Revealed: The worst airline in the UK?

08 January 2019 08:09

Ryanair changed its hand luggage policy twice in 2018

Ryanair changed its hand luggage policy twice in 2018

Ryanair has been labelled the worst airline operating in the UK for the sixth year running in a leading consumer group survey.

According to an annual survey by Which?, passengers gave the Dublin-based carrier the lowest possible rating for boarding, comfort, refreshments and cabin environment.

These ratings gave the budget airline an overall customer score of just 40%. Of those that said there was one airline they would never use again, 70% named Ryanair.

Which? recorded 12,459 flying experiences from 7,901 of its members.

Enforcement action

In December the Civil Aviation Authority launched enforcement action against Ryanair over its decision not to pay compensation for flight disruption resulting from industrial action by its staff during summer 2018.

The airline has also faced criticism for changing its hand luggage policy twice last year, resulting in charges for passengers flying with small wheelie suitcases.

The consumer group also highlighted that Ryanair made £1.75 billion last year from extras, such as assigned seating, priority boarding and luggage fees.

Other names at the bottom of the ranking for short-haul flights were Thomas Cook Airlines (52%), Wizz Air (54%), Vueling Airlines (54%) and British Airways (56%).

The highest scores for airlines making short-haul trips were earned by Aurigny (81%), Swiss Airlines (80%) and Jet2 (75%).

'Flouting the rules'

A Ryanair spokeswoman said the research did not take into account the cost of fares - which is "the single most important factor for UK consumers" - and described it as "totally unrepresentative" compared with its 141 million annual passengers.

She added that the airline's average fare of £35 is "a fraction of the high fares charged by Which's 'recommended' airlines".

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: "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. It 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."

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