The UK’s worst short-haul airline has been named, with customers criticising its smaller seats and lack of value for money and cleanliness.
Wizz Air was given just one star out of five for its boarding experience, cabin environment and seat comfort in a survey of thousands of customers.
The budget airline’s seat pitch – the difference between two rows in standard economy – is 28 inches, some two inches smaller than rival Ryanair.
No more than two stars were awarded to Wizz Air in any of the remaining categories of the Which? survey, including value for money and cleanliness.
Wizz Air operates short-haul flights from eight UK airports including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton.
The airline’s overall customer score of 48% put it at the bottom of the Which? rankings – below Ryanair (52%), Eurowings (53%) and British Airways (56%).
Jet2.com had the highest score (80%) in the research, ahead of Turkish Airlines (78%).
Which? – the not-for-profit consumer advice organisation – surveyed 8,046 UK adults in October 2022 about their air travel experiences in the previous two years.
It warned customers to avoid the airlines offering customers a poor experience.
Travel editor Rory Boland said: “While airlines like Jet2.com have distinguished themselves by offering flyers excellent customer care and a reliable service, too many of their competitors continually fail to measure up.
“If alternative carriers are available for your route, avoid Wizz Air, as its poor record on customer care means you’re likely to be left high and dry in the event your flight is delayed or cancelled.”
The Civil Aviation Authority said it had “significant concerns” about Wizz Air’s “unacceptable” behaviour in December. The airline’s passengers are more likely to escalate serious complaints than those travelling with other carriers, it said.
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A Wizz Air spokesman said: “At Wizz Air, we do everything possible to ensure that passengers reach their destination on time and with minimal delay.
“Wizz Air operates a fleet of brand new, state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft, with an average age of 4.6 years, which offer passengers comfort, space and modern interiors.
“The A321neo features the widest single-aisle cabin configuration with 239 18-inch-wide seats.
“Every aircraft is cleaned after each flight and deep cleaned every night.”
Meanwhile, British Airways said it did not feel the “small” Which? survey, “conducted during one of the most challenging periods in global aviation, accurately represents the views of the tens of millions of customers who’ve chosen to fly with us”.
“While we don’t claim to get everything right every time, we continue to be recognised for the service we offer,” a spokesperson said.
“Our customers tell us they appreciate being able to choose from a range of cabins, flying to and from central airports at convenient times of the day, plus our investment in new aircraft, new seating, WiFi, new menus, the complimentary snacks and water we offer in our short-haul economy cabin, and the most generous hand baggage allowance of any UK airline.”
Ryanair and Eurowings did not provide a response in time for publication.
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