Air travellers should head for smaller airports to avoid holiday hassles, the results of a Which?

survey suggest.

While some of the UK's biggest airports scored customer satisfaction ratings of less than 50 per cent in the survey, the smaller ones had scores of between 78 and 85 per cent.

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More than 8,000 Which? members were asked to rate airports on a number of aspects, including pick-up and drop-off, seating provision, queues at security, passport control and baggage reclaim.

Small airports were deemed to be those that handled fewer than four million passengers a year, with the rest deemed large.

Southend in Essex and Robin Hood Doncaster ­Sheffield topped the satisfaction table, each with a score of 85 per cent. Of the large airports, the highest-rated was Newcastle, with a score of 66 per cent. Bottom was Luton, at just 37 per cent.

Which? said baggage reclaim was a top holiday gripe, with 37 per cent naming it as one of their biggest airport frustrations.