British Airways has been ranked among the worst airlines in a UK passenger satisfaction survey.

The airline’s customer score for long-haul flights was the joint third lowest out of 17 carriers analysed by consumer group Which?, at 59%.

It received just two stars out of five for boarding experience and value for money, and achieved three stars for the other six categories assessed.

For short-haul flights, British Airways’ score was 56%, which was the fifth lowest among 22 airlines.

The company said it was hit by “several factors outside of our control” in 2023, such as strikes by air traffic controllers.

The survey of Which? members was conducted in October last year and relates to more than 10,000 flights.

Customer scores were based on overall satisfaction and the likelihood to recommend.

The best airlines for long and short-haul flights were Singapore Airlines (83%) and (81%) respectively.

At the other end of the scale, the worst performers in the long-haul ranking were Lufthansa (56%), Air Canada (58%), American Airlines (59%) and British Airways.

Wizz Air (44%) was ranked bottom for short-haul flights for the second year in a row.

A Wizz Air plane at Luton Airport
Wizz Air was ranked bottom for short-haul flights (PA)

It was followed by Ryanair (47%), Iberia (49%) and Vueling (53%).

Which? said the standard of service experienced by passengers last year often “fell well short of the mark”, with many people struggling to get support when needed.

The sight of passengers being “abandoned” in airport terminals when flights are delayed or cancelled “has become all too common”, it added.

UK air fares reached record highs in 2023.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “Air fares have soared in recent years, and the bare minimum passengers should expect in return for their hard-earned cash is a reliable service, with friendly, easy to access customer support when they are let down.

“While the likes of Jet2 continue to excel in this regard, our survey shows that passengers of many airlines are sadly being shortchanged – with high rates of last minute cancellations, abysmal customer service and sneaky extra fees for luggage hiking up the final price.”

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We always work hard to get our customers to where they need to be on time.

“Like all airlines though, over the last year we’ve experienced several factors outside of our control that have had an adverse impact on our customers, such as adverse weather and air traffic control industrial action.

“We apologise to customers for any disruption they’ve faced during these challenging periods and again thank them for their understanding.”

Marion Geoffroy, UK managing director at Wizz Air, said: “We do not consider the findings of this report to be representative or the methodology used to be transparent.

“Sample sizes are completely different for every airline.

“Only 124 Wizz Air passengers were surveyed, while Which? spoke to several thousand people who had flown with some of our competitors.

“We conduct customer satisfaction surveys across our network, and hundreds of thousands of passengers have said they are satisfied with the service we provide.”