Budget airline Ryanair has been voted the worst airline by passengers for the sixth consecutive year.
The survey, conducted by consumer watchdog Which?, asked participants to rank on boarding, seat comfort, food, drink and cabin environment. Ryanair received an overall score of just 40 per cent and a two-star rating for customer service, according to the 7,901 respondents.
Other airlines that performed poorly in the Which? survey airlines at the bottom of the list for customer satisfaction were Thomas Cook with 52 per cent, Wizz Air with 54 per cent and British Airways with a marginally better with 56 per cent for its short-haul flights. EasyJet on the other hand was awarded 63 per cent rating for its mostly disruption-free service at low cost.
Leeds Bradford based airline, and fourth largest in the UK, Jet2, outdid all its competitors however, earning itself a customer score of 75 per cent, proving that budget airlines shouldn’t equate to budget customer service.
Ryanair’s reputation has declined so much that thousands declared they’d never fly with the airline again.
Last year, the airline made £1.75bn (28 percent of its revenue) from ‘extras’, including assigned seating, which can cost up to £30 each for a return journey, and the ever-changing luggage charges. Earlier in the year, 150 flights were cancelled in one day due to a Europe-wide strike, while a number of compensation cheques issued to passengers for previous flight cancellations bounced.
Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said of Ryanair’s ranking: “Airfares might seem to be getting cheaper, but only if you don’t fancy sitting with your family and children or taking even a small cabin bag on-board. Increasingly you need a calculator to work out what the final bill will be, especially with Ryanair.”
He added: “It [Ryanair] has spent the last two years cancelling thousands of flights, ruining hundreds of thousands of holidays and flouting the rules on compensation as well. The results of our survey show passengers are fed up. They should switch to one of their rivals, who prove that budget prices don’t have to mean budget service.”
In response to the survey, Ryanair denied it had incurred problems as a result of strikes, arguing that 90% of schedules remained operational on strike days. It also said that “it delivers industry-leading customer service” and claimed that its bag policy has been “simplified” by recent changes.
The poll comes weeks after an earlier survey, also conducted by Which?, revealed Ryanair was voted the worst when it comes to disruptive passengers on flights. According to a passenger survey, one in six passengers said they have flown with a disruptive passenger on board in the last year.
In October, a video of an elderly black woman being racially abused by a white male passenger on a Ryanair flight went viral, with many calling to boycott the airline altogether.