Distance from Check-in to Gate at Top UK Airports

Travelling is an activity that most people enjoy. It gets us away from the stresses of everyday life and helps us to appreciate other cultures in a way that is not possible from the comfort of our own homes. However, there are some aspects of international travel that can be a challenge.

One of these challenges is the ridiculous distance you often have to walk at airports just to get to your plane. Many tourists and travellers have experienced difficulties reaching their appointed gate at the airport due to the extensive check-in distances.

Most Vulnerable Travellers

People who are most vulnerable to this problem include the elderly and disabled. According to The Association of British Travel Agents, many elderly passengers are at risk of missing their flights because of the required walking distance from check-in to their gates at some of the UK’s most popular airports.

Unfortunately, it appears that elderly travellers do not always receive the required assistance to reach their gate after checking in. Other passengers who are likely to experience problems include those who need wheelchairs or crutches.

The advice is to inform the airline or tour operator at least 48 hours before making your journey that you may require assistance to get across the airport to your gate.

Another issue is that travellers don’t often realise how long it takes to get to their gates, and sometimes even end up missing their flights. We aren’t always given enough time to get to the gate after the gate and final boarding time is announced.

Airport Check-in and Gate Distances


Many of the UK’s top airports include incredibly long distances from check-in to the gate. Here is a breakdown of some of the most crowded airports in the country, as well as their associated distances according to Express:

  1. London Stansted takes the lead with a massive distance of 3822ft.
  2. In second place, we have another London airport. London Luton has many of its passengers walking a lengthy 2,952ft before reaching their final destination.
  3. Manchester takes the bronze medal with a distance of 2,697ft.

The three airports mentioned above take the lead but unfortunately there are many other British airports that have only missed the cut by a few short feet. This includes London Gatwick at 2,559ft, followed by Glasgow Airport which has its travellers hiking 2,461ft to reach their gates.

Edinburgh is also stretching the boundaries of airport routes, with distances spanning 2,280ft. Finally, we have Birmingham, which requires people to reel their carry-on bags across a length of 1,739ft.

Solutions to Reduce the Distance

Airport parking has helped many travellers reduce costs and walking distances by allowing passengers to park their vehicles for long periods of time. Fixed prices and handy locations of airport parking establishments enables holidaymakers to enjoy their trip without worrying about parking bills.

Airports have also invested a lot of time and money in trying to reduce distances to and from terminals, check-in’s and gates. Such investments include moving walkways and reliable shuttle services. However, larger airports still pose a problem for those who find the walking distances a struggle.

If you have an upcoming flight and are worried about not making it to the gate on time, it is best to contact the airline in advance. Let them know about your worries regarding this problem so that they will have the necessary assistance ready for you when you check-in.

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Graham Greenaway

About Graham Greenaway

Graham Greenaway has worked in the family business since 1994. Having taken a break to attend University in Hertfordshire, Graham returned to FHR after graduating and became involved with creating the first version of the company website and later moved on to manage the on-line Marketing side of the business as well as the Web Development team. Away from FHR, Graham enjoys visiting the gym and socialising with friends. Follow Graham on Twitter

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