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Ryanair is worst short-haul airline according to UK travel magazine readers

Dec 20, 2012 12:01 am

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And yet people continue to fly Ryanair at such record numbers it’s in a position to buy rival Aer Lingus if only the enemies the airline has made along the way would step aside.

— Jason Clampet

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Paul Hanna  / Reuters

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary gestures during a news conference in Madrid, September 20, 2012. Paul Hanna / Reuters

Ryanair has been voted Europe’s least popular short-haul airline by the readers of the consumer publication Which?

More than 5,500 travellers rated dozens of airlines in the survey, giving each a mark out of five for categories including check-in process, baggage allowance, seating allocation, punctuality, food and drinks and value for money. Only those airlines receiving at least 30 votes were included in the final results.

The low-cost Irish carrier received an overall satisfaction score of just 34 per cent, placing it last out of 16 airlines. Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways and Monarch also fared poorly in the poll – each scoring below 50 per cent.

Ryanair fared poorly for baggage allowance, boarding arrangements, seating allocation, and food and drinks, scoring just one out of five in each category. The airline is renowned for charging a high fee to check in baggage (up to £35 for a single 15kg bag), while a study by the website Travelsupermarket revealed that the cost of six basics items on Ryanair’s in-flight menu (a cup of tea, a sandwich, a tin of Pringles, a Kit Kat, a bottle of water and a glass of wine) often costs more than a ticket to fly. Its results were based on 563 responses.

“We were inundated with comments about Ryanair – many about its extra charges,” said a spokesperson for Which? “This partly accounts for the paltry one-star ratings for baggage allowance, boarding arrangements, seat allocation, and food and drinks.”

Two other airlines received the minimum score for a single category – Thomas Cook for its cabin environment, and Thomson for its food and drinks.

The most popular airline was deemed to be Swiss, which received an overall score of 82 per cent. The carrier received full marks in five categories.

Second in the table was Turkish Airlines with a score of 78 per cent – German carrier Lufthansa came third, Aer Lingus fourth and KLM fifth.

Swiss’s passengers praised its seating allocation and staff, while Turkish Airlines was the only carrier to receive more than three stars for its food and drink.

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