by Hugh Morris, travel news editor
Budget carrier Jet2 has beaten the likes of British Airways and Easyjet to be crowned the best airline in the UK.
The Leeds-based operator also won the title of top low-cost airline in Europe in the second annual TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards.
Virgin Atlantic was named the best major airline in Europe, and picked up the gong for best premium economy service.
British flag carrier BA and Easyjet were nowhere to be seen in the awards, which were determined by analysing the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings submitted to TripAdvisor over 12 months from February last year.
The travel review site also released a ranking of the top 10 best performing airlines around the world, with Singapore Airlines sitting atop the pile. Air New Zealand came second followed by Emirates, while Jet2 ranked seventh.
The world's 10 best airlines
Air New Zealand
The budget airline only launched in 2003, operating out of Leeds Bradford and selling itself as the carrier of the North. Since its first flight to Amsterdam, it has grown to serve 65 destinations, including the majority of European holiday hotspots, and carry seven million passengers a year.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2, said he was “extremely proud” of his airline’s placing and that it shows the carrier is a "world class performer when it comes to delivering the best customer experience”.
Virgin Atlanic CEO Craig Kreeger said of his airline’s success: “To win these awards based on reviews from our customers is something we’re truly proud of. Everyone at Virgin Atlantic works so hard to give our customers the best experience possible.”
The only other British airline among the accolades was Thomson Airways, which was praised for its premium economy fare.
British Airways’ absence from the awards will come as little surprise after a year that has seen the carrier fall from grace in the eyes of travellers. The airline has been subject to criticism after it began charging for in-flight food on short-haul journeys.