Holiday firms Jet2holidays and Kuoni have come out joint first in a survey of beach and resort package providers, while eDreams languished at the bottom.
Consumer group Which? said the level of customer service offered by companies made the difference in where they ended up in its annual ratings.
Both Jet2holidays and Kuoni had a customer score of 84% and were awarded Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status, with the consumer group saying this marker gives customers peace of mind when booking.
They had an almost-perfect run of five-star ratings, with Jet2 slipping to four stars on accommodation, and Kuoni – the most expensive provider in the survey – losing one star for value for money.
In comparison, online travel agency eDreams scored 64% overall, getting just two stars from respondents on how well the description of the holidays offered match the reality.
Although Which? said it was the cheapest provider in the survey, eDreams only managed to rack up three stars for value for money.
The consumer group said Tui, as one of the largest providers in the UK to offer a combination of online and high street sales, fell down on customer service.
Overall it came 10 percentage points behind Jet2holidays despite serving a similar number of travellers in the survey and having the same average price per night for short haul stays, Which? said.
The consumer organisation said one traveller had remarked that they had experienced “rude and ignorant” cabin crew while another described the “long-winded and frustrating” experience of trying to make contact with customer service agents through an app.
Among the positive experiences was one satisfied customer who said that “everything was very slick, good communication and lovely staff”.
Jo Rhodes, deputy editor of Which? Travel, said: “After an incredibly disruptive few years for travellers, our survey found good customer service puts the best companies ahead of the pack. With some respondents complaining that their providers were difficult to get hold of when things went wrong, Jet2holidays and Kuoni distinguished themselves by offering travellers support every step of the way.
“Next year, those booking with Which? Recommended Providers will have peace of mind that the price they are quoted is the price they will pay, as these firms have all committed to not levying surcharges if confronted with rising costs.”
Responding to the survey, a spokesperson for eDreams said it would not be accurate to compare them to other companies which specialise in a “more traditional package holiday offering” rather than their “‘dynamic packages’, which are bespoke combinations that package flights and hotels only”.
They added that they “take great care to provide accurate descriptions of the accommodation options available through our platforms” and are “incredibly proud of the customer service we provide to our 17 million global customers”.
A Tui spokesperson said: “As a multi-award winning – and the UK’s largest travel company – this tiny survey isn’t at all reflective of the feedback we receive from our customers who enjoy holidaying with us every year.”
Which? said it had surveyed 8,361 adults online in September about their experiences between September 2019 and September 2022.