BA and Ryanair savaged by passengers in Which? research

By Steve Jones
Home » BA and Ryanair savaged by passengers in Which? research

Ryanair and British Airways have been accused of providing dismal customer service during the pandemic with the airlines finishing rock bottom in a passenger survey of short-haul airlines.

The budget carrier received an overall satisfaction score of 55% in the Which? study, falling to only 47% in the refund satisfaction category.

BA was second from bottom with a customer score of 63%, just behind TUI Airways, but with a much lower refund satisfaction score.

One passenger described BA as ‘a budget style airline at premium prices’.

The consumer watchdog surveyed more than 1,300 passengers since November 2019, exploring experiences such as boarding, cabin cleanliness, customer service and value for money.

In a second part of the survey, 1,100 passengers whose flights were disrupted were asked how satisfied they were with how their airline handled the issue.

Which? Editor Rory Boland said: “Ryanair’s consistently terrible customer service has made it a fixture among the worst performers in our surveys for many years – but the airline plumbed new depths with its handling of Covid refunds.

“BA’s reputation also deservedly took a battering when it took a hard line on refunds for passengers who could not travel because they followed government health guidance.

“Many passengers will not forget how they were treated by companies during the pandemic. Covid could still cause disruption to international travel, so we would advise travellers to book with operators that have flexible booking policies and a record of treating their customers fairly.” 

Despite its poor overall rating, BA’s cabins were ranked as joint cleanest alongside KLM and Jet2. 

Jet2 topped the table with 84% of respondents satisfied with the outcome and the way it handled flight disruptions.

British Airways acknowledged that it ‘can do better’.

“We’re proud that we were the first UK airline to offer customers the flexibility to amend their plans at the beginning of the pandemic, by providing vouchers that they can use up to September 2023,” it told Which?

“If we cancel a flight we always contact customers to offer a range of options including a full refund. We’ve issued more than 4.2 million refunds and have dealt with more than 3.3 million voucher requests to date. 

“However, we know we can do better and we’re working hard behind the scenes, upgrading our phone systems and recruiting more people to deliver a better and faster customer experience that we know our customers deserve.

“We never take our customers’ loyalty for granted and appreciate their patience as our teams work around the clock to support them.”

Ryanair did not respond to a request for comment by Which?

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