The 10 Worst Airlines In The World According To Fodor’s Travel

by SharonKurheg

Fodor’s Travel guides have been around for a long time – about 80 years or so.

Founder Eugene Fodor loved to travel, but felt the guidebooks of his time were boring. He also discovered they would quickly become outdated in the everchanging world of the early-to-mid 20th century. So he decided to write his own.

His first travel guide, On the Continent—The Entertaining Travel Annual, was intended to help visitors to Europe. It was published in 1936.

Besides the hotels and attractions that other travel guides listed, the book also gave practical advice, such as advice about tipping, as well as information about the local people and culture. The book, along with those that followed (there have been over 440 of them), were (and are) updated annually.

Eugene Fodor passed away in 1991 but his travel guides, both in book and web form, live on. So yeah, they know a lot about travel.

Fodor’s recently published a list of the 10 worst airlines in the world. They used a survey published by Bounce, worldwide luggage storage company. They gathered a list of the most popular international airlines, and ranked them based on punctuality, maximum free baggage allowance, staff service, meals, inflight entertainment, seat comfort and number of complaints the DOT received about each airline from January to June, 2021.

Everyone always writes about the best of everything. These are the worst. The bottom of the barrel. The 10 worst airlines in the world:

10. Gol Airlines

GolAirlines actually only received 16 complaints, which wasn’t bad at all (even ANA, which ranked #1 of the best airlines, had 34 complaints). But Gol, which is based in Brazil, only had 2s and 3s (out of 5) for staff service, meals and seat comfort. It probably could have cracked the worst 15 instead of the worst 10, but they got a 1 for inflight entertainment (IFE) – because they don’t offer any.

9. TAP

Headquartered in Lisbon, TAP Air Portugal is the state owned flagship carrier of Portugal. They’ve been a member of the Star Alliance since 2005 and operate about 2,500 flights a week to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. They also had (are you sitting down?) a whopping 1,530 complaints during the 6 months of the study! That was the most of any airline. They also had scores of 3s for staff service, meals and seat comfort, and a 2 for IFE.

8. Ukraine International Airlines

I feel badly about including them, because of all the problems Ukraine has right now. But when the study was being done, they weren’t at war, so…

Anyway, the flagship carrier of Ukraine, as well as the largest carrier in the country, ranked the 8th worst airline. They had 33 complaints and ranked 3 for staff service, 2 for meals, 2 for seat comfort and only 1 for IFE.

7. EasyJet

EasyJet is owned by EasyGroup, which is registered in the Cayman Islands but operates out of London. The airline is so disliked that there’s even a Facebook group for people who have complaints about them. 😉

EasyJet charges for carry ons and has no IFE. It got a 3 out of 3 for everything else. Hence its rating as #7.

6. Vueling Airlines

Vueling is a low-cost airline based at El Prat de Llobregat in Greater Barcelona with hubs at Barcelona–El Prat Airport, Paris-Orly Airport in Paris, France and Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy. It’s the largest airline in Spain.

Vueling started off well, with only had 20 complaints during the 6 months of the study. However they only managed to grab ratings of 2 out of 5 for staff service, meals and seat comfort, and a measly 1 out of 5 for IFE.

5. Interjet

Mexican airline Interjet had already been in financial trouble when they ceased all international operations in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. It stopped its domestic operations in December, 2020 and declared commercial bankruptcy in March, 2021. I guess they were still on the radar in early 2021, when the study was conducted.

Anyway, like Vueling Airlines, Interjet scored 2 out of 5 for staff service, meals and seat comfort, and 1 out of 5 for IFE. But the had 490 complaints to the DOT, undoubtedly due to lack of refunds.

4. Ryanair

Who’s surprised that Ryanair made the list? Anyone? Bueller? I mean, as an airline that once got a complaint letter like this one, my only shock is that it “only” got the #4 position LOLOL.

Anyway, this ultra low-coast airline, based out of Ireland, only got 3 complaints (prolly would’ve gotten more, if they used complaint trackers out of Europe) but has no IFE and no baggage allowance.

3. Volaris

Like Interjet, Volaris is based out of Mexico. Unlike Interjet, it hasn’t declared bankruptcy yet ;-). The ultra low-cost airline has actually been awarded for being one of the most punctual airlines in Mexico. On the other hand, it got straight 2s in the study, except for a 1 for IFE.

2. Viva Aerobus

Another Mexican airline, Viva Aerobus is a low-cost airline that was founded in 2006.

Unfortunately, they earned scores of 1 across the board, save for staff service, which earned them a 2 out of 5. They had 27 complaints against them from January to June 1021, as per the DOT.

1. Viva

The “winner” (well, loser) of the worst airlines in the world survey was Viva, from, you guessed it, Columbia.

Fun Fact #1! Viva has gone through not one, not two, but THREE name changes since it was founded in 2009. Originally known as “Viva Colombia,” they changed their name to “Viva Air” in 2017. It changed yet again, to just “Viva,” in June 2021.

Fun Fact #2! Viva is the most recent airline to participate in the TSA PreCheck program.

Anyway, this low cost airline, founded in 2009, got 1s across the board. WTG, Viva Air Columbia!

Feature Photo: Pixabay

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1 comment

AlohaDaveKennedy March 18, 2022 - 9:59 pm

Used TAP and UIA over the years with no issues. Worst flight service I ever received was a nightmare of delays on Delta out of L.A..


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