20 major airports in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands, ranked by family-friendliness

The summer holidays are here – school's out and weary families will be jetting off for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But travelling with children can be difficult. Packing for little ones, tears and tantrums at the airport, and queue after queue can cause stress before you've even taken off. So Netflights.com has come up with the ultimate guide to family-friendly airports around the UK and its neighbours. 

To ease the stress of going abroad with a brood, Netflights.com has assessed all major airports in the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands to find the most family-friendly. We scored 20 airports on the following criteria:

Airport pick-up and drop-off facilities
Breastfeeding facilities
Dedicated children's areas
Fast-track security services
Flight punctuality
Free water fountains

The highest scorer and most family-friendly in the UK and Ireland was Birmingham Airport (BHX). It ticked the essential boxes with free drinking water, free Wi-Fi and play areas for children of all ages. BHX also has plenty of areas for baby changing and breastfeeding, and you can also book fast-track security online – its Express Lane is £3.75 per person when travelling with children and under-5s can go through for free. The airport's parking and drop-off is free for 30 minutes, and almost 80% of flights left on time last month. All this added up to a top experience for families, with a score of 30/35

Bottom of the list was Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA). Although it does have free Wi-Fi, there's currently no free drinking water. Drop-off costs £3 for 10 minutes and under half (47%) of flights from LBA left on time in June.

Here are the 20 major airports in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands, ranked by family-friendliness (Netflights.com rating is out of 10):

1. Birmingham: 8.7/10
2. Jersey: 8.1/10
3. London Gatwick: 7.8/10
4. London Heathrow: 7.8/10
5. Cork: 7.3/10
6. Dublin: 7/10
7. Glasgow: 6.7/10
8. Edinburgh: 6.4/10
9. Newcastle: 6.4/10
10. London Luton: 6.1/10
11. London Stansted: 5.5/10
12. Liverpool John Lennon: 5.2/10
13. Bristol: 5.2/10
14. Cardiff: 4.9/10
15. Manchester: 4.9/10
16. East Midlands: 4.6/10
17. Southampton: 4.4/10
18. London City: 4.4/10
19. Belfast International: 3.8/10
20. Leeds Bradford: 3.2/10

Further research from Netflights.com in a survey of 2,000 UK travelers revealed that keeping kids entertained, fed and watered while waiting to board a flight costs parents almost £45 on average. And although 92% of respondents considered themselves organised when they go on holiday, 66% said they still find airports stressful. By giving travelling parents a quick view of the most family-friendly airports Netflights.com hopes to help reduce some of that stress.

See the full results here.