Budget carrier easyJet has topped the charts in the latest biannual online reputation ratings index, while its big no-frills rival Ryanair was left trailing in last place.
The Kaizo Advocacy Index gave easyJet a score of 33% (against an airline average of 15%), which saw it claim first place from Virgin Atlantic (31%).
The long-haul carrier’s performance was said to have been impacted by customer complaints on social media, despite generating positive feedback on Twitter thanks to some product innovations.
EasyJet, meanwhile, was said to have benefitted from its trial of allocated seating and positive trading figures, taking it from fourth spot the last time the index was released.
Kaizo said a no-frills brand like easyJet can benefit disproportionately from a relatively small initiative due to the different expectation levels of customers.
British Airways held its third place with 23% having benefitted from being the official airline for the London Olympics while the airline it bought last month, BMI, was in fourth with a neutral 0% score.
Ryanair was the only airline to achieve a negative score (-6%) after stories such as it telling its cabin crew to lose weight and demanding strikes in France be outlawed were spread widely on Twitter.
The Kaizo Advocacy Index (KAI) is a measure of brands’ online reputation and ‘recommendability’.
It focuses on major brands including the airline, supermarket, cereal, cameras and PC manufacturing sectors.
Kaizo says the index ranks a brand based on how consumers and businesses assess brands online, looking at what they actually find when they search through Google and other social media.
Rhodri Harries, managing director of Kaizo, said: “This study reflects what a consumer actually sees when they search as opposed to how much coverage there is out there, so is a powerful reflector of likely impact of online and social coverage.
“Those brands that score well are those which combine creative campaigns with empathy with customers, and have a consistent dialogue through all earned media.”