SERVICE QUALITY IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT: COMPARISON BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AND LOW-COST AIRLINES
The purpose of this study is to examine service quality and customer satisfaction in tourism management from the customer’s perspective, and also to explore how perceived service quality affects customer satisfaction and loyalty-related behavior towards airlines, and whether the factors affecting service quality, customer satisfaction, and loyalty differ between full-service and low-cost airlines. A critical review of the related literature reveals that the airline industry has been struggling with many challenges: cutting costs, managing fluctuating demand, keeping up with tight quality requirements while trying to maintain superior services and satisfy the needs of various customer groups. The data has been collected through questionnaires based on the previous research. 89 surveys have been completed by the passengers who traveled by air in the previous three months. Traditional airlines’ passengers have significantly higher perceived service quality and customer satisfaction. However, there is no significant difference in loyalty-related behavior. Overall, service quality has a significant influence on customer satisfaction for both traditional and low-cost airlines. However, the effect of service quality on behavioral intentions is only significant for traditional airlines. The results suggest that management of traditional and low-cost airlines should maintain service quality as it affects customer satisfaction.
Aksoy, S., Atilgan, E. & Akinci, S. (2003). Airline services marketing by domestic and foreign firms: Differences from the customers’ viewpoint. Journal of Air Transport Management, 9, 343–351.
Atalik, Ö. & Özel, E. (2007). Passenger expectations and factors affecting their choice of low cost carriers: Pegasus Airlines. In: Proceedings of the Northeast Business & Economics Association. Central Connecticut University.
Banfe, C. F. (1992). Airline management. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Dabholkar, P. A., Shepherd, C. D. & Thorpe, D. I. (2000). A comprehensive framework for service quality: An investigation of critical conceptual and measurement issues through a longitudinal study. Journal of Retailing, 76(2), 139–173.
Gilbert, D. & Wong, R. K. C. (2003). Passenger expectations and airline services: A Hong Kong based study. Tourism Management, 24, 519–532.
Graham, B. & Vowels, T. M. (2006). Carriers within carriers: A strategic response to low-cost airline competition. Transport Reviews, 26(1), 105–126.
Hair, J., Anderson, R., Tatham, R. & Black, W. (1998). Multivariate data analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hoffman, K. D. & Bateson, J. E. G. (2002). Essentials of services marketing: Concepts, strategies, and cases. Fort Worth, TX.
Lovelock, C. H. & Weinberg, C. B. (1993). Marketing challenges: Cases & exercises. New York: McGraw.
International College Suan Sunandha
Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand