Wizz named ‘worst airline’ again, but which is the best?

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By Linsey McNeill
Home » Wizz named ‘worst airline’ again, but which is the best?

Wizz Air has finished bottom of the Which? annual airline satisfaction survey for the second year running.

The consumer champion surveyed passengers’ experiences of flying in the 12 months to October 2023, analysing results for more than 10,000 flights in total.

Passengers rated their airlines on seven criteria, including service, value for money, comfort and food and drink.

Wizz was the worst, with a customer score of 44, followed by Ryanair with a score of 47.

IAG carriers Iberia, Vueling and British Airways completed the bottom five, while Jet2 was rated the best short-haul airline for the third consecutive year. 

The airline achieved a customer score of 81% and received a full five stars for customer service.

“Its passengers were happy to report a largely hassle-free flying experience, with 80% of respondents who flew with Jet2 reporting no problems,” said Which?

“Of those who experienced a hold up to their flight, 84% reported that staff were helpful during the delay. One respondent enthused: ‘I have always found Jet2 staff, on the phone or in person, to be exceptional in all respects. They set the benchmark against which I judge all other companies’.”

Jet2 also had among the lowest rate of last-minute cancellations of any airlines in the survey, with just 0.5% cancelled at short notice, according to CAA data.

Customers gave the airline a score of four out of five for value for money, boarding experience, cabin environment and cleanliness.

Close behind with tied customer scores of 74% were Icelandair and Norwegian, with the latter also achieving Which? Recommended Provider status.

Meanwhile, 46% of those surveyed by Which? who flew with Wizz reported issues with their flight, and, according to CAA data, only 63% of its flights were on time between October 2022 and October 2023. 

The airline received low star ratings across the board, scoring just one star for customer service. One respondent reported it was ‘impossible to communicate with the airline’ about their flight cancellation, while another said Wizz was ‘extremely unhelpful and unresponsive’ when they needed assistance. 

It received no higher than two stars in all other remaining categories, including value for money. 

What do the airlines say?

Wizz Air said: “We do not consider the findings of this report to be representative or an accurate reflection of our performance today, which is among the strongest in Europe.

“We have been honest about our performance in summer 2022, which was not up to our standards. We have invested more than £90 million to rectify this and have made significant improvements which the results of this survey fail to recognise, but are evident from independent data, as well as our own.

“In many cases, we are outperforming competitors. We completed 99.23% of our flights in the period covering October 2022-September 2023, and in the last fiscal year, our on-time performance was better than all but one of our major competitors.

“Over the same fiscal period, we have seen a 67.4% reduction in the number of cancellations and more than 90% of refunds and claims were also processed within five days. This is some of the strongest data across the whole industry. 

“Our customer satisfaction has also improved significantly. Our research shows Wizz Air’s brand consideration to be higher than our main UK competitor and the Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that Wizz Air is fully complying with its commitments to customers following the deed of undertaking signed last year. 

“We are proud of this progress and are confident that the public’s perception will become more reflective of our current performance, which is among the best in the UK.”

British Airways said: “We always work hard to get our customers to where they need to be on time. Like all airlines though, over the last year we’ve experienced several factors outside of our control that have had an adverse impact on our customers, such as adverse weather and Air Traffic Control industrial action. We apologise to customers for any disruption they’ve faced during these challenging periods and again thank them for their understanding.”

Ryanair said: “ Ryanair has industry leading punctuality with average on-time performance of 87% 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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