Flight delays and cancellations are a common occurrence when travelling - and the airlines that are worst at handling these issues have now been revealed.
Consumer group Which? looked at what happened to passengers after more than 2,500 experiences of delays and cancellations, finding that the stress of delayed or cancelled travel plans was frequently made worse by poor customer service.
Unavailable and unhelpful staff
Although there are customers rights in place to help when there are problems with flights, passengers said they had trouble getting them enforced.
Almost half of the time (44 per cent of cases), passengers said that there were no staff available to help them.
Those who did manage to get in touch with someone said that the people they contacted were unhelpful 20 per cent of the time, and only one person in four (27 per cent) said that they were satisfied with the way their complaint was handled.
Lowest levels of satisfaction with outcome of complaint
Which? reports that the lowest level of satisfaction was recorded by BA passengers, with only one in seven passengers (15 per cent) satisfied with the outcome of their complaint.
In contrast, three-quarters (75 per cent) were left dissatisfied.
This was higher than the number of disappointed travellers with Ryanair, which was 63 per cent and easyJet, which was 49 per cent.
Unable to find staff
Ryanair customers were the least likely to be able to find a member of staff to help them, with six out of 10 (61 per cent) passengers with the Irish airline saying they found themselves in this position.
However, British Airways passengers who were affected by disruption were able to find a member of staff at the airport in (69 per cent) seven in ten cases.
Which? found that in general, when airline staff were on hand to help with inquiries, they were generally helpful.
Passengers said that staff were helpful in 80 per cent of cases overall.
BA customers reported helpful airline staff in four out of five (82 per cent) occasions, but 18 per cent of passengers told Which? that the airline’s staff was not helpful.
Just over half (58 per cent) of Ryanair customers who managed to find a member of staff said that they were helpful, but two in five (42 per cent ) found them to be unhelpful.
Norwegian Air and Jet2 staff were both revealed to be the most helpful overall (92 per cent).
Which? Travel’s Naomi Leach, said: “Our research shows that it’s not just the usual suspects who are letting their customers down with poor customer service – even British Airways is falling well short in dealing with complaints when flights are delayed or cancelled.
“With the potential for widespread disruption to summer holiday travel plans in the coming weeks, airlines must ensure they have the staff and resources to deal sensitively with passengers hit by delayed or cancelled flights.”
This article was originally published on our sister site, Edinburgh Evening News.