Published on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two UK airlines listed amongst world's worst

Monarch is one of the world's worst airlines, closely followed by Ryanair, according to a new report by flight delay compensation firm AirHelp.

It claimed that Monarch was the fourth worst airline in the world after Bulgaria Air, Czech carrier SmartWings and Tunisair.

Ryanair was the fifth worst, followed by Egytair, China Eastern, Pakistan International, Gulf Air and Air China.

AirHelp ranked the airlines according to a combination of their on-time performance, quality and service according to their Skytrax rating, and their efficiency in handling compensation claims.

It claimed to have given equal weight to all three factors.

British Airways was named as the seventh best airline in the world, although the survey was completed in March, before the airline's recent computer failure that grounded its flights worldwide.

Virgin Atlantic came eighth followed by Aer Lingus. Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Qatar made up the top three in the world.

Monarch said it had been given a low ranking by AirHelp because it refuses to deal directly with the claims management company, which takes 25% of any compensation awarded to its clients and is not regulated by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority.

The airline's CEO Andrew Swaffield said: "We respond to direct customer claims within 28 days; we work with all UK regulated claims management companies; we were the world's most punctual low cost carrier in OAG's Punctuality League 2016; and were appointed a Gold Trusted Service award by Feefo, the independent trusted ratings and reviews platform in February 2017.

"Most recently we have been voted as a winner in the 'Regional & Low Cost Airlines' category based on customer reviews on Trip Advisor over the last year.

"Because of our decision not work with this company, we have scored a lot lower than we deserve. For all these reasons we refute the validity of AirHelp and the findings of this 'research'. We recommend that customers refer to Feefo, the OAG tables and Tripadvisor as they are well known and objective scoring mechanisms."

The UK also has some of the worst airports in the world, according to AirHelp. It ranked Gatwick and Manchester as the second and third worst, behind Kuwait, while Edinburgh was the fifth, after Newark Liberty.

Assessing a combination of an airport's on-time performance, quality and service as rated by Skytrax and analysis on social media, it found that Singapore's Changi was the best airport in the world, followed by Munich and Hong Kong.

A Gatwick spokesman responded to the survey saying: "Gatwick recognises the inconvenience that delays cause to our passengers and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent them from occurring.

"However over recent years repeated strike action on the continent and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London, have led to a significant increase in the number of delays caused by wider air traffic control issues outside Gatwick's control. Gatwick has more flights to Europe than any UK airport and is impacted disproportionately by events on the continent.

"Gatwick and our airlines have implemented a wide range of measures to improve on-time performance in recent years, however the resulting improvements to punctuality have been overwhelmed by the scale of wider UK and European airspace issues.

"We will continue to make improvements and invest in new infrastructure to support punctuality, but we also call on UK and European authorities to take urgent steps to limit the impact of industrial disputes on our passengers, and to accelerate plans to increase the efficiency of UK and European airspace.

"Surveys conducted amongst real passengers travelling through Gatwick currently show record levels of satisfaction and advocacy, with other third party passenger surveys also telling a different story and rating Gatwick's service levels highly."

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  • Arrant Nonsense

    What the authors of cod 'reports' like this mean is that these airlines won't jump to action when they plague them with spurious or flimsy claims for compensation!

    By Mike Pitman, Tuesday, June 13, 2017

  • Stuff and nonsense

    Have the people who compile and complete these surveys ever travelled anywhere? Gatwick is a very busy airport and generally copes magnificently. It ius far, far better than many other airports I could name (Athens, for example) that don't have anywhere the traffic. It's a while since I was there but of the busy airports I would rank Chicago amongst the worst with Vancouver not much better. Try to get anything interesting to eat or drink in Vancouver once you're airside and your choice is very restricted (even when the main restaurant is operation - which is wasn't last September). In Chicago, however, all you have airside is a few vending machines and that's your lot. No entertainment and certainly no bars or restaurants. Compared with Chicago, Gatwick is out of sight - even having a choice of Real Ales - quite unheard of in most airports. Stuff, nonsense and ignorant balderdash.

    By Richard English, Tuesday, June 13, 2017

  • Waste of time

    What/who do these surveys serve? We worked for years with Monarch and rarely had any issues with either the offices, flights, staff or aircraft, infact they were one of the easier and more reliable airlines to work with. We also worked with Tunisair for 14 years, again, rarely any real issues, even Ryanair, on the whole, has been ok considering it's a budget. I've had more grief with BA, (especially to work with), oh hang on - they're one of the best airlines apparently. As I said, a waste of time that tells us, well, nothing!

    By Keith Standen, Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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