Project Report

TITLE: Customer Satisfaction in Airline Industry United Kingdom (British Airways)

Sharad Ganjihal

Sharad Ganjihal

Abstract In service industries Customer satisfaction plays a very significant role. Several authors had believed that Customer satisfaction and service quality are inter-related. The purpose of this study mainly focuses on the customer satisfaction levels in Airline sector in context with British Airways Limited in United Kingdom. In order to determine the satisfaction levels of its customers in British Airways the author in this thesis work had adopted exploratory method of approach and adopted quantitative methodology to evaluate the existing relationship between the Customer satisfaction and service quality measurement in British Airways Limited. The author had gathered primary data in the form of conducting questionnaires and a survey of travellers flying through British Airways Limited and also relied on secondary data resources such as journals, books, articles for the purpose of the research study. Finally the researcher could establish his aims and objectives in Research findings by applying Paired Sample test in SPSS application and had concluded his work by mentioning existing limitations and future recommendations.

Sharad Ganjihal

Acknowledgement

I am grateful to Almighty for his kind blessings on me during my entire MBA programme.

The thesis work was undertaken by me under the guidance of my supervisor Dr. James Ogunleye. I would like to extend my heartiest thanks to Dr. James Ogunleye for his prominent guidance, invaluable inputs and feedbacks, timely support as well as steady encouragement all through the process of dissertation work.

I also would like to thank my professors for their enormous support during my MBA programme. I would like to thank my beloved parents, friends and colleagues for their assistance and kind words during my entire thesis study. Finally I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to my dear family for their uninterrupted support and concern.

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Contents

1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 12 1.1 Aims and Objectives .................................................................................................. 14

Literature Review .................................................................................................................... 15 2. Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 15 2.1 Customer Perceptions .................................................................................................... 16 2.2 Customer Satisfaction.................................................................................................... 17 2.3 Customer Satisfaction in Airlines Sector United Kingdom ........................................... 18 2.4 British Airways United Kingdom .................................................................................. 20 2.4.1 Customer Satisfaction at British Airlines ............................................................... 21 2.5 Service Quality .............................................................................................................. 22 2.5.1 Dimensions of Service Quality ............................................................................... 24 2.5.2 Determinants of Service Quality ............................................................................ 26 2.6 Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality Measurement in British Airways .............. 26 Methodology ........................................................................................................................... 28 3. Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 28 3.1 Research Purpose .......................................................................................................... 28 3.2 Research Design ............................................................................................................ 29 3.3 Data Collection .............................................................................................................. 30 3.4 Linking the Aims and Objectives of the Research work with the Methodologies ........ 33 3.5 Methods of Data collection and Analysis ...................................................................... 34 Research Findings ................................................................................................................... 35 4. Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 35 4.1 SPSS Application results with total values by T-Test (Paired Sample Statistics) ......... 35 Figure 1: Gender Wise Travel ............................................................................................. 36 Figure 2: Gender wise travellers Vs Customer Satisfaction ................................................ 37 Sharad Ganjihal

Figure 3: Age Group Wise Vs Total Passengers Travel & Satisfied Customers................. 38 Table 1: Age Group Wise Vs Total Passengers & Customer Satisfaction .......................... 39 Figure 4: Passengers Travel by Different Class Vs Customer Satisfaction......................... 40 Table 2: Passengers Travel by Different Class Vs Customer Satisfaction .......................... 41 Figure 5: How often Passengers Travel yearly Vs Customer Satisfaction .......................... 42 Table 3: How Often Passenger Travel Vs Customer Satisfaction ....................................... 43 Figure 6: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Age wise & Passengers satisfaction 45 Table 4: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Age wise & Passengers satisfaction . 47 Figure 7: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Class Travel..................................... 49 Figure 8: How often Passenger Travel Vs Gender Wise ..................................................... 50 Figure 9: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs Customer Satisfied ............................... 51 Table 5: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs Customer Satisfied ................................ 52 Figure 10: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel .............. 54 Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel .................. 54 Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel .................. 55 Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel.................. 55 Figure 11: Overall Quality of Service ................................................................................. 58 Table 7: Overall Quality of Service Vs Total Passengers Travelled ................................... 59 Figure 12: Overall Quality of Service Vs Gender ............................................................... 60 Table 8: Overall Quality of Service Vs Gender .................................................................. 61 Figure 13: Expected anything else form British Airways ................................................... 63 Figure 14: Suggest British Airways to Others ..................................................................... 64 5. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 68 6. Limitations of this Research Study...................................................................................... 69 7. Future Recommendations .................................................................................................... 69 References ................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Bibliography ................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.

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Appendix I ................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Appendix II.................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 15: The Kano model ..................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 16: Five key points of customer feedback.................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 16: Most Travelled seating class by UK Business travellers in 2007Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 16: Service Quality Ring .............................................. Error! Bookmark not defined. Figure 16: Operational improvements must support strengthened customer relations for airline. ...................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

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I. Background

Airline sector is one of the major developing sectors across the World. The sector contributes revenue to the nation and promotes tourism, foreign direct investment and trade across nations. British Airways group comprises of British Airways plc and several alliances with other companies namely in the article 13 and CBI (2009) British Asia Airways, Deutsche British Airways, British Airways Connect Ltd, and British Airways Holidays Ltd.

