NO-FRILLS airline Ryanair has been named the worst for short-haul flights by a consumer watchdog.

The budget airline was slammed as ‘consistently terrible’ by three-quarters of passengers who told Which? Ryanair is the one carrier they would steer clear of.

The Ireland-based airline is famous for its very cheap flights as well as its controversial approach to customer service.

Flights from many of Ryanair’s UK hubs to destinations in Spain, including tourist favourites Sevilla, Malaga and Barcelona are available for less than a tenner. 

Yet with an overall score of 55 out of 100, just 47% of passengers told the watchdog they were satisfied with the way Ryanair handled refunds during the pandemic. 

It also received just one out of five stars for seat comfort and two for categories including the boarding process, cabin cleanliness and range and quality of food and drink along with three stars for value for money.

One customer said: “Ryanair is the most awkward airline to deal with that I have ever come across. It seems to be proud of being difficult.”

Another accused the company of a ‘total lack of transparency about costs’ and ‘treating passengers like cattle to be squeezed for the last penny’.

Three-quarters named Ryanair as the airline they would ‘never fly with’.

BA was second from bottom with a customer score of 63 per cent – just behind TUI Airways, but with a much lower refund satisfaction score.

Their disappointing two-star ratings for food and drink and poor customer service led one passenger to describe BA as ‘a budget style airline at premium prices’.

However, BA’s cabins ranked as joint cleanest alongside KLM and Jet2.

Meanwhile Jet2 topped the charts, receiving the highest ranking score from airline customers. More than eight in ten were satisfied with the outcome when their flight was disrupted.

The editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, said: “Ryanair’s consistently terrible customer service has made it a fixture among the worst performers in our surveys for many years – but the airline plumbed new depths with its handling of Covid refunds.

“BA’s reputation also deservedly took a battering when it took a hard line on refunds for passengers who could not travel because they followed government health guidance.” 

Ryanair did not comment on the study’s results. 

In a statement, BA said: “We’re proud that we were the first UK airline to offer customers the flexibility to amend their plans at the beginning of the pandemic, by providing vouchers that they can use up to September 2023.

“If we cancel a flight we always contact customers to offer a range of options including a full refund. We’ve issued more than 4.2million refunds and have dealt with more than 3.3million voucher requests to date.

“However, we know we can do better and we’re working hard behind the scenes, upgrading our phone systems and recruiting more people to deliver a better and faster customer experience that we know our customers deserve.”

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