The UK’s main charter airlines have performed poorly in a popularity poll conducted by consumer Watchdog Which? Holiday.

Thomas Cook Airlines came bottom of the survey of members, with Monarch and Thomson Airways also in the bottom four.

The Thomas Cook carrier scored an overall satisfaction level of just 37% with Ryanair performing only slightly better, with a score of 43%.

Monarch scored 45% and Thomson Airways 46%.

Swiss was rated as the best short-haul airline with a score of 72%.

Travellers were impressed by the carrier’s cabin staff, baggage allowances and value for money.

Aer Lingus came a close second in the list of 18 airlines, followed by Air Malta. British Airways was 11th, just behind Bmi in the online survey of 5,745 Which? members.

Flybe was rated as the top UK airline, but still only managed to make it into eighth place in the poll with an overall satisfaction score of 62%.

Charter airlines also performed badly in the long haul sector with Thomas Cook Airlines third from bottom and Thomson Airways fourth from bottom.

South African Airways was the least popular long haul carrier with a score of 37%.

Air New Zealand (86%) and Singapore Airlines (85%) were ranked top with travellers impressing with their cleanliness, food and drinks and in-flight entertainment.

Emirates was in third place, with Virgin Atlantic seventh and BA down in 11th place out of 17.

Which? also condemned credit cards fees charged by airlines.

“We checked the online booking processes of the 11 most flown-with airlines in our survey and found that most required passengers to click through five or six pages of introduction and options (such as baggage, seat choice and so on) before a total cost inclusive of card fees was displayed,” Which? said.

Which? Holiday head of research Rochelle Turner said: “Flying with a good quality airline, such as Swiss or Air New Zealand, can really make a difference to your holiday.

“Our rigorous research shows that while the cost of flights is important to customers, it’s things like friendly cabin staff and reasonable luggage allowances that leave a lasting impression.”