Wizz Air has been named the worst short-haul airline by UK passengers.
passengers surveyed by consumer group Which? gave the Hungary-based carrier one star out of five for boarding experience, cabin environment and seat comfort.
The budget airline’s seat pitch – the difference between two rows in standard economy – is 28 inches, some two inches smaller than rival Ryanair.
No more than two stars were awarded in any of the remaining categories, including value for money and cleanliness.
Wizz Air operates short-haul flights from eight UK airports including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton.
The airline’s overall customer score of 48% put it at the bottom of the ranking, below Ryanair (52%), Eurowings (53%) and British Airways (56%).
In December, the Civil Aviation Authority said it has “significant concerns” about Wizz Air’s “unacceptable” behavior as its passengers were far more likely to make escalated complaints than those of other carriers.
The regulator also found that the airline was delaying paying money owed to passengers.
Jet2.com had the highest score (80%) in the Which? research, ahead of Turkish Airlines (78%).
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Travellers have had a torrid time in recent years, with last-minute delays and cancellations an unacceptably common occurrence.
“While airlines like Jet2.com have distinguished themselves by offering flyers excellent customer care and a reliable service, too many of their competitors continually fail to measure up.
“If alternative carriers are available for your route, avoid Wizz Air, as its poor record on customer care means you’re likely to be left high and dry in the event your flight is delayed or cancelled.”
Which? surveyed 8,046 UK adults in October 2022 about their experiences of flying in the previous two years.
Customer scores for airlines were calculated from a combination of travellers’ overall satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend.
A Wizz Air spokesman said: “At Wizz Air, we do everything possible to ensure that passengers reach their destination on time and with minimal delay.
“Wizz Air operates a fleet of brand new, state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft, with an average age of 4.6 years, which offer passengers comfort, space and modern interiors.
“The A321neo features the widest single-aisle cabin configuration with 239 18-inch-wide seats.
“Every aircraft is cleaned after each flight and deep cleaned every night.”
A British Airways spokesman said: “We don’t feel this small survey, conducted during one of the most challenging periods in global aviation, accurately represents the views of the tens of millions of customers who’ve chosen to fly with us over the same period.
“While we don’t claim to get everything right every time, we continue to be recognized for the service we offer.
“Our customers tell us they appreciate being able to choose from a range of cabins, flying to and from central airports at convenient times of the day, plus our investment in new aircraft, new seating, wifi, new menus, the complimentary snacks and water we offer in our short-haul economy cabin, and the most generous hand baggage allowance of any UK airline.”
Ryanair and Eurowings did not provide a response.