British Airways was initiated in the year 1924 widely known as Imperial airways, until year 1935, subsequent to its alliance with other medium-level air transport firms it thus emerged as a major firm popularly known as British Airways Limited. Above all in the year 1939, British airline was publicly owned to begin the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). By (Salamie and Selvaggi, 1995) consequently in the year 1974 British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA) both had amalgamated in the British Airways Board and was declared as British Airways Limited. “The World‟s most preferred Airlines” is the vision of the British airways. The company wants to accomplish its vision by rendering most excellent service to its passengers both on board and on the ground.

British Airways Limited is one of the most popular airlines in United Kingdom catering to the needs of both domestic and International customers. The airline offers its services in ninety four nations covering one hundred and forty nine destinations (article 13 and CBI 2006).

As per the records in the year 2004 to 2005, the airlines carried nearly 35 million passengers all over the world and more than 9 million tonnes of cargo. British Airlines workforce was approximately 47,500 during that period.

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II. Research Focus

The customer awareness as well as their happiness is the foremost primary factor influencing the passengers who travelled by British Airways, and the major strategy of the airline sector is to sustain its growth by providing excellent customer service and to maintain international standards in terms of service quality and thus strive to implement innovative measures to retain existing passengers and to attract new customers. Therefore it is very necessary for the British Airways management to analyse and understand what customer really wants and expects from the company and whether the firm is really able to reach up to the expectation of its passengers and also to analyse the significance of service quality, its dimensions and determinants as a tool for measuring the customer satisfaction in the service industry.

III. Research Aim and Objectives

The major purpose of this research work is to analyse and determine the customer satisfaction in the airline industry in context to British Airways Limited United Kingdom and in this process it is very vital to assess the link between the customer perceptions and expectations, as meeting customer demands is not a prerequisite but an essential in this competitive global market. Therefore in this course work the author strives to assess how the customer perceptions and expectations were measured from view point of passengers as well as the management and also to signify the role of service quality in providing the excellent customer satisfaction in airline industry.

IV. Aims and Objectives

  

The primary aim of this research is to examine the Customer satisfaction levels in Airline Sector in United Kingdom with reference to British Airways. To examine customer perceptions and customer expectations in Airline Industry with reference to British Airways. To understand and analyse the role of quality of service in affecting customer satisfaction in Airline Sector in context with British Airways.

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V. Layout of Dissertation Thesis

This dissertation has been divided into 6 chapters and the contents and motives of each chapter have been discussed below. This research work has been grouped into six divisions along with the summary of each section briefly explained.

Chapter 1: Introduction

In this preliminary section the author gathers sufficient data which emphasizes the awareness and expectation of the customer along with best service quality is the most fundamental point in all major airline sectors especially in British Airways. Customer relationship management has a positive impact on a firm‟s organizational performance and its output. The companies formulate resolutions to follow definite approach to remain aggressive. Therefore as part of thesis the writer will study about the various concepts in the airlines sector, particularly British Airways Limited. The author clearly defined various terms such as Customer satisfaction, customer perceptions, expectations and service quality. The motive of the research has been identified and above all the aims and objectives of the course work were clearly been addressed by the researcher.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

In this Section the author gathers vital information about customer satisfaction, customer perceptions and expectations and role of service quality in improving customer satisfaction. Further the researcher conducts an in-depth study by referring various books, journals, articles and magazines to understand the nature of airline industry and further narrow down his thesis on the British Airways Limited which is one of the most popular airlines in the United Kingdom catering its services to both domestic and International passengers across the World. Subsequently, the author also explores literature to re-examine the dimensions and determinants of service quality. Thus by conducting further research the author was able to analyse the levels of customer satisfaction and service quality measurement in British Airways Limited.

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Chapter 3: Research Methodology

In this segment the author will explain the purpose of this research work, the design of the coursework and the various data types and data collection methods. The author also conducted study in detail regarding Qualitative and Quantitative research methods. In this research work the author had adopted both quantitative and

qualitative research method for this thesis work. The quantitative method was applied by interviewing the passengers of British Airways on important airports in United Kingdom and Qualitative Research method was executed by conducting a broad research on British Airway‟s performance by referring the annual reports, periodicals and reviews. Furthermore, in this section the researcher discusses about the various data collection methods and highlights both its merits and demerits. In this research work, the researcher had adopted primary data which was collected in the form of questionnaires with a sample size of 190 was collated from the British Airways passengers and also explored academic journals, articles and books in the form of Secondary data to analyse and validate the aims and objectives of this research work.

Chapter 5: Discussion and Findings

In this section the researcher examines and analyses the data obtained from review of literature and research methodologies. This section is considered as significant as it assesses and validates the aims and objectives of this research study statistically by applying SPSS paired sample test.

This is an important chapter which delves to investigate the points emerging from literature and the objectives of this research. With conclusive evidence and with support of reliable data compiled in chapter 4 the author will analyze the degree to which customer expectations are met and what are strategies needs to implement to retain the customer by British Airways in the competitive market. Also, how far the two main objectives of the organizations that include expanding their strategic capabilities and reducing the competition are fulfilled through such cooperative strategies particularly the airlines and more specifically British Airways in today‟s business environment will be discussed. It will also explain the scope for further

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research. Even author used SPSS application to conclude with ANOVA Test and pared Sample Test.

