ABERDEEN International Airport has been rated Scotland’s worst for the fifth successive year, with passengers said to be frustrated by overcrowding, lack of seating and long walks between their plane and the terminal.

The Granite City’s airport earned the unwelcome title in an annual survey published today by consumer group Which?

It said its survey – based on more than 6000 airport experiences across the UK – saw Aberdeen earn the lowest rating (50%) in Scotland, managing two stars out of a possible five in most categories including seating and overall experience of staff.

Among the airport’s unsatisfied customers, one said they only used the airport out of “geographic convenience rather than choice”.

Inverness and Glasgow International were the highest-rated Scottish airports - both scoring 64%.

“Pleasant” Glasgow International was praised by passengers for having “delightful” staff and a decent three stars for catering provisions, although one customer considered the offering, only as “adequate”.

Those travelling through Inverness described it as a “delightful little airport without crowds or hassle” and while security was considered “methodical if a little slow” the airport was viewed as a “pleasure to use”.

Aberdeen fared better than the UK’s worst airport overall, Belfast International, which only managed a customer score of 42%.

Which? Travel’s Naomi Leach said: “Seamless security, ample seating and fuss-free boarding can get your holiday off to a flying start so it’s good to see some Scottish airports scoring better than the rest of the UK.

“All Scots travelling in and out of the country deserve a hassle-free experience no matter which local airport they use and Aberdeen could learn a thing or two from the higher performers in our survey.”

However, Aberdeen hit back, dismissing the survey as “out of date”.

Managing director, Steve Szalay, said: “Whilst all feedback is welcome, we’re not going to lose any sleep whatsoever over a survey based on feedback from just 48 people (0.002% of our annual passenger numbers) and which couldn’t get enough respondents to provide a rating for all of the categories.

“The survey is months out of date and in no way tallies with the hugely positive feedback we’re receiving from the tens of thousands of passengers who are travelling through our doors on a weekly basis.

“Our customer satisfaction scores are the highest they’ve been in over three years as people enjoy the benefits of our terminal transformation project which is now in its final phase.

“Since the survey was taken we’ve further expanded our retail and catering offering.

“Last month, independent family business Essence of Harris launched its new store and we’ve got a brand new Italian restaurant, Bocco. This is in addition to creating a new security search area, international and domestic arrivals area, award winning passenger lounges and a Changing Places facility. All of these developments have delivered a vastly improved experience for our passengers and for the city region. This week we welcomed thousands of delegates who descended on the city for Offshore Europe which provided another opportunity to showcase our airport.”

Which? declined to comment further and said it stood by its research.