Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair have come bottom of Which? magazine’s refund satisfaction survey, with “abysmally low scores”.
Both carriers’ customer satisfaction scores reached only 13% in a poll of 1,797 customers in September. Which? asked consumers about their experience of securing a refund after having a flight cancelled.
Among Virgin’s passengers, 84% were dissatisfied, with Ryanair’s customers 79% unhappy. Only 13% of both sets of passengers were satisfied with the treatment they received.
Questions on the refund issue replaced the magazine’s usual annual airlines survey. Only one in six (16%) Virgin customers were happy with their refund offer, compared with 26% of Ryanair passengers. The magazine said Virgin’s initial policy of issuing credit notes “was not well received”.
In both carriers’ cases, a third of respondents said they had waited more than three months for repayment. No Ryanair refunds were made within the legal limit of seven days and Virgin’s “unambitious” target of 120 days after cancellation was criticised by Which?
Jet2 came out top in the poll, with a 76% satisfaction score and 83% of those surveyed saying they received refunds within 28 days. Tui was second, with 57% satisfaction and British Airways behind it with 50%.
In response to Which?, Ryanair said: “All Ryanair passengers who have requested a refund since our offices reopened on 1 June have now received these refunds. There is no backlog of refunds.”
Virgin Atlantic apologised for the issues it had. A spokesperson added: “As planned, we completed the backlog of refunds in November and returned to processing refunds within normal timeframes.
“As soon as we identified any refunds over 120 days, they were escalated for review and immediate payment. These incidences were a very small proportion of the thousands of refunds successfully provided within the committed timeframe.”
A Virgin spokesperson told TTG: "It’s worth noting that Which? only surveyed 61 Virgin Atlantic customers and it was conducted four months ago. Since 1 March 2020, we’ve processed around £550 million worth of cash refunds comprising about 245,000 refund claims."