also based on a tiny and unrepresentative sample of the 25 million passengers who travel through Manchester Airport each year.
“Year-by-year the Which? survey becomes less and less relevant as response rates continue to dwindle, with half as many people surveyed this year as were 12 months ago.
“There were only 567 responses relating to Manchester Airport – 0.002% of our annual passenger numbers.”
It added: “As part of our commitment to delivering great customer service, we continually survey passengers. In July and August this year, 93% of those passengers rated their overall satisfaction with the service they received as good, very good or excellent.
“Since April this year, we have welcomed more than 10.4m people through Manchester Airport, who have travelled to more than 180 destinations with nearly 50 different airlines – and 95.6% of them have got through security in under 15 minutes.
“Almost three quarters got through security in under five minutes and 99.8% in under 30 minutes.”
The survey revealed Terminal 1 scored 44% with a number of one and two star ratings, but got three stars for the range of shops it has on offer.
Meanwhile, Terminal 2 scored 50% with no lower than two stars in any category, and managed a good score of four stars for queues at the check in desk. Though it still remained in the bottom five.
But, Terminal 3 scored 38%, receiving a particularly poor customer grade. Its star ratings failed to offer a single redeeming feature, as one customer commented that ‘the whole experience is generally unpleasant’.
Manchester Airport ranked among the worst in the survey for security queues, with an average reported wait time of 28 minutes reported at Terminal 3, 26 minutes at Terminal 2 and 25 minutes at Terminal 1.
Only Birmingham Airport performed worse for this, with an average reported wait time of 29 minutes.
School bus overturns with motorway closed in both directions
Emergency services, including air ambulance, are in attendance
A coach carrying children from two separate schools has been left on its side following a crash on a major motorway this morning.
The school bus was carrying pupils from Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby School for Girls when the incident happened at around 8am on Friday, September 29th.
A section of the M53 has been closed off in both directions between J5 at Hooton, Cheshire, to J4 at Clatterbridge, in Merseyside. It is believed the bus had struck a reservation on Junction 5 of the motorway.
Calday Grange Grammar School released a statement on its social media page saying: “We are aware of a situation involving one of our school buses on the motorway earlier today.
“We’re actively gathering details and assisting affected students and their families.”
North West Ambulance Service has now declared a major incident, saying in a statement: “North West Ambulance Service has declared a major incident following a road traffic collision between a coach and a car on the M53 northbound at approximately 8.30 this morning.
“The trust dispatched a large number of resources to the scene, including ambulances, advances paramedics, our Hazardous Area Response team and a HEMS doctor.
“So far, one female patient has been taken to the hospital, suffering major trauma-related injuries. There are also nearly 50 other patietns being assessed at the scene. We are working closely with our incident partners to convey people away from the scene as quickly as possible.”
Local Councillor Sherin Akhtar, also confirmed the news and said she was ‘aware children are being taken to hospital as a precaution’.
She wrote in a Tweet: “I can confirm and am aware of an accident on the M53 this morning going towards the Wirral/ Birkenhead.
“It involves a Carvers coach ( W3) travelling to Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar school for girls.
“Whilst this is a live situation, I would like to assure residents that I am working on their behalf and offer support and will endeavour to update, as soon as possible. I am aware that children are being taken to Arrowe Park as precautionary.”
Merseyside Police said in a statement: “We can confirm that emergency services are on the M53 in Hooton following a collision involving a bus on the motorway.
“Just after 8am we received a report that a bus had struck a reservation on Junction 5 of the M53. Junctions 3-5 of the M53 are closed in both directions.
“Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is currently ensuring the safe removal of passengers and the driver, and North West Ambulance Service are at the scene attending to anyone requiring treatment.
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes, and we advise people to remain patient while the incident is ongoing. Enquiries are ongoing and updates will be issued as soon as possible.
“Please note this incident is ongoing and we are urging people to refrain from speculating or publishing any sensitive information that could be distressing online or via social media platforms.”
Tributes pour in after body of ‘lovely’ missing man found by police
People have been posting their tributes to Charlie online
Heartfelt tributes have been flooding in across social media platforms after the body of a 26-year-old man from Stockport was discovered by police.
Charlie Johnson, 26, was last seen at around 11.30pm in the Cheadle Hulme area of Stockport on Thursday, September 21st.
Greater Manchester Police launched an appeal to the public to help find him but sadly, officers confirmed they had discovered a body on Tuesday, September 26th during the search.
His next of kin have been informed and a file was passed on to the coroner.
Detective Inspector Michael Jimenez, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “Our thoughts remain with Charlie’s family at this difficult time, and we have specialist officers in place to support them. Thank you to those who shared our appeals.”
Following the tragic news, tributes have been paid online to honour the life of the ‘superb sportsman’ described by those who knew him as ‘a lovely lad’.
AFC Stockport, who Charlie briefly played for last season, posted on Facebook: “It is with sad news that today we say RIP to Charlie Johnson who briefly played for the club last season.
“Charlie netted 9 goals in 7 appearances for our Rangers team. RIP Charlie – Our thoughts are with your family and friends.”
And Bosden Farm FC, based in Stockport, wrote on their Twitter page: “It is with great sadness we report the news on the passing of Charlie he was a huge part of Bosden Farm and was loved by everyone who met him.
“We will miss him so much. We send our condolences to his friends and family and ask that you respect their privacy at this moment in time.”
Upon hearing the sad news, Mary Brooks-Davies wrote: “Heartbroken. Charlie was such a lovely lad, remember him well when he was at primary school with my daughter. Love and gentlest hugs to his family xxxx.”
In a tribute to Charlie, Badhrul Islam wrote: “Taught him as a lad. Can genuinely say none of my colleagues had a bad word to say.
“PE teachers remember him being a superb sportsman with a great attitude. Really well liked all round. Worked with his dad who was a thoroughly nice man. This is desperately sad news.”
Rachel Taylor wrote: “Thinking of all your family and friends at this sad time, RIP Charlie xx.”
And Callum Lawson wrote: “R.I.P Charlie.”
Three Wilko stores in Greater Manchester reopening as Poundland this weekend
Three out of the 10 stores set to reopen this weekend are in Greater Manchester
This weekend, three former Wilko stores will reopen as Poundlands in Greater Manchester.
Following the collapse of Wilko last month, 10 stores are set to reopen as Poundland outlets this weekend, after being bought out by the budget retailer.
Poundland owner Pepco agreed to purchase 71 Wilko stores from administrators PwC earlier this month.
The company plans to rebrand and open them under its own by the end of the year.
Another rival retailer, B&M, bought 51 Wilko stores in a deal of around £5 million, and plans to also reopen them under its own brand.
In Greater Manchester, the three Wilko locations which will be reopening as new Poundland sites are at The Mall on Church Street in Eccles, The Peel Centre, on Great Portwood Street in Stockport, and on Lord Street, in Leigh.
The seven other sites set to reopen this weekend are across Stafford, Nelson, Barking, Southport, Maidenhead, Jarrow and Scunthorpe.
Family-owned company Wilko ran 400 shops and employed around 12,500 staff when it brought in administrators PwC last month. The company, which was founded in 1930, folded under the pressure of cuts in consumer spending, due to the cost-of-living crisis, and debts owed to suppliers.
All Wilko stores will close resulting in thousands of staff redundancies, as its remaining shops shut on October 8th.
Poundland has encouraged Wilko staff to apply for new job roles with its chain and have assured them they will be made a priority.