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The best and worst short haul airlines for 2024 named by Which?



British Airways was as soon as so assured of its fame, it used ‘the world’s favorite airline’ in its promoting campaigns.

But the UK’s flag-carrier has been voted among the many worst airlines for each lengthy and short haul journey.

Consumer champion Which? surveyed travellers’ experiences of flying prior to now yr and analysed outcomes from over 10,000 flights.

Once among the many nation’s main airlines, BA got here within the backside 5 for short haul flights – under a variety of low-cost carriers together with easyJet, and within the backside three for lengthy haul.

Punctuality and cancellations had been a selected subject, with 3.3 per cent of its flights cancelled at short discover, in accordance with CAA knowledge.

Consumer champion Which? surveyed travellers’ experiences of flying prior to now yr and analysed outcomes from over 10,000 flights

From 1983 to 2001, BA based mostly its promoting round its declare that it was the ‘world’s favorite airline’. However, it has since fallen out of favour.

Aviation skilled Alex McWhirter instructed The Mail: ‘BA has had to cut back on standards in order to compete with low-cost carriers. If it wants to go back to the good old days of food and drink service on board it will have to increase prices but customers won’t pay these costs.

‘Because of the image cultivated over the years, people expect more from a national carrier like BA, but these days they’re disillusioned.’

The airline suffered a significant IT failure in May 2017 and once more in March 2022, inflicting dozens of flights to be grounded.

At the time, BA’s chief govt Sean Doyle apologised to workers, saying: ‘Many of our customers are rightly fed up. I know you’re additionally fed up and I’m as pissed off as you’re with a number of the issues we’ve needed to cope with.’

In the Which? survey, passengers rated airlines on seven standards, together with customer support, worth for cash, seat consolation and meals and drink. A buyer rating was calculated based mostly on general satisfaction and chance to advocate.

Once among the many nation’s main airlines, BA got here within the backside 5 for short haul flights – under a variety of low-cost carriers together with easyJet, and within the backside three for lengthy haul

Wizz Air completed backside, marking its second consecutive yr on the backside of the survey, with clients complaining about delays and poor customer support.

Alarmingly, nearly half (46 per cent) of these surveyed who flew with Wizz Air reported points with their flight, with delays a very frequent subject.

According to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) knowledge, 63 per cent of the airline’s flights had been on time within the final yr. Around 2 per cent of its flights had been delayed by over three hours – increased than most of its rivals.

The Hungarian airline obtained low star rankings throughout the board, scoring only one star out of a potential 5 for customer support.

Wizz Air completed backside, marking its second consecutive yr on the backside of the survey, with clients complaining about delays and poor customer support

One respondent reported it was ‘impossible to communicate with the airline’ about their flight cancellation, whereas one other stated that Wizz Air was ‘extremely unhelpful and unresponsive’ after they wanted help.

Close behind Wizz Air was Ryanair.

The Irish airline scored only one star for seat consolation, meals and drink and customer support. In the latter class, respondents had been significantly important, with one passenger saying the airline ‘treats customers with disdain’.

Jet2, in the meantime, took first spot amongst short haul airlines for the third consecutive yr. The airline topped the desk with a powerful buyer rating of 81 per cent, and obtained a full 5 stars for its customer support.

Its passengers reported a largely hassle-free flying expertise, with 80 per cent of respondents who flew with Jet2 reporting no issues. Of those that skilled a maintain as much as their flight, 84 per cent reported that workers had been useful through the delay.

Jet2 took first spot amongst short haul airlines for the third consecutive yr. The airline topped the desk with a powerful buyer rating of 81 per cent, and obtained a full 5 stars for its customer support

Jet2 additionally has among the many lowest charge of last-minute cancellations of any airlines within the survey, with simply 0.5 per cent cancelled at short discover, in accordance with CAA knowledge.

In joint second for short haul flights, with a buyer rating of 74 per cent, was Norwegian and Icelandair. The carriers climbed a powerful 4 and 5 locations respectively from final yr. 

Which?’s newest airlines survey comes as fares hit document highs within the final yr and many airlines posted substantial income following the challenges of the pandemic.

According to the Office for National Statistics, common UK airfares had been as a lot as £713 final summer season – and for these costs, clients ought to be seeing wonderful service throughout the board.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, stated: ‘Air fares have soared in recent times, and the naked minimal passengers ought to anticipate in return for their hard-earned money is a dependable service, with pleasant, straightforward to entry buyer assist when they’re let down.

In joint second for short haul flights, with a buyer rating of 74 per cent, was Norwegian (pictured) and Icelandair
Icelandair (pictured) climbed a powerful 5 locations from final yr’s rating

‘While the likes of Jet2 proceed to excel on this regard, our survey exhibits that passengers of many airlines are sadly being shortchanged – with excessive charges of final minute cancellations, abysmal customer support and sneaky further charges for baggage climbing up the ultimate value.’

A Wizz Air spokesperson stated: ‘We don’t think about the findings of this report back to be consultant or an correct reflection of our efficiency right now, which is among the many strongest in Europe.

‘We have been trustworthy about our efficiency in summer season 2022, which was lower than our requirements.

‘We have invested greater than £90 million to rectify this and have made important enhancements which the outcomes of this survey fail to recognise, however are evident from impartial knowledge, in addition to our personal.’

A spokesperson for British Airways stated: ‘We at all times work laborious to get our clients to the place they should be on time.

‘Like all airlines although, over the past yr we’ve skilled a number of components exterior of our management which have had an adversarial impression on our clients, reminiscent of adversarial climate and Air Traffic Control industrial motion.

‘We apologise to clients for any disruption they’ve confronted.’

A spokesperson for Ryanair stated: ‘Ryanair has industry leading punctuality with avg. on-time performance of 87 per cent in 2023, despite UK punctuality being severely impacted by the inefficient NATS and its incompetent CEO, whose ATC system has collapsed twice this year delaying thousands of flights and millions of passengers travelling to/from the UK.’

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