Ryanair named Britain’s worst airline

Ryanair, the Ireland-based low-fares airline, has been named Britain’s worst airline despite recent efforts to enhance its image, The Daily Mirror has reported.

According to a survey by consumer watchdog ‘Which?’, short-haul passengers have given the company one star out of five for luggage allowance, boarding, legroom and food and drink.

Guernsey’s Aurigny Air Services topped the survey, followed by Swiss International. Alitalia and Thomas Cook were ranked just above Ryanair.

Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines jointly came first for long haul flights, with Spanish airline Iberia at the bottom of the list.

The survey findings were based on 12,750 passengers’ experiences in the past year.

However, in a challenge to the survey findings, Ryanair chief, Michael O’Leary, said: ‘Our 81 million passengers clearly prove we are Europe’s favourite airline.’

Ryanair, which has received much public criticism for its poor treatment of customers, has recently introduced several measures to improve its image and services, including a redesign of its website, allocated seating and a reduction in baggage fees.

Ryanair has halved its excess baggage fee, calling the reduction an ‘early Christmas present’. But the budget airline is still charging up to £50 per checked-in bag during the winter ‘high season’ between December 21 and January 1, penalising those travelling to be with families over the festive period, The Daily Mirror said in a separate report.

The low-fares airline is set to carry over three million passengers between December 20 and January 6, an increase of 100,000 over 2012, setting a new record for bringing passengers home for Christmas. Ryanair will operate flights up to 14.40hrs (GMT) on Christmas Eve, resuming flights at 09.30hrs (GMT) on Boxing Day, to ensure everyone gets home for Christmas, the company said.