Ryanair has finished bottom of the respected Which? annual airline survey for the seventh consecutive year – with British Airways slipping further down both the long-haul and short-haul rankings.
In the consumer champion’s poll, passengers have given the Irish budget carrier the lowest possible rating for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink, customer service and cabin environment – leaving it with a dismal overall customer score of 44 per cent.
The overall winner yet again, with the highest score across both tables, is Singapore Airlines.
British Airways has finished second-bottom of the long-haul ranking in the annual Which? airline survey. It is third-bottom in the short-haul ranking
Ryanair finishes bottom of the short-haul ranking and earns the worst score of any airline – 44 per cent
THE TOP AND BOTTOM THREE CARRIERS IN THE WHICH? AIRLINE SURVEY – SHORT AND LONG HAUL
Aurigny – 82%
Jet2 – 79%
SAS Scandinavian Airlines – 74%
British Airways – 55%
Vueling Airlines – 54%
Ryanair – 44% (worst overall)
Singapore Airlines – 88% (best overall)
Qatar Airways – 79%
Emirates – 76%
Etihad Airways – 56%
British Airways – 55%
American Airlines – 48%
British Airways finishes second-bottom, just above American Airlines, in the long-haul ranking, three places below last year. It is third-bottom of the short-haul list, dropping two places, scoring an overall customer satisfaction score of 55 per cent.
The British flag carrier was awarded the best short-haul airline title in the 2015 Which? Travel survey but the consumer group says that IT failures, strikes and mass cancellations have ‘continued to see the airline descend in customers’ estimations’.
Some passengers had such bad experiences they told Which? they would never fly British Airways again, with one going as far as to say ‘BA is, without doubt, the worst airline we’ve ever used’.
Meanwhile, Which? says many passengers who had flown with Ryanair pointed out the endless add-ons and ‘finicky luggage requirements’. One said customers were treated like ‘cash cows’ and another added that the airline had a ‘cattle class mentality’.
Also languishing near the bottom of the short-haul carriers ranking is Vueling Airlines, with a customer score of 54 per cent, and Wizz Air with 56 per cent.
Which? says both failed to wow passengers in any of the categories with mostly two-star ratings for boarding, seat comfort and food and drink, although Wizz did manage three stars for value for money.
Top of the short-haul list yet again is tiny Channel Islands carrier Aurigny, which operates a fleet of just nine aircraft.
The top-ranked short-haul airline is the tiny Channel Islands carrier Aurigny, which has a fleet of just nine aircraft
It has a customer satisfaction score of 82 per cent and scores top marks for boarding, cabin environment and customer service.
In second place is Jet2, with Which? saying customers are continuing to praise the carrier for its budget prices and premium service.
It earns a 79 per cent customer score and five stars for customer service. Passengers repeatedly used words like ‘friendly’ and ‘efficient’ over and over again says Which?, with one passenger telling the consumer champion ‘Jet2 doesn’t feel like a low-cost airline’.
EasyJet finds itself with a 65 per cent score and in the middle of the table. Passengers told Which? it was ‘fine’, ‘reliable’ and ‘no frills’. It gets four stars for value for money.
Second place in the short-haul ranking is Jet2, with Which? saying customers are continuing to praise the carrier for its budget prices and premium service
In the long-haul ranking, bottom-placed American Airlines scores a miserable customer score of 48 per cent.
The boarding process and the cabin cleanliness of the airline earn three stars but everything else is rated by passengers as below average.
One passenger told Which? that ‘the cabin was scruffy, the staff rude and the food awful’.
The clear winner for long-haul is Singapore Airlines, which scores four or five stars for each category, excelling in in-flight entertainment and customer service. Its 88 per cent customer score is the highest of any airline.
Many passengers spoke to Which? of the extra touches like Christmas carols when boarding and free bars of chocolate, while others said they ‘felt properly looked after’.
In the long-haul ranking, bottom-placed American Airlines receives a miserable customer score of 48 per cent, though MailOnline Travel gave its business class cabin four out of five
In second place is Qatar Airways with a customer score of 79 per cent. Emirates is third on 76 per cent.
And while Singapore Airlines clearly offers one of the most pleasant in-flight experiences, Emirates, in contrast, amended its no-show clause after pressure from Which? Travel.
While still not perfect, it will no longer cancel a return flight if they are notified within 24 hours of a missed outbound leg – something that Singapore Airlines is still guilty of.
Also a consistent high scorer in the long-haul category is Virgin Atlantic on 72 per cent.
Which? says it has kept standards high while seeing off the budget upstarts like Wow and Primera – both now bust.
The clear winner for long-haul is Singapore Airlines, which scores four or five stars for each category, excelling in in-flight entertainment and customer service. Pictured is the airline’s economy cabin on its Boeing 777-300
Coming third in the long-haul ranking is Emirates, with a score of 76 per cent. Pictured is the economy cabin on an Emirates A380
Those surveyed told Which? that it was the best option when flying to the US from the UK and one went as far as to say ‘British Airways needs to learn from Virgin’.
The survey, conducted in September 2019, asked 6,535 Which? members about their recent experiences of flying with an airline from the UK, with 10,180 member experiences recorded.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said: ‘Year after year the same culprits continue to sink to new lows yet for many of us there is a choice.
‘You don’t have to keep booking with an airline that has let you down – or one that you loved for years but has slipped in quality.
‘If you get a choice and you are flying short-haul, choose Jet2, it is better quality than BA and often has better fares than Ryanair. If you are heading to the states, Virgin Atlantic beats BA hands-down.’
A spokesman for British Airways said: ‘Our own data shows customer satisfaction scores have increased, and continue to increase, as we deliver our £6.5billion investment for customers on new aircraft, new food, new lounges and new technology.
‘We offer our customers a choice of cabins on all our flights, lounges for business class customers, free food for all long-haul flights and business class for short-haul, and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers the most extensive network by any UK airline, including newly-added destinations to Pittsburgh, Charleston, Osaka and Antalya.’
MailOnline Travel gave BA’s new A350 business class cabin a rave review and five stars out of five overall – likewise for Qatar Airways’ business-class cabin.
We gave BA’s first-class A380 cabin four stars out of five.
MailOnline has also reviewed American Airlines’ business class, which got four stars out of five, and its first-class cabin, which got three stars out of five.
MailOnline Travel has also contacted Ryanair and American Airlines for comment.