December 19, 2019 / 10:09 AM / a month ago

British Airways loses height in UK customer survey

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - British Airways has sunk in the view of UK customers over the last year, with the former flag carrier now ranked third bottom short-haul airline, two places above budget carrier Ryanair.

Since being named the best short-haul airline in 2015, BA has been on a downwards trajectory according to the survey by consumer group Which, and it dropped another two places this year.

In long-haul BA fared even worse, coming second to last and only beating American Airlines, in a category that was topped by Singapore Airlines.

On an overall customer score basis, Which said BA scored 55% on short-haul, only 1 percentage point behind last year, and 55% on long-haul, not far behind the 58% it scored last year. Ryanair’s score actually rose to 44% from 40%.

A spokeswoman for British Airways said the survey did not reflect its own findings.

“Our own data shows customer satisfaction scores have increased, and continue to increase,” she said.

Ryanair was the worst short-haul airline the consumers found, a repeat of its 2018 performance, while Ryanair’s rival budget carrier easyJet came mid-table. Jet2, another low-cost carrier, was one of the best performers in the short-haul category.

Which said that holiday-makers complained about Ryanair requiring them to pay extra for add-ons and luggage, while they gave BA low scores for the quality of its food and drink, the comfort of its seats and value for money.

Some high-profile problems have dragged on BA’s reputation lately. A 48-hour pilot strike in September cancelled thousands of flights, while in both 2018 and 2017 I.T. and computer failures disrupted flights and stranded customers.

Additionally in 2017, BA, which is owned by IAG, stopped offering customers free food and drink in economy class on short-haul flights.

Which said 6,535 members completed the survey in September 2019 answering questions about their experiences of flying with an airline from the UK.

Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle

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