Survey reveals best and worst airlines of 2019

Singapore Airlines scores the highest in the long-haul category, while short-haul is dominated by Aurigny

With different conditions and service levels, choosing the right airline for your travels might be a tough task. 

To help passengers select the best and worst airline carriers, British consumer watchdog Which? Travel has conducted an annual survey. 

The researchers asked more than 6,500 travelers to share their opinion on customer service, boarding and cabin environment, including food and drinks. In total, it assessed 17 short-haul and 15 long-haul airlines operating flights to and from the UK.

Singapore Airlines scores the highest in the long-haul category — Sorbis / Shutterstock Survey reveals best and worst airlines of 2019
Singapore Airlines scored the highest in the long-haul category — Sorbis / Shutterstock
 

With the satisfaction level of 88 percent overall, the number one long-haul carrier is Singapore Airlines, while the best short-haul operator is Aurigny. The Channel Islands carrier scored five stars across boarding, cabin environment and customer service.

Compared to the other airlines, Jet2 scored as second best among customers for short-haul flights. Its customers were satisfied with the airline’s service at affordable prices. SAS Scandinavian Airlines won second place.

Ryanair was rated the worst for the fourth year running

For the fourth year in a row, Ryanair scored the lowest of all the rated airlines, for both short- and long-haul flights. Many customers were unhappy with the add-ons and changes in luggage allowances.

Ryanair scored the lowest of all the rated airlines for the fourth time in a row — Rebius / Shutterstock Survey reveals best and worst airlines of 2019
Ryanair scored the lowest of all the rated airlines for the fourth time in a row — Rebius / Shutterstock
 

UK’s flag carrier British Airways rated third worst in the short-haul category. The airline received a customer satisfaction rating of 55 percent as its customers are dissatisfied with the quality of food and drink, seat comfort, and value for money on both short- and long-haul flights.

“Our own data shows customer satisfaction scores have increased, and continue to increase, as we deliver our £6.5 billion ($8.4 billion) investment for customers on new aircraft, new food, new lounges, and new technology,” said British Airways in a statement.

British Airways’ ranking is just slightly above the worst-rated airline — Ryanair with 44 percent — and second-worst Vueling with 54 percent. Wizzair has ended up fourth from the bottom on short-haul flights, scoring 56 percent.

Worst airlines for long-haul flights

American Airlines rated the worst (48 percent) on long-haul flights. While it managed to score three stars out of five in the boarding process and cabin cleanliness, the score in the remaining categories pushed the overall rating down.

American Airlines rated the worst (48 percent) on long-haul flights — BCFC / Shutterstock Survey reveals best and worst airlines of 2019
With the score of 48 percent, American Airlines rated the worst on long-haul flights — BCFC / Shutterstock
 

“American Airlines takes customer feedback very seriously, and we were disappointed to see the findings of the Which? survey, based on the experiences of 53 customers,” a spokesman for the airline told CNN.

“Year after year the same culprits continue to sink to new lows, yet for many of us, there is a choice. You don’t have to keep booking with an airline that has let you down — or one that you loved for years but has slipped in quality,” Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said in a statement.

Short-haul airlines (best to worst)

  1. Aurigny
  2. Jet2
  3. SAS
  4. Aer Lingus
  5. Swiss
  6. Norwegian
  7. Lufthansa
  8. Eurowings
  9. EasyJet
  10. KLM
  11. Tap Portugal
  12. Flybe
  13. Tui Airways
  14. Wizz Air
  15. British Airways
  16. Vueling Airlines
  17. Ryanair

Long-haul airlines (best to worst)

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Emirates
  4. Virgin Atlantic
  5. KLM
  6. Air Transat
  7. Thai Airways
  8. Delta Airlines
  9. Tui Airways
  10. Qantas
  11. United Airlines
  12. Air Canada
  13. Etihad Airways
  14. British Airways
  15. American Airlines