Which? Airline for Short Haul?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The media are fixated by best and worst lists, top 10 lists and anything that seems to imply a rating. Some are just the works of individuals, some have research behind them and some are people adding their thoughts to a website. And if one person says this destination is the best thing since sliced bread do you believe them?
In their July issue Which? have published the results of their survey into short-haul airline routes based on what their members think. As CD-Traveller has written before, the readers of Which? are not the most representative of average Britons. They tend to be up-market, and not very young. Having said that, the research is well conducted and they do tell you how many responders there are to each of the key questions so you can make your own judgement on the results.
Measuring airline satisfaction, their readers believe that Swiss narrowly wins over Aer Lingus as the best airline for short-haul travel. This is calculated by taking the opinions across 8 different ratings; cabin staff, cleanliness, seating arrangements, leg room, cabin baggage allowance, checked bags allowance, value for money and how delays are handled. If you look at the individual ratings then jet 2 is the clear leader in satisfaction for dealing with delays. Satisfaction with the cabin crew was uniformly pretty good, unless you travelled with Ryanair. For leg room, Thomas Cook Airlines scored the worst, even over Ryanair.
Ryanair scores pretty well for value for money but even there it is beaten by Swiss.
And the worst? Thomas Cook Airlines gets that accolade with Ryanair not that far away. Beleaguered British Airways is about midway in the table just behind bmi. The survey was conducted in March which might explain why so few people had travelled on BA, just 671, which was when the strike issue was rearing its head there. The airline most used by the responders was easyJet. Over a fifth of all responders rated a flight with that airline. And maybe that’s the most interesting thing about the survey. Which? readers – some 60% of them-have become big users of no-frills or charter airlines..
There are some airlines missing from the survey perhaps due to a smaller number of responses because it would seem strange to omit them. There is nothing about Air France or its Cityjet brand. Iberia isn’t there nor is Alitalia or closer to home airlines like Aer Arann, Aurigny , Eastern, or Loganair.
And maybe Which? readers are becoming more representative than I thought they were.

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