Chapter 6: Conclusion and Reflection/Limitations

In this chapter the researcher concludes the aims and objectives of the thesis work moreover summarises and concludes the purpose of the research study conducting in various stages and also highlights the scope of further in-depth study as well as discusses the various limitations of the course work.

Sharad Ganjihal

1. Introduction

Aviation sector is one of the major industry sectors in United Kingdom. In a year around two hundred thirty five million passengers travel by Air. (www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/). In services, airline sector plays a predominant role. It promotes tourism, international investments and globalisation which contribute to the economic growth of a country.

British Airways is one of the popular airlines worldwide catering to the needs of both domestic and international passenger its operations are headquartered in London United Kingdom and spread across the World in 72nations covering 149 destinations. As per the recent studies in the year 2004/2005, British airways stood first in the airline industry in United Kingdom carrying over 35million passengers and roughly about 0.9 million tonnes of cargo (CBI, 2006).

Many researchers and analysts believed that customer beliefs and awareness play an important role in Service industry. It is also considered that Service quality is the fundamental aspect of strategic management and marketing for firms in service sector (Atilgan, et al., 2008). Customer satisfaction and reliability as a result of high quality, ensures long term growth and success (Atilgan, et al., 2008). If service sector has to carry on its growth it has to focus on offering excellent customer service and improve customer satisfaction by analysing their needs, understanding their perceptions and meeting them. Determining customer demands and observations in airline industry is really tricky as customer satisfaction is ascertained by several insubstantial aspects ambiance of the cabin, quality of food served in the flights to name a few.

Customer satisfaction is one of the foremost major processes in aviation industry and is established as most vital to the success of business competition. The terms customer satisfaction and service quality have been both explained as meeting the expectation of the service with that which is really experienced by the end user (Sureshchandar, 2010). As a result, when consumer‟s practices meet or exceed their expectations, the service is observed as a quality service and the recipients are usually satisfied customers. On the other hand, when the service experienced by

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customers is below than their expectations, the perception of service quality is affected and customers are usually not satisfied.

According to (Chen & Chang, 2005) in the airline sector, judging what passenger wants and imagine is necessary to deliver excellent customer service and quality and subsequently to analyse the firm‟s performance standards. Of late, Air travel industry has been in the news very often for various reasons. As per the recent studies conducted by several researchers, business analysts, media and top management in aviation sector it is understood that the potential expansion of airline industry is in risk (Bhatti and Qureshi, 2010). In order to stabilise and improve the growth of aviation sector it is understood that major focus should be laid on Customer satisfaction and Customer relationship management.

In recent times, Customer desires and outlook has changed. In the airline sector, assessing what customers really want is vital to render expected service quality. Hence it is very important for the top management in airline sector to evaluate the passenger requirements from customers view point and in several instances it is observed that they focus more on cost cuts which results in well-organized operations on the contrary it will have an undesirable effect on the satisfaction levels of the end user (Chen & Chang, 2005). The airline business must aim at satisfying the customer wants and providing high class customer service by Chitnis (2007). The primary motto of airline sector is to improve services which catch the attention of and keep passengers who are happy, faithful and provide good reviews of the airline (Chitnis, 2007).

Customer satisfaction has turn out to be an important goal in service operations as it brings good reputation to firms in airline sector (Ranaweera and Prabhu, 2003). Dennett and Colgate (2000) supported that as competition created by deregulation has become more intense, service quality in the airline industry has also received more attention. (Clemes et al. (2008) stated that in the airline companies especially meeting excellent level of quality of service became a promotion activity in the beginning of 1990‟s due to high end competition. In service sectors such as the airlines industry, the unique characteristics of services involve that top management realize what customer desires and expects, and meets them(Aksoy, et al., 2003).
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In today‟s global economy competition has become very severe. According to Hague (2011) several products and services are facing stiff rivalry from their opponents, while several organisations try to draw customer‟s attention by proposing price discounts and enhancing customer satisfaction. Of late, in today‟s global market, “Customer is treated as King”. The customer has become vital in making any novel product booming in the market. Customer perceptions of goods or services are generally assessed by the interests and preferences of the customers.

The concepts of Customer awareness and customer satisfaction are inter-related. If the goods or service produced by the organisation is up to the customer reach and expectations which results in customer happiness and he becomes more faithful to that specific goods or service Garchar (2010).

1.1 Aims and Objectives

  

The primary aim of this research is to study the Customer satisfaction levels in Airline Sector in United Kingdom with reference to British Airways. To examine customer perceptions and customer expectations in Airline Industry with reference to British Airways. To understand and analyse the role of quality of service affecting customer satisfaction in Airline Sector in the context to British Airways

Sharad Ganjihal

Literature Review

2. Introduction

Aviation sector plays crucial role in moving passengers or goods from one place to another either it may be domestic or international, due to economic globalisation and technical advancements, the airline industry is facing stiff competition. According to (Atilgan, et al., 2008) in the industry like airline, quality of service is significant because providing excellent quality of service to customers is necessary for the continued existence of the sector. Quality of service in airline industry is the focal point of satisfaction by travellers, traveller‟s loyalty, and traveller‟s choice of airline. Therefore, offering better service quality may deliver more customer satisfaction which will result in attracting more customers and increasing profits in business. Customer satisfaction is assessed to play a vital role in every business model especially in service industries such as tourism, hospitality and airlines. Parahoo (2006) said that high level of customer satisfaction will directly leads to high returns by reducing expenditure like marketing, and word-of-mouth. Several market researchers and business analysts argued that there exists a strong connection between customer satisfaction and customer perception (Singh 2006).

