RYANAIR AND British Airways have been ranked as the worst short-haul airlines for pandemic flights and refunds in a new survey.
In October 2021 Which? conducted its first airlines survey to include flights during the pandemic, and also received passengers' ratings of their experiences when travel was disrupted.
The survey found that as a result of the pandemic, people were interested in which airlines refund you quickly or offer alternatives when needed, as well as customer service and the flying experience itself.
Ryanair passengers that were able to fly in the last two years gave it just two stars for cabin cleanliness, boarding and customer service and its overall customer score was 55%.
Those who had had a flight disrupted since March 2020 were less impressed, with just 47% being satisfied with the options offered by the airline in response to a flight they could not take.
Just 29% of those surveyed whose flights were disturbed said they were satisfied with the customer service received by Ryanair, with one in five saying it took more than three months to get a refund.
The airline also refused refunds for those who couldn't legally travel because they were in lockdown, Which? said.
Customers said they found it difficult to contact the airline to resolve issues, with both emails and phone calls going unanswered.
One person surveyed said the airline "seems to be proud of being difficult".
British Airways received 63% for both the overall customer score and the refund score, but was still second from bottom in the table.
Customers affected by schedule changes in 2021 report being on hold for hours only to be hung up on or passed between departments.
This led the airline to receive a score of 47% for customer service satisfaction.
Both airlines were investigated last year by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) because they refused refunds to customers who couldn’t fly because they were in lockdown, however the investigation was dropped due to a "lack of clarity in the law’", stating it couldn’t justify the expense of taking the case further.
The CMA did state that it "strongly believed" the airlines should have given these customers their money back.