Consumers have rated Ryanair the worst brands in the UK for customer service in a survey, labelling the airline ‘sneaky, greedy and arrogant’.

Research by consumer group Which? ranked 100 popular brands in Britain in terms of how respondents rated their customer service, and Ryanair passengers reported “feeling undervalued by unhelpful staff and miserable complaints handling”.

The carrier received a customer service score of 45 per cent overall in the survey of 4,000 people. Respondents also gave the airline the lowest ranking of one star for three categories – how the company makes them feel, how helpful and knowledgeable its staff are and how well it handles complaints, for which half of those surveyed gave it the lowest score.

Presented with a choice of words to describe Ryanair, the majority of passengers picked out ‘greedy’, ‘sneaky’ and ‘arrogant’. Which? said one customer even replied: “Ryanair seems to make things deliberately difficult in order to make more money out of [its] customers.”

The survey results come after a difficult 18 months for Ryanair, with staff strikes forcing cancellations and flights affected by a shortage of air traffic control staff across Europe. The carrier is operating a full schedule from UK airports today despite a pilot strike.

Ryanair has in the past refused to pay compensation for internal staff strikes despite legal action by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, claiming the walk-outs should be considered extraordinary circumstances because they were instigated by union members employed by other airlines.

Other airlines included in the survey did not seem to do much better in the survey. British Airways received an overall score of 66 per cent for customer service, putting it in 83rd place out of 100. Easyjet was the highest-ranking carrier in the research at 68 per cent.

Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine, commented: “While it’s good to see some familiar everyday brands flying the flag for great customer service, people spend a lot of money with their utility providers and on flights, so it’s disappointing to see some woeful performance across the board in those sectors.”

Read more about the Which? survey here

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