Ryanair has been named as the filthiest flight operator in the UK by passengers, according to a Which survey.
Having surveyed 7,901 people who had taken 12,459 flights between them, more than half rated the level of hygiene in Ryanair plane cabins negatively.
Of the 42 airlines surveyed, 81 per cent of passengers on average found that cleanliness was at a good level, but for Ryanair it was just 42 per cent.
A quarter of customers were “unhappy” with the poor levels of hygiene on the Irish budget airline.
A Which investigator used an ultraviolet light to examine a Ryanair plane cabin and found “greasy tray tables, soiled headrests and dusty window sills”.
It also showed up stains that could be seen by the naked eye.
Rory Boland, Which Travel editor, said: “Faster and faster turnarounds are one thing but it is unacceptable for some airlines to be cutting corners when it comes to cleaning out their cabins properly – no matter how cheap the airline ticket.
“There are steps you can take; either choose your next flight on an airline that has a good track record for cleanliness or equip yourself with some antibacterial wipes.
“If you are flying Ryanair though, a biohazard suit might be more appropriate.”
Ryanair was not the only airline to be criticised for having dirty cabins, but it was significantly worse than its rivals, the survey revealed.
How other airlines compared
WizzAir received positive feedback from 62 per cent of passengers, while major budget airline rival Easyjet had 68 per cent of passengers rate the hygiene levels as “good”, “very good” or “excellent”.
Norwegian was the best of the the budget flights with 86 per cent, while British Airways was also viewed well with 78 per cent pleased with the airline’s cleanliness.
That was still someway off the best airlines, however, with Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines receiving positive feedback from 97 and 96 per cent of customers respectively.
Emirates and Qatar Airways had 95 per cent of passengers rate hygiene positively and Cathay Pacific and Swiss had 94 per cent.
Which advise passengers travelling on Ryanair or any of the other particularly dirty airlines to protect themselves by washing hands before eating, using a hand sanitiser gel and to avoid touching your face while on board.