Airlines vote results
We wanted to find out exactly what you think about the airlines you travel with, so last month we asked you to take part in our online vote on the airline industry. The results flew in with nearly 25,000 of you taking part. We sent your answers to market research people ComRes for analysis and here are the results.
We discovered that our viewers are a loyal bunch with 70 per cent of respondents telling us that they'll usually try and fly with a particular airline. However, our results showed that your flights aren't always plane (sic) sailing. More than a third of our voters told us that they'd experienced such extreme problems when flying that it would put them off flying with that airline ever again.
It may not be surprising in the current economic climate, but 38 per cent of respondents said that price was the single most important factor when choosing an airline. We spoke to Simon Calder, The Independent's travel editor, who told us: "We're very, very price sensitive, partly because the economy is getting tougher and partly because, ultimately, it's not the flying experience that counts, it's what you do when you get there."
We asked our voters to tell us, of all the airlines they'd flown with, who their favourites were. Given the importance of price to our respondents the results were surprising. Two airlines accounted for a third of all votes and neither is considered to be at the budget end of the airline spectrum. Virgin Atlantic came second with 15 per cent of our vote, but over a thousand votes ahead - with 19 per cent of respondents listing them as their favourite airline - is British Airways. Almost half of the people that voted for BA chose them for their customer service and on-board facilities.
But it isn't all good news for BA. We also asked our voters which airlines they'd never travel with again and coming in second - with 9 per cent of the vote - was British Airways again. However, there was clear air between BA and our voters' least favourite airline; Ryanair who won the unwelcome accolade of being the airline you voted you'd never want to travel with again, with more than double BA's votes.
Get what you pay for
So why did our voters name Ryanair the airline they'd never fly with again? The 38 per cent of people who didn't like them blamed the on-board comfort and facilities. Another 14 per cent said the airline's customer service let it down. But are we asking too much of Europe's largest budget airline? Simon Calder believes that you get what you pay for: "If you're paying less to fly somewhere than it costs you to park at the airport, well guess what? You're not going to get Champagne all the way."
BA told us that it is proud of its global reputation for customer service and frequently conducts it own research to find out what its customers think. It claims that it has significantly improved their punctuality and the numbers of delayed baggage returns and that it is seeing this reflected in their customers' satisfaction. The company urge any customers who have been disappointed with their services in the past to fly with them again and see the difference.