herald

Monday 18 February 2019

Ryanair named worst airline for the sixth year running

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

Ryanair has been named the worst short-haul airline in the UK for the sixth year running.

In a survey by consumer group Which?, passengers gave the Dublin-based carrier the lowest possible score for boarding, seat comfort, refreshments and cabin environment.

The airline came out of the survey with a customer score of only 40pc.

Of those who said there was one airline with which they would never travel, more than 70pc named Ryanair.

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

One passenger told Which?: "There are too many rules. I worry about getting caught with hidden costs."

Ryanair made €1.95bn last year from extras such as priority boarding, assigned seating and luggage fees.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary (57) is one of Ireland's wealthiest businessmen.

Other names at the bottom of the ranking were Thomas Cook Airlines (52pc), Wizz Air (54pc), Vueling Airlines (54pc) and British Airways (56pc). EasyJet came in the middle with 63pc.

Those at the top of the ranking were Guernsey carrier Aurigny (81pc), Swiss Airlines (80pc) and Jet2 (75pc).

A Ryanair spokeswoman said the research did not take into account the low-cost of fares, which is "the single most important factor for UK consumers".

Ruining

She also described the research as "totally unrepresentative" and said Ryanair's average ticket price of £35 (€39) is "a fraction of the high fares" charged by the airlines recommended by Which?.

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.

"The airline 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."

Last month, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority launched enforcement action against Ryanair.

This was prompted by the airline's decision not to pay compensation for flight disruption resulting from industrial action by its staff last summer.

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.

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