Wizz Air hits back at Which? over ‘worst airline’ ranking

Wizz Air has entered a war of words with Which? after the consumer champion rated it as the worst short-haul airline operating from the UK last year.

The budget carrier fared the worst overall, marking its second consecutive year at the bottom of Which?’s survey with a “paltry” customer score of 44%.

Which? said that almost half (46%) of those surveyed who flew with Wizz Air reported issues with their flight, with delays “a particularly common issue”.

Ryanair came close behind Wizz Air with a customer score of just 47% .

IAG carriers Iberia, Vueling and British Airways completed the bottom five for short-haul, with customer scores of 49%, 53% and 56% respectively.

Jet2 took top spot among short-haul airlines in the survey for the third consecutive year with a customer score of 81%.

Jet2 also had among the lowest rate of last-minute cancellations, with just 0.5% cancelled at short notice, according to CAA data.

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Air fares have soared in recent years, and the bare minimum passengers should expect in return for their hard-earned cash is a reliable service, with friendly, easy to access customer support when they are let down

“While the likes of Jet2 continue to excel in this regard, our survey shows that passengers of many airlines are sadly being shortchanged – with high rates of last minute cancellations, abysmal customer service and sneaky extra fees for luggage hiking up the final price.”

But Wizz Air, which flew 12.2 million UK passengers in the last year, hit back by questioning the size of the poll.

The airline argued that Which? surveyed just 124 Wizz Air customers – only 1.15% of the total sample size – but spoke to significantly more from other airlines. 

The sample from Which? represented less than 0.001% of the airline’s customer base, it added.

Wizz Air UK managing director Marion Geoffroy said: “We do not consider the findings of this report to be representative or the methodology used to be transparent. 

“Sample sizes are completely different for every airline – only 124 Wizz Air passengers were surveyed, while Which? spoke to several thousand people who had flown with some of our competitors. 

“Wizz Air UK flew 12.2 million passengers in the last year alone, and the sample from Which? has surveyed less than 0.001% of our customer base. 

“The results are most certainly not what we are hearing from our customer surveys. It is unclear how Which? can come to these conclusions when only 1.15% of their respondents said they flew with Wizz Air.

She added: “We have been honest about our performance in summer 2022, which was not up to our standards, and that is why we invested more than £90 million to rectify this. 

“We completed 99.23% of our flights in the period covering October 2022-September 2023, and in the last fiscal year, our on-time performance was better than all but one of our major competitors. 

“Over the same fiscal period, we saw a 67.4% reduction in the number of cancellations and more than 90% of refunds and claims were processed within five days. This is some of the strongest data across the whole industry.

“We conduct customer satisfaction surveys across our network and hundreds of thousands of passengers have said they are satisfied with the service we provide. 

“Our results show our customer satisfaction has improved year-on-year and is significantly higher than this report suggests. 

“Wizz Air’s brand consideration is higher than our main UK competitor and the Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that Wizz Air is fully complying with its commitments to customers following the deed of undertaking signed last year.  

“We are proud of this progress and are confident that the public’s perception will become more reflective of our current performance, which is among the best in the UK.”

A BA spokesperson said: “We always work hard to get our customers to where they need to be on time. Like all airlines though, over the last year we’ve experienced several factors outside of our control that have had an adverse impact on our customers, such as adverse weather and air traffic control industrial action. We apologise to customers for any disruption they’ve faced during these challenging periods and again thank them for their understanding.”


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