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Airline service quality
Exploratory analysis of consumer perceptions and operational performance in the USA and EU
University of Limerick, Kemmy Business School, Limerick, Ireland, and
Dawna L. Rhoades and Blaise Waguespack Jr
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Business, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine consumer perceptions of airline quality indicators and compare them to actual data reported by the Department of Transportation, in the USA and the Association of European Airlines (AEA) in the EU. The objective is to determine whether there is a discrepancy between reported performance metrics of service quality and consumer perception. Design/methodology/approach – This paper compares actual reported data on service quality with results of an exploratory questionnaire on the perceived frequency of service failures in three key areas of airline service quality; on time ﬂight arrivals, baggage reports and ﬂight cancellations. Similarities and differences both within and between the USA and EU markets are discussed. Findings – Preliminary ﬁndings indicate that actual consumer perceptions of airline performance on key areas of airline service quality are in fact far worse than the data reported in the US Air Travel Consumer Report or AEA Consumer Report. Consumer perceptions fail to come close to many of the service standards the industry is actually reaching. The only exception to this can be seen in the EU where the perceived and actual scores are virtually the same for on time arrivals. It’s also interesting to note that the EU perception scores are generally higher than those of the US sample, indicating a marginally more positive disposition towards the industry. Originality/value – This paper represents a exploratory attempt to integrate...