British Airways was once so confident in its reputation that it used “the world’s favorite airline” in its advertising campaigns.
But the UK’s flag carrier has been voted among the worst airlines for both long-haul and short-haul travel.
Consumer Champion Which? surveyed travelers’ flying experiences over the past year and analyzed the results of more than 10,000 flights.
BA, once among the country’s top airlines, fell into the bottom five for short-haul flights, below several budget airlines including easyJet, and in the bottom three for long-haul flights.
Punctuality and cancellations were a particular problem: 3.3 percent of its flights were canceled at short notice, according to CAA data.
Consumer champion Which one? surveyed travelers’ flying experiences over the past year and analyzed the results of more than 10,000 flights
From 1983 to 2001, BA based its advertising around the claim that it was “the world’s favorite airline.” However, he has since fallen out of favor.
Aviation expert Alex McWhirter told The Mail: ‘BA has had to lower standards to compete with low-cost airlines. If you want to go back to the old days of inflight food and beverage service, you’ll have to raise prices, but customers won’t pay those prices.
“Due to the image cultivated over the years, people expect more from a national airline like BA, but today they are disappointed.”
The airline suffered a major computer failure in May 2017 and again in March 2022, resulting in the suspension of dozens of flights.
At the time, BA chief executive Sean Doyle apologized to staff and said: “Many of our customers are rightly fed up.” I know you’re fed up too and I’m just as frustrated as you are with some of the things we’ve had to deal with.’
In which? In the survey, passengers rated airlines on seven criteria, including customer service, value for money, seat comfort and food and drink. Customer scores were calculated based on overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.
BA, once among the country’s top airlines, ranked in the bottom five for short-haul flights, below several budget airlines including easyJet, and in the bottom three for long-haul flights.
Wizz Air finished last, marking its second consecutive year at the bottom of the survey, with customers complaining about delays and poor customer service.
Alarmingly, almost half (46 percent) of respondents who flew with Wizz Air reported problems with their flight, with delays being a particularly common problem.
According to data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), 63 percent of the airline’s flights arrived on time over the past year. About 2 percent of its flights suffered delays of more than three hours, more than most of its rivals.
The Hungarian airline received low star ratings across the board, earning just one star out of a possible five for its customer service.
Wizz Air finished last, for the second year in a row at the bottom of the survey, with customers complaining about delays and poor customer service.
One respondent reported that it was “impossible to contact the airline” about their flight cancellation, while another said Wizz Air was “extremely unhelpful and unresponsive” when they needed help.
Very close to Wizz Air was Ryanair.
The Irish airline earned just one star for seat comfort, food and drink and customer service. In the latter category, respondents were especially critical, with one passenger stating that the airline “treats customers with disdain.”
Meanwhile, Jet2 ranked first among short-haul airlines for the third year in a row. The airline topped the chart with an impressive customer score of 81 per cent and was awarded five stars for its customer service.
Its passengers reported a largely uneventful flying experience, with 80 percent of respondents who flew with Jet2 reporting no problems. Of those who experienced a delay to their flight, 84 percent reported that staff were helpful during the delay.
Jet2 ranked first among short-haul airlines for the third year in a row. The airline topped the chart with an impressive customer score of 81 per cent and was awarded five stars for its customer service.
Jet2 also has one of the lowest rates of last-minute cancellations of all airlines included in the survey, with just 0.5 percent canceling at short notice, according to CAA data.
In second place for short-haul flights, with a customer score of 74 percent, are Norwegian and Iceland. Compared to last year, transporters rose no less than four and five positions, respectively.
The latest airline survey from Which? It comes as fares hit record levels over the past year and many airlines posted substantial profits following the challenges of the pandemic.
According to the Office for National Statistics, average airfares in the UK amounted to £713 last summer and, for these prices, customers should enjoy excellent service across the board.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Airfares have skyrocketed in recent years, and the least passengers should expect in return for their hard-earned money is reliable service, with friendly customer service and easy access when they feel down. disappointed.
In second place for short-haul flights, with a customer score of 74 percent, are Norwegian (pictured) and Islandair.
Icelandair (pictured) rose an impressive five places compared to last year’s ranking
“While companies like Jet2 continue to excel in this regard, our survey shows that, sadly, passengers on many airlines are being let down, with high rates of last-minute cancellations, poor customer service and sneaky extra fees for checked baggage. increase the final price.”
A Wizz Air spokesperson said: ‘We do not consider the conclusions in this report to be representative or an accurate reflection of our current performance, which is among the strongest in Europe.
‘We have been honest about our performance in the summer of 2022, which was not up to our standards.
“We have invested over £90m to rectify this and have made significant improvements which the results of this survey do not recognise, but which are evident from independent data as well as our own.”
A British Airways spokesperson said: ‘We always work hard to get our customers where they need to be on time.
‘However, like all airlines, over the last year we have experienced several factors outside our control that have had an adverse impact on our customers, such as adverse weather and Air Traffic Control industrial actions.
“We apologize to customers for any disruption they have faced.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said: ‘Ryanair has industry-leading punctuality at an average. an 87 per cent on-time performance in 2023, even though the UK’s punctuality has been severely affected by the inefficient NATS and its incompetent CEO, whose ATC system has crashed twice this year, delaying thousands of flights and millions of passengers traveling to/from the UK.