Our worst-performing airlines named

Making ground. Tigerair Australia saw a big drop in complaints in 2015. Picture: Supplied

TIGERAIR has once again scored the dubious honour of being the most complained about airline in Australia — but in a silver lining for the low-cost carrier, its overall performance was much improved.

The annual Airline Customer Advocate report, released today, showed Qantas and Regional Express (Rex) attracted the least number of complaints at a rate of less than 0.2 per 100,000 passengers.

Star performer. REX — or Regional Express airline had very few complaints made about it to the Airline Customer Advocate. Picture: News Corp Australia

Star performer. REX — or Regional Express airline had very few complaints made about it to the Airline Customer Advocate. Picture: News Corp AustraliaSource:News Limited

Virgin Australia ranked third and Jetstar fourth with Tigerair again in fifth place.

Throughout 2015, 1204 complaints were received — up six per cent on the previous year — but still a fraction of the 70 million passengers carried by domestic airlines.

Refund requests accounted for 28 per cent of the complaints, followed by flight delays and cancellations (25 per cent), fees or charges (11 per cent) and baggage services (10 per cent).

Loyalty programs were the subject of a mere five per cent of gripes.

Qantas carried the most passengers in Australia and recorded a minuscule number of complaints. Picture: Darren Powell

Qantas carried the most passengers in Australia and recorded a minuscule number of complaints. Picture: Darren PowellSource:Supplied

The advocate was able to finalise 1128 complaints in an average of 16.2 calendar days, on behalf of airlines who jointly fund the independent dispute resolution scheme.

Tigerair saw its complaint rate fall from 4.71 per 100,000 to 1.56 in regards to refunds, and from 2.28 to 1.48 in relation to flight delays or cancellations.

Solid performers. The vast majority of passengers who flew with Virgin Australia and Jetstar last year found nothing to complain about. Picture: John Grainger

Solid performers. The vast majority of passengers who flew with Virgin Australia and Jetstar last year found nothing to complain about. Picture: John GraingerSource:News Corp Australia

Head of Communication for the airline, Vanessa Regan, said the number of complaints equated to 0.005 per cent of all Tigerair Australia passengers.

“This is extremely low compared with many other industry sectors,” said Ms Regan.

She said year on year, complaints had decreased by 36 per cent and were down 45 per cent since 2013.

Much improved. Tigerair Australia recorded a big fall in complaints in 2015 at the same time as increasing passenger numbers. Picture: Supplied

Much improved. Tigerair Australia recorded a big fall in complaints in 2015 at the same time as increasing passenger numbers. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“The significant decrease in complaints comes as Tigerair has strengthened its operational performance and customer service including significant improvements in Tigerair’s on-time performance and reliability,” Ms Regan said.

“In 2015, Tigerair had the best on-time performance of the major domestic low cost carriers as well as the lowest cancellation rates of all major domestic airlines.”

The report said 93.16 per cent of customers agreed or strongly agreed they were treated fairly by the Advocate, and 89.31 per cent believed the Advocate was independent in all its interactions.

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