According to (Parahoo, 2006) it is clearly evident that customers who are happy and delighted will attract the new customers by word of mouth; this will impact on increase in sales, thus resulting in profits to the firm. Hence customer satisfaction proves to be an important aspect in airlines sector. Customer satisfaction derives from assessing customer perceptions and performance.

Excellent customer satisfaction may be anticipated to enhance the reliability of the customer, minimize price flexibility, protect market share from rivals, lesser transaction costs and advertising, and to enhance organisation‟s goodwill in the market place (Parahoo, 2006). In recent years, customer has wide range of goods or services available in the market thus leading to high expectations, on the contrary, in service sector in order to get improved results every company should give more weight to service quality and customer satisfaction. For that reason
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many authors argued that evaluating customer awareness and offering excellent customer satisfaction is critical for the progress of an organisation (Narasimhan, 2011).

2.1 Customer Perceptions

The choices made by the customers are mainly impacted by their awareness on a specific product or services, which bring in more customers and improving brand name and reducing marketing costs.

The optimistic result of customer choices and activities will result in making the customer happy and contended. Thus, it will lead to higher customer satisfaction. Recently, customer perceptions have become more important for achieving steady growth (Singh, 2006). Customer perceptions are extremely vital and by improving the positive link between the company and the customer, his notions about the organisation and its service delivery and products may vary and as the customer starts consuming the product more often, he will get more used to the product and once the customer is attached to that specific product of the firm, his observations will be more generalised and after some period, the same customer will bring in more customers to the firm (Giese and Cote, 2002). According to (Hague et al., 2011) it is important to categorize what exactly the consumer really wants and why he likes a specific firm‟s goods or service. The customer‟s wishes and desires will mainly be based on their life style, income and social status. The choices of the customer vary if there is a change in their earnings or standard of living. Hence it is very essential for every company to assess and understand how the customer anticipates their goods or service by (Grayson, 2001). By following this strategy, it will be easy to meet the customer perceptions with the co-ordination of several resources in the firm. The feedbacks and surveys conducted by the firms will be critical to gauge the customer emotions, needs and expectations by (Smith and Wagner, 2003) and further will assist in assessing the merits and demerits that are contributing to the firm‟s continual growth. Additionally, reviews will also help in understanding the annual earnings, life style, social status, and geographical location which direct the customer actions and mind-set.

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Of late, it is essential for the business groups to realize and concentrate on how other customers observe the product or brand in the market. Thus, the theory of customer perception and customer satisfaction are inter-related. Customer anticipations play a critical role in influencing customer satisfaction with services.

2.2 Customer Satisfaction

According to Dahlsten (2003) Customer satisfaction may be described as the notion which customers may encounter about the products or services of a specific brand or business firm when the customer expectations have been reached or surpassed the existence of that particular goods or service. As per (Kotler, 2003) satisfaction is an individual‟s feeling of pleasure or dissatisfaction obtained from comparing a good‟s possible outcome in contrast to the customer‟s demands. According to Siadat (2008) an organisation may increase it sales and customer‟s loyalty by offering excellent satisfaction by the customer. Therefore customer satisfaction has happened to be one of the focal point for all business especially those in service industry. According to Parahoo (2006) customer satisfaction is gauged to sustain existing customers and as a result, effectiveness and growth of business.

Benner (2009) argued that to maintain customer expectation and customer loyalty in order to gain higher long-term performance of the company, customer satisfaction is one of the important factors. Its certain that customer expectation meets the customer satisfaction, this will be the driving force to build the strong relationship between client and a company as per Russell (2007) also supported this will directly lead to more and more profitable to the organization. Parker and Mathews (2001) argued that there are two key analysis of satisfaction, Satisfaction itself a course of action as well as an end results.

Customer satisfaction is constantly the outcome of the observation processes. Customer satisfaction may be implied as a decision relied on the growing practice through a distinct goods or service relatively than a business event (Hossain, 2006). Customer satisfaction may be explained as an individual‟s complete assessment of the performance of a product or service till
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now. According to Mququ (2005) customer satisfaction as a post purchase thoughts framed through a rational evaluation of the quality that a customer expected to obtain from an exchange and the intensity of quality the customer notices actually receiving from the trade. To be specific it is the state of customer perceptions and expectations. As per (Parahoo, 2006) customer satisfaction is a fundamental factor in improving production process and end user relationship. The importance of customer satisfaction and its use for determining the quality from the customer‟s outlook have been highlighted by many researchers in airline industry (Berry, 2005).

Customer contentment is the emotion or outlook of a client towards a goods or service following it had been consumed. Customer happiness is the significant end result of endorsement activity, where it operates as a link between various levels of consumer purchasing activities. Customer satisfaction is the effect of the customer‟s awareness, assessment and emotional reaction to the spending experience with goods or service (Anthony, 2005). The hypothesis of customer satisfaction has fascinated the interest of intellectuals and research analysts for more than three decades in the occasion of the fact that clients are the foremost source of most organisations revenue. Savitz (2009) explained customer satisfaction as an result of obtain and use as a consequence from the purchasers‟ evaluation of the benefits and expenses of the purchase and utilize drawn from the buyers‟ assessment of the payments and expenditure of the acquisition relative to the probable end results. Many research studies were prevalent on consumer satisfaction and many analysts had conducted research on the evaluation of quality of service in airline sector. For the first time in the year 1986 Kearney was the first author who assessed service quality of airline business with the perspective of airline customers in his research study by Venkatesh and Nargundkar (2006).

