Travel Counsellors, Hays Travel and Jet2 ranked among the top five travel brands for customer service amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey from MoneySavingExpert.com.
The consumer advice site received more than 27,000 responses (collected from 1-11 May) to its questionnaire asking customers for their rating, feedback and experiences of dealing with different travel companies.
Brands were then ranked by subtracting the percentage who had a poor experience from those who had a great experience with the company.
Of the 53 brands which MoneySavingExpert received more than 100 responses, homeworking giant Travel Counsellors came top with a net score of +91%.
This was followed by Hays Travel with +70%, Airbnb with +56% and Jet2holidays with a score of +54%.
In its case studies, one Travel Counsellors customer told MoneySavingExpert: “They were always one step ahead in getting things sorted for us. Totally hassle-free and very much appreciated."
Another said: "I was contacted as soon as my flights were cancelled and kept in the loop at all times."
Hays Travel was similarly praised, one of its customers said: "Hays Travel was fantastic. Full cash refund offered before I even asked for it. Booking included Ryanair flights, so I had expected a problem. Really feel Hays Travel looked after me. Will book with them again."
Of the brands that scored less favourably, Travel Trolley and TravelUp collected net scores of -95%, with Teletext Holidays at -94%. Ryanair produced a rating of -82% and Tui -60%.
MoneySavingExpert said it would be sending “a full, detailed report of travel firm behaviour” to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis, said: "This is a tough time for the travel industry. It’s one of the sectors worst hit by coronavirus, but it’s a tough time for the public too, many of whom are also in dire straits. And they’ve been strident in telling us that they’ll remember how firms dealt with them during this time – good and bad.
"People aren’t just judging on whether firms failed to give a refund – though that plays a big part. Many poor ratings are also about difficulties in getting in touch, being given the run around, and terrible management of expectations – such as Ryanair sending vouchers to those who’d specifically requested cash refunds.
"People shouldn’t be annoyed with firms offering to move bookings or offering vouchers as refunds. Indeed I’d encourage those who don’t need the cash to take them, especially from firms with solid financials, as it’ll help keep the industry going and keep people in work.
“Yet when people are entitled to monetary refunds, to make them sit on phones on hold for hours, often getting cut off to get it, when vouchers are available at the click of a button leaves people feeling rightly riled.
"Sadly, out of the 53 companies rated, only 17 were net positive. But that means they should get even louder plaudits for trying to do it right. They’re struggling, but are protecting customers too, and the likelihood is when this is all over, they’ll come out stronger and with more brand loyalty because of it."