Airports: A love/hate relationship for Brits

18 October 2018

  • Majority of holidaymakers enjoy the airport experience
  • Yet two out of three also admit they find the experience stressful
  • Most stressful parts of the airport experience are security process (41%) and queues (41%)


The majority of holidaymakers (78%)* enjoy the experience of travelling via an airport when they go on holiday, a new report from Co-op Insurance reveals.

Half of those jetting off (47%) say that the airport signals the start of the holiday, whilst a quarter (25%) say that their favourite part about the airport experience is relaxing before the flight.

favourite airport

Air travel is the most popular way to get to a destination, with half (49%) saying this is their preferred mode of transport. A fifth (20%) prefer driving in their own car, whilst a tenth (10%) prefer the train.

The least popular way to reach a holiday destination is, unsurprisingly, by push bike (2%), whilst only 3% say they prefer travelling by ferry.

Despite a large proportion enjoying the airport experience, two out of three (65%) admit that they also find travelling via an airport experience stressful.

Topping the list for the most stressful elements of the airport experience is the security process (41%) alongside contending with queues throughout the airport (41%).

Delays are the next biggest stress-factor for passengers, with almost two fifths (36%) finding them the most stressful. Meanwhile a third (29%) find the check in process most stressful.


When it comes to gender, the report highlights that females find that most of their stress is based around luggage. A quarter (25%) of females find fitting liquids into clear plastic bag a stressful part of going away, whilst just 15% of males feel the same.

Having luggage weighed stresses a fifth of females, compared to just a tenth of men, and forgetting to pack something essential is a worry for a third (32%) of women, whilst just 18% of men worry about the same thing. Delays cause more stress to women, with almost half (46%) saying that this is a stress factor, whereas just a quarter (26%) of men do.

And it’s not only jetting off on holiday that we find stressful, coming home also induces stress among holidaymakers, with 35% saying that waiting for luggage causes stress, whilst a quarter (26%) find passport control stressful.

Colin Butler, Head of Travel Insurance at Co-op says:

“With a trip to the airport comes excitement for the holiday ahead, but also brings apprehension and stress for many people. With a quarter of holidaymakers buying travel insurance at the last minute either on their way to or at the airport, it just ends up as another item you need to remember – alongside your passport and boarding pass.

“Buying travel insurance ahead of time not only takes away additional stress we all feel when travelling through the airport, it ensures that you are covered in case anything happens before you get to the airport, and during your holiday – like illness or flight cancellation.”

Hopefully some relaxation will be achieved when reaching a holiday destination. But put those phones away – one in ten (10%) say that a holiday can be ruined from a travel companion being glued to their phone.


Media Contacts:

Hannah Charlton: / 07713 314 894
Jenna Moss: / 07770 441 828
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @coopukpress

Notes to editors

*Research was conducted among 2000 holidaymakers in August 2018 on behalf of the Co-op by Atomik Research

About Co-op Travel Insurance

Co-op Travel Insurance is part of Co-op Insurance Services Limited and is underwritten by MAPFRE. Full policy details can be found here:

Co-op Travel Insurance offers cashless medical expenses, for all ages and medical conditions, meaning customers will not have to pay out themselves for any medical treatment. Furthermore, the new travel insurance product will offer Co-op customers access to an online medical consultation with a General Medical Council (GMC) registered doctor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world.

About Co-op Insurance:

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.