2.3 Customer Satisfaction in Airlines Sector United Kingdom

Airline sector in United Kingdom (UK) is considered to be major industry. In the year 1988, the sector contributed £10.2 billion to GDP (CBI, 2006). The services offered by the industry are at par with the international standards catering to the needs of both domestic and international
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passengers. The airline sector is very significant to the United Kingdom‟s tourism as 1.8 million citizens in the country are engaged in this sector report by (CBI, 2006).

Satisfaction of a customer is a purpose of observed quality and notions of degree to which remarked quality unsuccessful to counterpart customer expectations. Customers will constantly evaluate the remarked performance of goods or service with little performance mark. Karma (2004) believed that Consumers will only be contented when the estimated performance is more than the target; conversely dissatisfaction happens when the performance is below the expectation. As per Rachel and Andy (2010), those customers are merely satisfied and they find it simple to shift when other firm is providing a better cost or package while the importance of customer satisfaction is highlighted in business where competition is severe by the Kotler (2000).

The primary objective of airline sector is to provide excellent service and competency. Rachel and Andy (2010) argued that excellent service is vital while the number of absolutely contented customers segment is an important factor as assessed by some analysts for high profits. A business organization must regularly gauge consumer satisfaction in order to analyse and identify whether clients were delighted or not. According to Torbica and Storh (2001), particularly in the airline sector the degree of customer happiness is plainly recognized off late in the process, whilst the majority of the customers spent the cash by now. When firms study on which characteristics of a service or products affect consumer satisfaction, their duty is to adapt their current strategies in a manner that would lead to utmost consumer contentment.

According to the literature, outstanding service is achieved through committed and loyal staff. To provide a reasonable level of service and quality, Rhoades (2008) stated that a firms approach should be focused in improving the skills and ensuring efficiency, motivation and commitment of the employees even supported by (Benner , 2009). As the personnel are vital to service delivery, there is a necessity to have employment protection, training and dispersed decision making. According to (Chitnis, 2007) Airline industry should assess and determine the demands of its passengers and their satisfaction levels. Satisfaction may be described as what the organisation provided to its customers and whether the company met the customer‟s demands
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(EUPAN, 2008). Airline sector may develop the scope of achievements if they allow its workforce to take individual responsibility and go an extra mile to make the customers happy and contended (Chitnis, 2007). Customer satisfaction is when the consumer is delighted with the service delivered by the airline sector that meets the client desires, wants and expects.

In this research, we examine thoroughly about the several segments of expectations. It is been observed that it costs five times as much to advertise and convince a new client as to retain the existing one. They should analyse the current market trends, customer preferences and should be innovative and flexible. Airline industry should focus on making customers happy and should allocate finances on providing excellent customer service.

2.4 British Airways United Kingdom

In United Kingdom British Airlines is the largest Airlines offering both domestic and International services and occupies fifth position Worldwide covering 550 destinations. The company employs 47000 workforce across the World out of which 85 percent of them was based in United Kingdom generating an annual income of £7.8 billion (www.britishairways.com). Caleo (2005) believed that “British Airways is popular across the World for their premier service and World class facilities, having been marked in various articles and feedbacks by airlines as well as passengers”.

Many believe that British airlines not only provide State of art facilities to its passengers but also maximises its efforts in providing excellent service by its personnel who are dedicated and committed (www.thetimes.co.uk). According to Caleo (2005) British airlines was started as Aircraft Transport and Travel in 1919 with its voyage from Le Bourget to Honslow in August 1919. After its alliance with few other airlines it was known as Imperial Airways operating with only eighteen crafts and two hundred fifty personnel. The British airways have progressed within a century and became major flight carrier in Great Britain (www.Britishairways.com). The British airlines was very popular not only for offering largest international flights but also for providing excellent facilities such as extensive leg room for passengers in economy class cabins,
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special lounges at par with International standards and excellent onboard catering services maintaining good hygiene. In addition to this, it offers many value added services for instance, valet services, online checking, travel advice, online personal bookings, British airways had introduced e-ticketing system wherein the passenger may provide an evidence for personal identification and may check-in without holding the air ticket physically. Of late, the company has introduced one of the excellent services through online mechanism, where flights may be altered up to thirty minutes prior to exit time Caleo (2005). Consequently, all of these excellent complimentary services work mutually with great customer service department attributed fame and glory to the prominent airlines British Airways.

