British Airways has been ranked second lowest in a new airline survey undertaken by consumer charity Which?, leaving it just above low-cost carrier Ryanair in the ratings.
The flag carrier was among the worst rated for food, seat comfort and value for money on both short and long-haul services in the annual poll.
BA questioned the accuracy of the survey, which is based on 6,500 readers’ opinions rather than comprehensive data, and found the best short-haul airline to be Aurigny Air, a small Channel Islands turboprop operator.
However, the results will make for further unwelcome reading for BA, the formerly self-proclaimed “world’s favourite airline”, which celebrated a centenary this year.
In the short-haul table, BA only beat Vueling, which is also part of International Airlines Group, and Ryanair, which once again came last.
On long haul, only American Airlines – BA’s code-share partner on transatlantic routes – fared worse.
BA topped the short-haul category in the Which? survey in 2015, but has since downgraded its onboard food offering. Meanwhile, IT failures and power outages that resulted in mass cancellations, as well as data breaches and the recently resolved pilots’ dispute, have battered its reputation.
A BA spokesman said: “Our own data shows customer satisfaction scores have increased, and continue to increase, as we deliver our £6.5bn investment for customers on new aircraft, new food, new lounges and new technology.
“We offer our customers a choice of cabins on all our flights, lounges for business class customers, free food for all long-haul flights and business class for short haul, and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers the most extensive network by any UK airline.”
Ryanair did not respond to requests for comment but has previously described the survey as “totally unrepresentative and worthless”. Passengers rated the airline rock bottom in all categories, apart from value for money.
On American Airlines, Which? said responses were summed up by one passenger’s assessment: “The cabin was scruffy, the staff rude, the food awful.”
Short-haul passengers praised Jet2, especially for customer service, while easyJet also scored well. Singapore Airlines won in the long-haul category. Which? said the results of its survey showed passengers with a choice should opt for Jet2 on short-haul routes and Virgin Atlantic for transatlantic flights.