Ryanair drops out of top 100 brands for customer experience

Controversy over airline’s seat allocation policy during the summer cited as reason

Ryanair has tumbled out of the top 100 brands in a survey examining customer experience following controversy in relation to its seat allocation policy.

Hundreds of people came forward in June to say they had been separated from travelling companions when flying with the airline because they had not paid for specific seats.

In the annual CXi Ireland Customer Experience Report, published on Tuesday, Ryanair fell 38 places to a ranking of 115. "Ryanair is down 38 places and also out of the top 100," said CX Company chairman Michael Killeen.

“Customers just didn’t believe its explanation of the way seats are pre-allocated. The flight cancellation story is a much more serious affair and will surely see the airline slide further.”


The survey was conducted by Amárach Research in June. Some 2,500 respondents rated their experiences out of ten across six categories including loyalty and value for money. Respondents were asked to choose the brand they used most out of a list of 170.

Another brand that suffered a steep drop was the app Mytaxi, which was formally Hailo. The survey noted the "poor introduction of their new app and lack of support from their drivers" as the reason for a 94 place drop.

“Top companies can make customer experience look easy, but when it goes wrong the results can be frightening,” said Mr Killeen. “Look at Mytaxi/ Hailo. It was a star performer in the first survey in 2015. Now it’s one of the biggest fallers, tumbling to 137.

“They didn’t get the drivers on board with the new app and now with the introduction of new charges and reports of declining service levels they may well struggle to get passengers on board as well.”

Credit Unions were the top ranked brand for the third year in a row. A spokesman for the Irish League of Credit Unions said it was a “hugely positive endorsement” of its services. Lush Cosmetics and An Post made up the rest of the top three.

PowerCity was the highest riser since last year, jumping 54 places from 104 to 50. Meanwhile, Vhi Healthcare was the biggest jumper since 2015 when the survey was started. It has gone from 114 in 2015 to 68 this year.

The survey noted that digital brands are seeing substantial growth, making up five of the top 20 brands. Amazon leads the way at number four after jumping 24 places. Netflix entered the top 10 after climbing 30 places to number eight, while YouTube rose 42 places to number 15.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter