SOUTHEND Airport has soared above other London terminal according to the latest Which? airport passenger survey.

It’s the fourth time the capital’s newest airport has topped the popularity poll in the London region.

Which? members were asked to complete an online survey about their experiences of flying from a UK airport in the past year.

Customer scores were based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the airport to a friend.

This year it boasted a customer rating score of 84 per cent - 16 per cent more than the next closest airport, London City which received 68 per cent.

The airport also held the title for “Best Airport in the UK” for three years in a row in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Glyn Jones, chief executive officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of Southend Airport, sited the airport’s smooth transport links as contributing to its success and dithering over decisions on future airport capacity in the capital. He said: “Of course we’re delighted our guests voted us by far the best in the capital.

“But it shows just how badly customers are being let down by aviation policy, which has led to appalling congestion both in the air and on the ground.

“This failure affects London passengers in particular and this survey reflects the frustration they’re suffering on a daily basis.”

Mr Jones added: “By contrast, Which? members have recognised that London Southend offers a substantially better way to travel with up to seven trains an hour from London, a raft of new routes and exceptional service.

“They’re all key factors in our success and why more and more passengers are repeatedly choosing London Southend Airport over all the others.”

London Southend scored a maximum five-star rating for staff friendliness and helpfulness and also received four stars in another five out of eight categories assessed.

These categories included baggage reclaim, seating, toilets, and queues at security and passport control. In contrast, other London airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick struggled to satisfy just beyond half their passengers.

Stansted received 38 per cent and London Luton was named “Britain’s Worst Airport” out of 31 UK terminals surveyed. It scored just 29 per cent which is the lowest rating ever seen with passengers marking them down for queues, overcrowding and lack of seating.

Southend Airport has grown its network rapidly in 2017 and now boasts around 30 short-haul domestic and European routes served by Easyjet, Flybe and Thomson.

It has recently added destinations include Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow, Malta, Sion, Lyon, Milan, Budapest, Venice, Prague, Vienna, Reus, Perpignan, Dubrovnik and Zadar.

Earlier this month, Southend made its latest ploy to boost numbers and compete with the country’s biggest airports by introducing free flights to those delayed at other London airports.

The airport is offering free return tickets to Manchester, Glasgow or Dublin on new flights to be operated by Stobart Air, to passengers who suffer delays of 30 minutes or more to those destinations. The offer will apply to flights from October 29 for the first 1,000 passengers who prove that they have been delayed from Monday until the offer runs out on September 30.

Southend’s continuing rise in stature saw popstar Gareth Gates use the airport to travel to Marbella with his family.