Friday Poll – which budget airline is the worst?

August 14th, 2009 20 Comments By Paul Smith

Every day you pour out the contents of that swill bucket you call a mind, straight into the comments section of Bitterwallet. Every Friday from today, we’re going to sieve that swill, pick out the lumps and phlegmy viscera to determine what the collective brains of Bitterwallet readers really think.

Let’s kick off with an easy one – budget airlines. On Tuesday we reported on Sky Marshall O’Leary’s plans to expand Ryanair’s operations at Leeds-Bradford Airport, introducing 13 new routes to add to the four existing destinations served. Then yesterday we noticed the extreme knee-jerk reaction from Jet2.com, who clearly didn’t know about the announcement until it happened. Their website is now swathed in claims about the outrageous charges levied by “other airlines” while failing to point out any of their own wallet-raiding techniques.

Plenty of you provided a list of reasons why Jet2 is worse than Ryanair, while others had nothing more to say on the matter other than Ryanair is a lot of old balls. So which is it? And what about the likes of easyJet? So for Friday, vote with your fingers and decide the fate of the big 3 budget airlines:


Any comments, informed reasoning or wild accusations, stick them below as usual.

Comments (20) Jump to most recent comment
  1. No BabyBMI, et al?

  2. Yeah, that is odd. I would say Jet2.com is one of the best, v good service, there are extra charges, but at least they are up front about them and they are all ‘optional’ unlike ryanair, and Easyjet are pretty good as well. I would say BMI baby are annoying, the prices they quote on the search site are ALWAYS without taxes and charges, which i’m sure if against the law now!

  3. Posted by The Real Bob August 14, 2009 at 11:10 am

    BMI Baby are the worst company I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with, so I’ll abstain thanks.

  4. I didn’t stick BMI Baby in there, because they’re never on our radar – we rarely get any comments about their service, we’ve never had an email as far as I know, and they rarely make the headlines like the others. We’ll know for next time!

  5. Posted by Business Commuter August 14, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I spent 9 months doing a weekly commute to Amsterdam with easyJet from Liverpool. Have to say the service was better than with KLM or bmi baby (both flying from Manchester, which is closer to home).

    easyJet fares are quoted including one piece of hold baggage – which you can remove, bringing price down.

    Biggest annoyance with easyJet is the hard-sell on in-flight scratch cards by the oompah-loompahs (stewardesses with enough fake tan to mke there skin as orange as their uniform!)

    On the other hand, a vote on worst UK airport would be interesting – Liverpool gets my vote: customs staff trained by the stazi on customer relations, a £3 tax to ensure you get your flight (“Fast Lane” through security), grotty smelly carpets, portacabins for departure gates…..

  6. Posted by jm August 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    you missed BA, ok they may not be budget but their service is as bad as(if not worse than) those on your list..sorry OT vote cast

  7. Posted by The Real Bob August 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I’d agree with the Easyjet comment, when I fly on business I choose Easyjet over BA, especially if it means I avoid the travesty that is Terminal 5.

  8. Posted by Inactive August 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I use Easyjet, I avoid BMIBaby, they have gone rapidly downhill, I have used Ryanair, they were OKish.

    Easyjet seem to have the fairest charging structure.

    Not used Jet2, not available at my local airport.

  9. I reckon most of the budget airlines are fine – with the exception of Ryanair as they quote prices for flights which are simply NOT true – on their latest offers of £5 flights they still add the (£8) online check-in charge – so how exactly is that an optional cost? – no check-in = no flight … it is misleading – plain and simple…. of course the irony is I’d be much happier if it said £13 flights and didn’t add the charge !!!!

  10. Posted by Andrew August 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Rob: Ryanair don’t charge for check-in on their promotional (advertised) fares. I just checked this on a £5 flight STN-AHO in October and it offered free online check-in (N.B. £5, not £8 otherwise). Don’t get me wrong, I have issues with some of their fees – the payment handling charge in particular – but it’s simply untrue to say that you can’t get the fiver flights for a fiver.

