Consumers rate British Airways and Virgin Atlantic neck and neck as the most influential travel brands, according to exclusive research for Travel Weekly.
BA came out on top in a survey of 500 UK adults, with 52% rating it the most-influential name in travel. But Virgin Atlantic was close behind on 49%.
Only Thomas Cook among other travel brands came close to the carriers with 30%.
The study, by Explore Research, asked 500 respondents to name the most-influential brands in travel from a list of 14 including Ryanair, easyJet,Thomson, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Hilton, Lastminute and others. Consumers were asked to select up to three.
Almost half the selections were for BA, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook.
Of the remainder, Tripadvisor came out on top with 21%. EasyJet was just behind on 20% and Abta sixth with 17%, ahead of many well-known brands including Ryanair.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has spent two decades criticising and refusing to work with travel agents so it is ironic that Abta, formerly the Association of British Travel Agents, is considered to trump the carrier for influence.
The survey results contain a number of other surprises:
Booking.com (4%) was rated below Hilton (9%)
Female respondents rated Tripadvisor more highly than male
Male respondents rated Ryanair more highly than female
Older respondents (55+) rated Ryanair twice as highly as younger (18-34)
Younger respondents rated Hilton twice as highly as Booking.com
Better off respondents (ABC1s) rated Ryanair much more highly than those less well off, as they did Tripadvisor
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