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Published on Thursday, December 19, 2019

Which? advises passengers to fly with Jet2, not BA or Ryanair


Air passengers were urged to choose Jet2 over both Britsh Airways and Ryanair today after the hoilday airline scored highly in the annual Which? Travel survey while its two rivals were panned by customers.

BA, which was rated one of the best UK airlines just four years ago, was rated one of the worst in the lastest survey., Passengers complained about the quality of food and drink, the comfort of its seats and value for money for both its short-haul and long-haul services, with both only managing a 55% customer satisfaction rating overall.

Which? asked more than 6,500 holidaymakers to rate their experiences of flights taken over the course of 12 months. Passengers were asked to describe their experiences of customer service, boarding and cabin environment.

Once loved British Airways was the third from the bottom of the short-haul table and fared even worse when it came to its long haul offering where it was second from the bottom. 

The British flag carrier was in 2015 awarded the best short-haul airline in the Which? Travel survey but IT failures, strikes and mass cancellations have continued to see the airline descend in customers' estimations, according to the consumers' organisation.

Some passengers had such bad experiences they told Which? they would never fly British Airways again with one going as far as to say "BA is, without doubt, the worst airline we've ever used."

However, short-haul travellers praised Jet2, which received an overall customer score of 79% and five stars for customer service. Passengers repeatedly used words like 'friendly' and 'efficient, said Which? Virgin Atlantic achieved 72% overall.

EasyJet achieved a rating of 65% and four stars for value for money, placing it mid-table 

Ryanair was voted the worst short-haul airline, with a dismal score of only 44%.

Customers gave the budget carrier the lowest possible score of one star out of a possible five in all categories including boarding, customer service and cabin experience, apart from value for money where it managed a two-star rating.  

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: "Year after year the same culprits continue to sink to new lows yet for many of us there is a choice. You don't have to keep booking with an airline that has let you down - or one that you loved for years but has slipped in quality.

"If you get a choice and you are flying short-haul, choose Jet2, it is better quality than BA and often has better fares than Ryanair. If you are heading to the states, Virgin Atlantic beats BA hands-down."

In response to the survey, BA said: "Our own data shows customer satisfaction scores have increased, and continue to increase, as we deliver our £6.5bn investment for customers on new aircraft, new food, new lounges and new technology. 

"We offer our customers a choice of cabins on all our flights, lounges for business class customers, free food for all long-haul flights and business class for short-haul, and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers the most extensive network by any UK airline, including newly-added destinations to Pittsburgh, Charleston, Osaka and Antalya."

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays, said: "We are very proud to be recognised as a Which? Recommended Provider for the fourth year running, and we are delighted to have increased our already impressive customer score. This accolade is based on the views of thousands of paying customers, and what they have said - very clearly - is that is their favourite holiday airline. We are very grateful to customers for this feedback, and we will continue working as hard as ever to treat every single customer like a VIP, so that they book with us time and time again, and so that we remain well ahead of the competition."

Vueling Airlines (54%) and Wizz Air (56%) were also among the worst of the short-haul carriers. Both received mostly two-star ratings for boarding, seat comfort and food and drink, although Wizz did manage three stars for value for money.

American Airlines was rated the worst long-haul airline with a score of 48%. 

Singapore Airlines scored four or five stars for each category excelling in in-flight entertainment and customer service, with a customer score of 88%. Emirates also did well (76%).


What the Mole says:

It seems harsh of Which? to suggest that BA's service is no better than those of its low-cost rivals such as Jet2, when in actual fact the survey wasn't a scientific measurement of the actual quality of the product or the service, and it didn't compare like for like; instead it was a measure of customer satisfaction and it seems likely that passengers have higher expectations when flying with a traditional airline like BA than with a holiday carrier like Jet2 and so they would be harder to please.

However, what the survey does seem to show is that BA is failing to meet customer expectations, an area where airlines such as Jet2 are succeeding. Such strong criticism from Which?, whether warranted or not, will doubltess have an impact on its bookings.

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  • No doubt about it

    Jet2 have an edge when it comes to knowing how to have happy customers.

    By Peter M42, Tuesday, December 24, 2019

  • They never learn!

    Don't these businesses realise the customer is more important than anything else, offer a shoddy service and you don't deserve to survive. That said, I tend to take such surveys with a pinch of salt but usually there's no smoke without fire. As for BA, remember when BA, clashed in court with Virgin, Lord King said "we're not worried, how can you take this case seriously when the chairman, (Richard Branson), doesn't even wear a tie" now who's worried??

    By Keith Standen, Thursday, December 19, 2019

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