The Independent newspaper reports that easyJet and Thomas Cook have been named the world’s worst airlines in a controversial new 2019 ranking.
The two UK carriers came last out of 72 airlines, scoring just 5.29 and 5.26 out of 10 respectively.
Ryanair was also in the bottom five, ranking 68th with an overall score of 5.6.
The results were compiled by air travel compensation claims company Airhelp, which calculated each airline’s score based on: on-time performance (how many flights take off and land within 15 minutes of the scheduled time); service quality (scored by more than 40,000 consumers around the world); and claim processing (how well airlines respond when things go wrong and passengers claim compensation).
An easyJet spokesperson told The Independent: “In 2018 more than 91 per cent of easyJet flights arrived within an hour of their scheduled time and we have a continuous focus on punctuality and customer care as we know it is important to our passengers.
“Over the course of the year ATC capacity and staff shortages were responsible for more than 75 per cent of all delays across Europe with 30 days of air traffic control strike action impacting customers – all outside of airlines’ control.
“Airhelp is a claims agency taking significant amounts of compensation from customers who could receive the entire amount by claiming with the airlines directly. We take our responsibilities under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 extremely seriously and always pay compensation when it is due.”
Trade body Airlines UK said: “This so-called report is highly misleading and self-serving. UK airlines operate in a highly competitive market place and need to provide good customer service to attract and keep passengers. They do not need lectures from ambulance chasing claims management companies.”
A Thomas Cook Airlines spokeswoman added: “This report lacks merit, and comes from a claims management company that profits from compensation that should belong to its customers. When customers come to us with flight delay claims, we pay promptly, directly and in full.”
Qatar Airways was crowned the best airline in the world by the report; the Qatari national carrier scored 8.23 out of 10, putting it firmly in the lead ahead of American Airlines and Aeromexico, which placed second and third.
Emirates came 10th overall, but had the highest score for service quality (8.9).
The highest scoring UK airline was Flybe. Although the beleaguered regional carrier suffered heavy losses and had to be financially rescued this year by a consortium including Virgin Atlantic, it was ranked 11th in the world, with an overall score of 7.75.
National carrier British Airways placed 23rd, scoring 7.54.