Ryanair lands at the bottom of UK airline tables for sixth year

Irish budget carrier dismisses ‘Which?’ survey as ‘worthless’, citing 141m passengers

Ryanair may be the most popular airline in Europe, flying more passengers than any other, but it has still finished bottom of the Which? Travel airline survey for an unenviable sixth year in a row.

 

Ryanair may be the most popular airline in Europe, flying more passengers than any other, but it has still finished bottom of the Which? Travel airline survey for an unenviable sixth year in a row.

The British consumers’ association asked its subscribers to assess 19 short-haul airlines; those who had flown Ryanair gave it the lowest possible rating for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink as well as cabin environment.

They also awarded it a dismal overall customer score of just 40 per cent, with thousands of respondents telling Which? Travel they would never fly Ryanair again even if it was cheaper than rivals.

The other names at the bottom of the short-haul pile were Thomas Cook Airlines, which was given an overall customer score of 52 per cent, and Wizz Air, a budget carrier mostly flying to central and eastern Europe, which finished on 54 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, British airline Jet2 impressed passengers with its service, seats and boarding and earned a customer score of 75 per cent.

The survey contained good news for Aer Lingus, which finished joint 7th in the survey and scored four out of five stars for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink, cabin environment and customer service.

Considerable margin

It was given a total customer score of 68 per cent, beating Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways by a considerable margin.

The survey was conducted last September and October and saw 7,901 Which? members complete a survey about their recent experiences of flying with an airline from the UK.

“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,” said Which? Travel editor Rory Boland.

Demand from UK consumers to book and fly with Ryanair has never been higher

“It has spent the last two years cancelling thousands of flights, ruining hundreds of thousands of holidays,” he said.

“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.”

UK residents only

The survey was dismissed as worthless by Ryanair which pointed out it was based on responses from UK residents only.

“This year Ryanair will carry 141 million customers, a 78 per cent increase over the 79 million we carried six years ago, so these irrelevant ratings from Which? don’t reflect real passenger choices, which is the only survey which matters,” a spokesman said.

“This 2018 Which? survey omits price, which is the single most important factor for UK consumers when it comes to airline choice. Throughout 2018 Ryanair.com was the most visited airline website in the UK, so demand from UK consumers to book and fly with Ryanair has never been higher.”

The statement concluded by saying the “survey of almost 8,000 Which? members is totally unrepresentative and worthless compared to Ryanair’s 141 million customers and given that Ryanair is Europe’s number one airline with the lowest fares, with an average fare of just €39, a fraction of the high fares charged by Which’s ‘recommended’ airlines.”