2.4.1 Customer Satisfaction at British Airlines

In United Kingdom British Airways Limited are the most popular airlines as it offers Worldclass facilities and excellent customer service to its passengers and it‟s the most preferred airlines in United Kingdom. In the year 2008-2009 British airlines lay down the target to improve consumer experience, persist to improve business profits by making it cost effective, enhance its operations and make commercial accountability a major part of the trade. Many business analysts believed that high fuel costs and the economic slowdown has urged the British Airlines top management to alter the plans and amend the course of action. Yet, it strived to make considerable growth against primary objectives, leading to further success. In addition to this, the galleries lounges at Terminal 5 and 3 had a fabulous reception. They have received record scores of customer service at Terminal 5 due to their redesigned services related to luggage and punctuality. The Facilities for premium passengers has been renewed with the new club world goods in several flights. The British airways intend to offer the excellent connectivity to its passengers across the world. Apart from their long distance routes from London city to New York JFK and they are planning to widen their network of flights to Johannesburg, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The British Airways is believed to be the World‟s most excellent Airlines in the market and they have a strong base in London as the Heathrow airport provides world class facilities to both domestic and international passengers. By improving profitability ancillary
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services that provide passengers immense value and strengthen their brand image. Their motive is to develop their mileage business and increase revenues from outsourced engineering, in-flight sales, and through their company online website. On their website they have introduced a variety of great value restaurants and car hire options package with their aircraft.

The British airways have continued to rise inspire of severe competition in the airline industry. The airlines had initiated new destinations from London to Hyderabad and St.Kitts and in the year 2008 they launched open skies and auxiliary flying from Europe to North America and bought L‟avion in the year 2008 and in the year 2009 the first flight from city of London to New York JFK service was commenced.

2.5 Service Quality

In the early 1980s the significance of service quality in goods and services were completely understood by several companies. The term Service quality is a vital tool in gauging customer satisfaction. Quality of goods and services may be simply ascertained by customer on the other hand it is often believed that Service quality is much more complex. According to Lewis and Booms (1983), Service quality is an evaluation of how good the product or service offered by the firm matches customer anticipations. Offering excellent service quality means being conventional to customer expectations on a regular basis. To ensure excellent customer satisfaction every company should focus on rendering best customer service which may make the customer contented and cheerful. Therefore many authors believed that the concept of customer satisfaction if often associated with service quality (Rhoades, 2008). The word service quality may be cited as the focus on reaching the customer‟s desires and needs and how well the service provided is received by the customers. Berry and Zeithamal (2005) argued that concept of service quality has been associated to costs, effectiveness, better customer satisfaction, sustaining existing customers (Parahoo, 206).

The concept of Service Quality has been termed as a tool of customer satisfaction. Customer happiness is a feeling or mindset of a client towards a particular product or service after it is been
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consumed. A satisfied buyer helps in promotion of sales of goods, hence customer satisfaction acts as an inter-link between several stages of behaviour of prospective clients. For instance, a customer may repurchase a product if he is more satisfied with that. The brand or image of an organisation is often improved based on the number of satisfied customers because a satisfied customer may bring in new customers. Customer satisfaction may be measured by significant customer perceptions of service quality, fondness and prospects (Godwin and Petter, 2010). To be precise satisfaction or dissatisfaction is the difference between how a customer expects to be concerned and how he or she thinks being cared for. Ayob (2005) states service quality as “the level to which the service, the service procedure and the service establishment can meet the outlook of the user. Some popular definitions include “suitability to utilize” (Rhoades, 2008), or “one that pleases the customer” (Kandampully, 2008). Firm‟s produces goods and offer services to its customers such as space storage, distribution, product insurance, customer service and promotion. A production unit has both tangible and intangible aspects. Service quality has more intangible factors than produced goods. The term service quality may be distinctive as the focal point on meeting the customer‟s wants and desires, and how well the service delivered reaches the customers (Anthony, 2005). Service quality may be stated as customer perception of how better a service reaches or go beyond their expectations (Godwin and Petter, 2010). The service activities are really critical for the financial system to function and to improve the quality of our life. The author James Fitzsimmons defines service as “unpreserved, subtle experience carried out for a customer performing in the role of coproducer”. Services are often described as ideas and concepts; goods as products or commodities. Consumers experience physical products such as talcum powder and leather goods which is different than intangible service such as air travel. Buyers may physically experience the features of talcum powder and leather products whereas the services are generally subtle. Services are widely carried out openly for buyers. The study of Service Quality concept is more complex as it often deals with intangible and consumable elements. Every firm expect their Motivated and dedicated personnel to make their consumers happy by offering excellent service. This will result in bringing in new customers. Hence the need to identify and understand the

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distinctive nature of services, its function and impact of its services in our everyday life is very significant.

It is often argued that there exists ten determinants to gauge service quality but author Savitz (2009) classified these determinants into five. Firstly Reliability, this entails the stability in performance and fairness. In simple words, it may be described as acting as per the customer demands and delivering what is promised by the firm, for example, delivering services to the customer within the stipulated time. Secondly, Responsiveness means optimistic and enthusiastic personnel in the organisation ready to provide quick and prompt service to customers. If a passenger has a problem, how the customer service department staffs attend to his queries and take necessary action and resolve them with the turnaround time. Here in airline industry the ability to respond well to the customer is assessed. Thirdly Assurance, it implies that every organisation should try to attract the customer by its brand value/image; on the contrary it should win consumers by its honesty and creditability. Next determinant may be explained as Empathy meaning being polite, thoughtful and friendly to the clients. Every firm expects its workforce to give respect to its customers. In service industry especially in airline sector every company expects its staff to be soft-spoken, polite and courteous. Lastly Tangibles as it incorporates the proof of the service physically in terms of facilities, outer appearance of the staff, the tools and machinery used to render the service.

