BA, United, RyanAir, fight for the bottom rung in U.K. customer satisfaction

And the best U.K. short haul operator is

They once claimed it was the Worlds Favourite Airline. It never was. If they tried to claim that now the Advertising Standards Agency would ban the ad.

British Airways short haul is officially at the bottom end of the customer satisfaction scale just above Ryan Air and Vueling. Only IAG’s Vueling, along with Ryan Air, are worse than BA, which is truly extraordinary, according to the latest 2017 report on customer satisfaction from the highly respected Which? No surprise IAG owns BA as well.

BA short haul fell from 67% to 52% in a year. A year where it tried to force its cabin crew to accept barely minimum wage pay, stopped providing free food on short haul, and refurbished its A320’s with small uncomfortable seats, while paying shareholders off with a £500m buy back of shares.

Customers complained of over priced fares, poor service and port value for money.

Vueling and Ryan Air rated just 45%. Even Thomas Cook and TUI outshine BA short haul services.

On long haul United was rated the worst airline by U.K. travellers – scoring just 39%. United was beaten by American Airlines who scored just 46% – the only edge they had over United was marginally more comfortable seating.

Winners this year include Virgin Atlantic as best trans-Atlantic operator, and Singapore Airlines for best long haul at 88%. Though it has to be said it’s decline in customer service terms has been noted – especially at Changi and for customers passing through transit.

The message seems to be people don’t mind paying if they get the service level they expect. BA does that commercially acceptable thing where it pushes prices high, accepts complaints are part of the game, and lowers its service, maximising profit. Nobody minds Vueling and RyanAir being so poor as much, because they make no pretence about the services they don’t offer.

What bugs people is when they pay high prices and get low service.

Top of the U.K. short haul? Small Operator Aurigny Air, that flies to the Channel Islands.