Top Ten Airlines: With the great holiday getaway now on, which airline will get yours off to a flyin

Irish rivals ranked almost first and last in latest Which? Holiday airline satisfaction survey . . . Aer Lingus scores high, Ryanair lags

If you’ve ever had a great, or awful, flight, this month’s Which? Magazine airline satisfaction survey makes interesting reading. Carriers were rated in various categories, including cleanliness, leg room, food and beverages, inflight entertainment, dealing with delays, value for money and the increasingly controversial “baggage allowance” category.


Top of the short-haul league comes Swiss, ranked highest of all for its clean planes, punctuality and customer service, while Ireland’s Aer Lingus, famous for its friendly cabin crew and good, old-fashioned service, is the runner-up. Irish rival Ryanair trailed far behind, pipped for last place by Thomas Cook Airlines while the UK’s national but not currently favourite airline British Airways made the 11th spot.

Devon and Cornwall-based Flybe got to eighth place beating a number of leading European carriers making it the highest-rated British-owned carrier.

In the battle of the no-frills giants, EasyJet fared better than Ryanair, scoring more points for cleanliness, checked bag allowance and dealing with delays.


In the long-haul division British Airways was again ranked 11th (out of 17 long distance carriers). Air New Zealand came out top, followed by Singapore Airlines and Emirates. BA’s rival Virgin Atlantic scored somewhat better in 7th place than British Airways but, as with the short-haul category, Britain’s airlines made a mediocre showing compared to other international airlines.

Rochelle Turner, Head of Research for Which? Holiday, said: ‘Flying with a good-quality airline, such as Swiss or Air New Zealand, can really make a difference to your holiday. No one wants their trip abroad to start in a cramped or dirty plane.”

The top ten listings were:

Top 10 Short-haul Airlines


Aer Lingus

Air Malta


Cyprus Airlines


SAS Scandinavian


TAP Air Portugal


Top 10 Long-Haul Airlines

Air New Zealand



Thai Airways

Cathay Pacific


Virgin Atlantic


Air Canada


For the full results and category scores, see

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