2.5.1 Dimensions of Service Quality

Customer satisfaction is also considered as the perceptions of services obtained by the customer. When customer expectations are surpassed, the quality of service is rated as excellent on the other way round then it will be rated as very poor. The bridge between actual services delivered and expected it can be stated as service quality. According to (Sureshchandar, 2010) service quality process may be divided into diverse aspects, Firstly, technological secondly practical or process quality.

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Sedatole (2003) believed that there exist three different aspects of service quality which affect customers awareness which may be studied as mentioned below: Firstly Technical quality, second one is known as Functional quality and last one is Outcome quality.

Technical quality attributes, firstly the staff should be very much efficient and systems or procedure should be simple and should provide excellent service to the client as per their expectations. In airline industry, this aspect plays a vital role as providing safety and excellent service to all the customers is important as this will be experienced directly and may be reviewed by the customer. Rhoades (2008) believes that technical quality is a fundamental but not a suitable provision for higher levels of service quality. Integrative quality deals with how the various divisions of the service delivery process function collectively. This is fundamental in airline sector as the passenger ought to have a better flight practice. The third feature is functional quality which may be determined by the process in which the service is rendered to the passengers. It may be used to create a cut-throat edge by concentrating on the personal traits of the service met.

According to (Sureshchandar, 2010) Service Quality is one of the major factors for any airlines sector. Providing superior service quality has been accepted as the best well-organized method to make sure that a firm's contributions are exclusively placed in a business consisted with similar reasonable contributions (Savitz, 2009). As per Narasimhan (2011) supported firms that carry out a customer focused approach based on quality of service vary typically from especially those firms that does noting, and it is clear that the previous organisations are generally more booming. In the airline sector, quality of service is vital as offering excellent service quality to customers is significant for airlines' existence. Airline quality of service is the main factor of customer satisfaction, consistency and passenger's preference of airline (Mazzeo, 2011). In the airline industry, undertaking studies on service quality is ample (Kandampully, 2008). The importance of different modes of assessing service quality series from standard service ratings by customers through in-flight reviews to assess appraisals, market revisions, grievance and feedback monitoring (Russell, 2007).

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2.5.2 Determinants of Service Quality

As studying the literature it is been understood that customers exercise similar criteria in gauging service quality in service industry. These measures falls fewer than 10 key groups branded as dimensions of service quality: 1.Consistency: It means steadiness in performance and reliability 2. Approachable: This may be explained as the eagerness and friendly nature of personnel to offer excellent service. 3. Competencies: Implies term of the requisite skills and information to carry out the service 4.Convenience: This represents convenience and affability 5.Consideration: This may be explained as the admiration, politeness, compassion and sociable nature of staff 6.Transparent: Indicate to communicate with passengers in language they can easily understand to attract diverse customers 7. Reliability: denotes integrity and loyalty 8. Safety: means free from risk, danger or threat 9. Know your customer: It‟s an attempt to identify with the needs and desires of the consumers 10. Tangible: It deals with the physical circumstances and image of the product or service. 2.6 Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality Measurement in British Airways

The significance of consumer satisfaction and service quality in airline sector is improving drastically as it is necessary for its survival in today‟s global economy. According to (Sedatole, 2003) quality of service delivered to the customer by any service oriented company is understand by the customer is feeling superiority or inferiority. Savitz (2009) stated that providing excellent quality in the service sector has been accepted as the major useful means of guarantying that a firm‟s contributions are outstandingly placed in market packed with similar one. Parahoo (2006) also explained that firms should be alerted about the service quality problems as these can decline the customer reliability by twenty percent. Grayson (2001) cited that the SERQUAL mechanism highlighted the bottom line of what service quality actually signifies, i.e. an assessment of service excellence by the end user.

British Airways is very popular in providing excellent customer satisfaction among the aviation sector across the World (www.BBC.com). It is the top rated airlines in United Kingdom. The Company conducts annual surveys interviewing about one million passengers every year,
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collates all the feedback received and understands and analyses the needs & desires of the consumers and drafts out action plan accordingly (www.britishairways.com). The business analysts will use this feedback of customer satisfaction to understand the customer‟s requirements and their preferences. After examining the reports thoroughly it may be understood that there exists a link between excellent customer service and firm‟s fiscal performance and these may be cited as the critical tools in measuring and improving company‟s profits.

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Methodology

3. Introduction

As per Saunders et al (2007) for every research work identifying and adopting a suitable method is very critical. Here the author arrives at absolute conclusions regarding the research layout, method, and objective of the thesis as well as key devices applied by him in the research study. A specific procedure of thesis shall be exercised widely to draw conclusions right through this section. This section may offer combination of different alternatives in support of every preference further the author intend to validate the reasons for the implementation of a specific method and design as the best alternative in this detailed research work and its goals.

