Airlines

Low-cost carriers rank amongst top 10 worst brands for customer anger

Two international airlines have ranked amongst the top 10 for brands that elicit the most emotional language in a new study of Trustpilot reviews.

Online language learning platform Preply analysed brands on the review website to find out which elicit the most critical language from their customers.

Low-cost carriers Wizz Air and Vueling Airlines were ranked within the top 10 brands that provoke emotional language.

Wizz Air was placed at eighth, whilst Vueling was given the nineth spot. They were branded the airlines that garner the most complaints by Preply.

Amongst Preply’s category for ‘Well-known brands that elicit emotional language’, Turkish Airlines ranked nineteenth, whilst Qatar Airways ranked twentieth.

Matt Zajechowski, who authored the report, told ARGS: “Wizz Air has over 1,400 reviews and an overall rating of 1.3 stars. With Wizz Air, the most common complaints were not receiving adequate compensation or refunds after extended periods of time and having a multitude of hidden fees, including a check-in fee at the airport.

“There were also several instances in which passengers complained of the company delaying flights for five or more hours, but not giving any compensation. Customer service was the single biggest complaint, with passengers even calling the customer service practices ‘diabolical’.

“Vueling has over 6,300 reviews and the same 1.3-star rating. The most common complaints were hidden fees, lost luggage and extended delays with no form of compensation,” he continued.

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“‘Scam’, ‘Late’ and ‘Delayed’ were three of the most common adversarial descriptors for the airline. Staffing was among the most common complaints, with consumers stating the staff were rude or unprofessional.

Zajechowski added: “Even with the cheaper airlines, many consumers have become frustrated with hidden fees and unprofessional service. In reviews for all the low-cost airlines cited in the study, consumers acknowledge how even though the airlines market themselves as low-cost to consumers, there ends up being a greater cost both financially and time-wise for passengers.”

His comments come as the UK’s consumer watchdog Which? Travel continues its campaign for a clampdown on these practices. It says this urgently needs legislative reform.

Which? is calling on the government to give the UK Civil Aviation Authority more powers to fine airlines found to have flouted the rules – such as charging for ‘hidden fees’ – or broken the law.

The term ‘hidden fees’ refers to the practice used by airlines to charge passengers more at checkout than originally advertised, for extras such as additional baggage, reserving a seat – or even checking-in.

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, told ARGS: “Wizz Air has an abysmal record, so it is not surprising to see its position in this analysis. It was named the UK’s worst short haul airline in our annual survey this year amid a raft of complaints about shoddy customer service, and is currently subject to enforcement action from the CAA for failing to pay customers money they are owed.

“More widely, drip pricing is a practice Which? has found to be a big problem, including in the travel industry, with some airlines hitting passengers with add on charges for basic extras, such as reserving seats.

“These fees can be added late into the buying process, making it more likely that consumers will accept them and making it harder to compare prices. To help consumers make informed choices, all mandatory charges must be included in the upfront price and firms must make clear any extra optional fees at the start of the process.”

ARGS approached both airlines for comment. 

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