  11. Posted by Christopher August 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    You know, I’d vote, but I’m somewhat disturbed by the consequences of pressing a button titled “Finger Me” :\

  12. Posted by Linz August 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I know Ryanair are a favourite to bash around here, but allow me to make a comparison between them and another company I use as sparingly as possible.

    Through Ryanair’s flight sale last month, I have managed to book flights for two people to Dublin for a grand total of £3.98.

    We’re going for three days, so don’t need any hold baggage, we can check in online for free and registered a virtual Visa Electron to avoid more charges. When we flew to Ireland with Ryanair before, we were 40 minutes in the air with no delays at either side. We politely refused to buy a drink on the way there from the smiley air hostess and they didn’t even have time to get to our seat on the journey home. I shall recap… £1.99 to and from Dublin, per person.

    Compare that to First Sheffield, our local bus company. I live approximately 2.5 miles from the city centre. The cost of this journey one-way is £2.10, or you can buy a DaySaver ticket for £4.00.

    For this, you get the privilege of waiting around the bus stop for nearly an hour because apparently, we live just at the other side of Sheffield’s Bermuda Bus Triangle, where buses that are supposed to turn up every ten minutes just magically disappear. If you are acknowledged by the bus driver at all, it is merely in grunts because they are either rude or don’t speak English. They seem to think that kerbs are there to bounce off. All the buses, no matter how new or old, stink of piss. They can’t run in the cold because Sheffield is too hilly and they might slip on the icy roads. As soon as it gets slightly warm, Sheffield is strewn with beeping, over-heating buses as they have to stop before every hill so they don’t catch fire. You complain, and First can’t even be bothered to spell your name right on the standard letter they send you, offering faux-apologies.

    So give me Ryanair any day, as I think for my two quid, I’m getting decent value. And if you want shit poor customer service, do not use the public transport in Sheffield!

  13. Posted by Linz August 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    “And if you want shit poor customer service, do not use the public transport in Sheffield!”

    Obviously, that sentence should read:

    “And if you want shit poor customer service, use the public transport in Sheffield!”

    I’ll blame the rise in blood pressure that thinking about First has caused!

  14. EasyJet may be budget airline but I have found their customer service to be one of the best.

    Virgin airlines biggest joke in the world, I have not found one nice member of staff with them – biggest bunch of c*nts ever.

  15. Posted by nik Khat August 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Ryanair easily the WORST. The funny thing is so far I have booked a number of times to fly with them but have yet to manage to get on a ‘plane. Once they disputed my mothers ID, which was easily accepted by Easy Jet so we flew with them at great expense. The next time they disputed the size of a carry on bag so again we had to buy tickets at great expense with BA to fly with, again no problems with the same bag!

    The last time, they actually cancelled the flight! no vouchers offered for meals or hotels so again…….yep I have at last I have learned my lesson and will NEVER attempt to fly with Ryan Air again!

  16. Pingback

    Jet2 forced to be more upfront about sneaky add-on charges | BitterWallet

  17. Posted by dave owen November 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

    bmibaby are easily the worst airline. with their ageing useless boeings, and their lying cheating staff, they should not be allowed to operate. crawford rix should be on rouge traders.

  18. Posted by James February 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Beware Jet2.com’s Terms & Conditions! We booked 4 flights from Edinburgh to Chambery, leaving first thing in the morning. £1,200 for the 4 of us.

    Shortly after booking, they changed the flights to evening flights, so now we miss our transfers. Can you be refunded? NO. They can change the time of the flight, & THE DESTINATION. Last year they changed the time & changed the flights from Chambery to Geneva. No refund.

    Clearly I’ve been stupid to use them again. Read their T&C if you can be bothered. But I would advise just not using them. They’re thieves.

  19. Posted by Ant April 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    My GCSE geography teacher travelled to Southern France on a field trip with Ryanair (aka the “Hoover Bag”) and they had a very bumpy ride on board. By the time I travelled with them in April 2006, my work experience trip mates had problems with luggage allowance on the return flight from Frankfurt Hahn to London Stansted, because the check in staff said they can only allow you to check in 15kg when the airline says 20kg maximum check in luggage!

  20. Posted by Jet2 Cheater!! June 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Jet2 Cheater!!

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