The worst short-haul airlines in the country are BA and 'consistently terrible' Ryanair, says which?

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The worst short-haul airlines in the country are BA and ‘consistently terrible’ Ryanair, according to a new Which? survey

  • Which? surveyed short-haul fliers on their experiences with six airlines, with Ryanair scoring 55% overall
  • Survey respondents were quizzed on areas such as cabin cleanliness, customer service and value for money 
  • The survey also investigated how airlines handled refunds when flights were disrupted during the pandemic

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The worst airline in the country is the ‘consistently terrible’ Ryanair, according to a passenger survey by Which?

But only slightly better was British Airways – which once claimed to be the ‘world’s favourite airline’.

The consumer champion surveyed short-haul passengers asking about boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, customer service and value for money.

The worst airline in the country is the ¿consistently terrible¿ Ryanair, according to a passenger survey by Which?

The worst airline in the country is the ‘consistently terrible’ Ryanair, according to a passenger survey by Which?

The consumer champion surveyed short-haul passengers asking about boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, customer service and value for money

The consumer champion surveyed short-haul passengers asking about boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, customer service and value for money

It also asked people whose flights were disrupted during the pandemic how satisfied they were with the way their airline handled the issue.

Ryanair, which has appeared in the bottom three of the Which? survey for more than a decade, received an overall customer score of 55 per cent.

It scored a lamentable 47 per cent in the refund satisfaction category. One in five respondents said it took them more than a month to get a refund.

One customer said: ‘Ryanair is the most awkward airline to deal with that I have ever come across. It seems to be proud of being difficult.’ Another accused the company of a ‘total lack of transparency about costs’ and ‘treating passengers like cattle to be squeezed for the last penny’.

BA was second from bottom with a customer score of 63 per cent - just behind TUI Airways

BA was second from bottom with a customer score of 63 per cent – just behind TUI Airways

The consumer champion also surveyed passengers on the Covid precautions taken by each airline

The consumer champion also surveyed passengers on the Covid precautions taken by each airline

Three-quarters named Ryanair as the airline they would ‘never fly with’.

BA was second from bottom with a customer score of 63 per cent – just behind TUI Airways, but with a much lower refund satisfaction score.

Passengers reported spending hours on hold only to be hung up on or passed endlessly between different departments.

Dutch airline KLM ranked in second place with an overall customer rating of 75 per cent

Dutch airline KLM ranked in second place with an overall customer rating of 75 per cent

This disappointing customer service, along with two-star ratings for food and drink, seat comfort and value for money, led one passenger to describe BA as ‘a budget style airline at premium prices’.

However, BA’s cabins ranked as joint cleanest alongside KLM and Jet2.

Jet2 was top of the table and its record on delivering refunds was the best. More than eight in ten were satisfied with the outcome when their flight was disrupted.

The editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, said: ‘Ryanair’s consistently terrible customer service has made it a fixture among the worst performers in our surveys for many years – but the airline plumbed new depths with its handling of Covid refunds.

Jet2 was top of the table and its record on delivering refunds was the best, according to Which?

Jet2 was top of the table and its record on delivering refunds was the best, according to Which? 

‘BA’s reputation also deservedly took a battering when it took a hard line on refunds for passengers who could not travel because they followed government health guidance.’

Ryanair, which has had a long-running battle with Which?, did not comment on its findings.

In a statement, BA said: ‘We’re proud that we were the first UK airline to offer customers the flexibility to amend their plans at the beginning of the pandemic, by providing vouchers that they can use up to September 2023.

‘If we cancel a flight we always contact customers to offer a range of options including a full refund. We’ve issued more than 4.2million refunds and have dealt with more than 3.3million voucher requests to date.

‘However, we know we can do better and we’re working hard behind the scenes, upgrading our phone systems and recruiting more people to deliver a better and faster customer experience that we know our customers deserve.’

For more information visit www.which.co.uk.

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