by Penny Walker, The Telegraph, May 7, 2018
Easyjet has been named the best-value short-haul airline in the UK, seven places ahead of British Airways.
The ranking by flight comparison website Skyscanner was created by comparing the fares and associated costs of 20 of the most popular carriers that operate in the UK, including in-flight food and drink, seat reservations and luggage fees.
Ryanair, the Irish carrier renowned for its low fares, boasted the lowest ticket costs of all the airlines, with an average fare of £90.67, but was priced out of the top 10 thanks to its "baggage charges and on-board catering costs", Skyscanner said.
"It's important to note that if baggage charges and on-board catering aren't important to travellers then Ryanair might be the one for them," the flight comparison website said.
Easyjet, however, shot to the top of the table with both the second cheapest average fare (£121.52) and cheaper additional charges.
British Airways, the UK flag carrier, ranked in joint eighth place with Flybe and Air France, behind some of its legacy carrier rivals, including KLM and Lufthansa.
Last month, TripAdvisor named Jet2 the best airline in the UK in its annual Travellers Choice Awards. Skyscanner, however, found it to be just the seventh best value airline flying to or from the UK.
BA's slump into eighth place comes after a similar fall from the grace in the rankings of the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, when it fell from first to 13th place, failing to feature in the top ten short-haul airlines, according to the votes of 90,000 Telegraph Travel readers.
Last December, BA were also shunted to the third from bottom of the table in an annual ranking of short-haul airlines by consumer champions Which?.
John Ritchie, Skyscanner’s senior growth manager, said: “When booking flights travellers can often be confused by what is deemed to be a bargain and what isn’t. It’s very easy for a traveller to book a great flight deal only to realise that the extra costs for baggage and seat reservations have taken them over budget.”
Mr Ritchie explained that, while different travellers have different requirements – such as checked luggage and pre-selected seats – there are plenty who want the extras, but perhaps don’t always add up the additional costs when purchasing their flight.
He hopes that this report will provide travellers with a more holistic insight when it comes to booking their next European trip.
He added: “We have included all our research on our site, breaking-down where each airline ranks for the things that matter, i.e. flight price, seat allocation and hold baggage charges and on-board catering. We hope this will allow travellers the chance to weigh up which airline might be the best value one for them.”