Wizz Air has been named the worst short-haul airline by UK passengers. A survey by consumer group Which? gave the budget carrier one star out of five for seat comfort, boarding experience and cabin environment.
No more than two stars were given in any of the remaining categories such as cleanliness and value for money. The survey also revealed that the airline’s seat pitch, or the difference between two rows in standard economy, was just 28 inches - two inches smaller than that of rival Ryanair.
Wizz Air, which is based in Hungary, operates short-haul flights from eight UK airports including Gatwick, Luton, Edinburgh and Birmingham. The airline’s overall customer score of just 48% put it at the bottom of the ranking in the survey - below Ryanair (52%), Eurowing (53%) and British Airways (56%).
Jet2.com had the highest score (80%), ahead of Turkish Airlines (78%). In December, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had “significant concerns” about Wizz Air’s “unacceptable” behaviour as its passengers were far more likely to make escalated complaints than those of other airlines.
The regulator also found that the airline was delaying paying money owed to passengers. Travel editor of Which?, Rory Boland, said: “Travellers have had a torrid time in recent years, with last-minute delays and cancellations an unacceptably common occurrence.
“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 survey asked 8,046 UK adults about their experience of flying over the previous two years. Customer scores for airlines were calculated from a combination of travellers’ overall satisfaction as well as their likelihood to recommend.
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.”