3.1 Research Purpose

As per (Saunders et al, 2007) supported in educational research, study on methodology research principles are classified into three categories popularly known as Descriptive research thereafter exploratory research and finally explanatory research. The author (Golafshani, 2003) believed that a specific method of study may incorporate several fundamentals pursuing further preferred principle. Further towards understanding and adopting specific particular research purpose which is more suitable and apt to the objective of this course work it is vital to evaluate the each one of objectives of the study accurately. The descriptive research methodology may be described as the approach that targets at investigating and sorting the existing data about a specific incident (Sekaran, 2003). The Explanatory method contains a general revision of many resources required to ascertain facts about a topic that was studied in depth in the past, thus in-depth examination is necessary. Descriptive method may be obtained mainly in marketing research study (Malhotra, 2004). As per (Saunders et al, 2007), explanatory research, may be undertaken to have a better understanding of the link in the course of variables as well as the objectives of understanding the link between variable. Exploratory theory shall thus happen to offer thorough knowledge of various concepts which were never analysed by marketing researchers previously. Furthermore the author in this thesis work the researcher had adopted exploratory method of research
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approach of methodology and descriptive method of approach as the former to be considered to be highly appropriate to the researcher‟s aims and objectives thus understanding the philosophy of British airways and to determine the satisfaction levels of its passengers.

3.2 Research Design

According to Sekaran (2003) the concept of Research design may be little diverse as of research technique, because it explains fact-finding relatively beside the information gathering tools. According to (Saunders et al, 2007) there exists two different research designs one is inductive and other is deductive. As per (Saunders et al, 2007) highlighted a specific study into an issue that is new, thrilling, and on which there exists a literature, it may be apt to work inductively. As a result, the need to adopt an inductive mode of approach in the research study to assist in the presentation of concept out of information obtained to make further research simple. As per Ryan, (2006) on the other hand deductive approach begins with author selecting a prevalent assumption which was previously experimented via study of the information collated. Based on the particular method, the investigation layout may vary. Inductive analysis thus depends on the perceptions along with the developments from the experimental stage en-route for theoretical level, Zikmund (2003) while the deductive reasoning surfaces from the theoretical segment of a set hypothesis also later on evaluating the study based on the experimental stage.

Further author may as well opt towards executing quantitative or qualitative method of study. As per Hossain (2006) qualitative research, is understood as the best suitable alternative in support of this specific research work, applying explanatory method to the data collected as well as understanding the concept and the purpose of the course work delete itself. (Yin, 1993) moreover selection of qualitative approach need not necessarily in particular determine the relevant information gathering methodologies. The author explains a specific approach method does not mean delete specific outline information compiled that may be qualitative or quantitative by.

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3.3 Data Collection

The Data Collection process is a fundamental segment study method. There is numerous information gathering techniques, having its own merits as well as demerits. Golafshani (2003) argues that investigation with the utilization of proper methods sincerely boosts the importance of the course work.

So as to ascertain information compiling strategy, the classification must be done amid diverse categories of information collected. As per Bryman (2001) primary data are the facts collated thesis against happening of real incidents. According to Malhotra (2004) primary information may be gathered each time when the secondary information is unobtainable and insufficient to respond the author‟s problems as well as goals. Primary data collection may be executed via a range of processes along with questionnaires, discussions, examinations and core groups.

Bryman (2001) states secondary data as the facts gathered from prevailing sources, for instance books, journals, newspapers and websites. According to (Ryan, 2006) secondary data is the information collected by different authors, without the intention of the research work in general.

Research is an organized, vital and decisive examination which targets to establish in the direction of the development of facts and insights (Coleman & Briggs, 2002). Even though there are several methods of research approach there exists two significant methods one known as Quantitative and other one as Qualitative approach. According to Easton (2010) quantitative data may be stated as the statistical information namely figures, the qualitative data may be explained briefly as the sort of information which is available as transcripts. For example, the information collated by the author by means of surveys and feedback would be quantitative, on the other hand data obtained by means of questioning participants may be explained as qualitative. Subsequently, researcher even utilized the secondary information also for quantitative analysis. To cite an instance, the secondary data adopted for the study of the literature review in this research study was qualitative. The statistical data analysis is generally carried out to measure the link amid variables otherwise revising tendencies in addition to the influencing elements
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(Easton, 2010). (Sekaran, 2003) for qualitative data diverse way of method is required. The event typically begins through author‟s concentration on the information along with ascertaining the classification of the major facts more over tendencies inside. According to Golafshani (2003) information has the merits of easy to obtain as well to use and less inexpensive to the author yet the writer might have easy accessibility to similar information.

Bryman defines qualitative research as the move towards the revision of the communal across the globe that begins to portray and evaluate the traditions and individual activities from the perceptive of those being observed. Golafshani (2003) believe that, qualitative research entails the compilation of a mixture of observed sources for example case studies, individual experiences, reflective discussions, past interactions, and visual presentations that explain the regular and challenging instants and significance in personal lives. The intention of qualitative approach is not to invent a novel concept on the other hand analysing that concept, so qualitative methodology intends to determine customer perceptions and behaviour (Asutay, 2003). According to Bryman (2001) qualitative research is a research approach that generally highlights numbers relatively in the data collation and testing and the approach that is applied is inductive and dealt with subjective conclusions. Mququ (2005) defines: Qualitative research is explanatory and the authors intend to analyse what preference public will give to certainty, not to precise, quantitative research may be understood as sequence of various stages moving from theory to final conclusions.

Quantitative methodology is primarily based on positivist viewpoint and authors who judge on positivist philosophy state that there is a real purpose that subsists apart from the anticipations of those who monitor it therefore the purpose of science is the improved understanding of the real facts. The function of quantitative methodology is to found proper link between correlated variables (Asutey, 2003). According to (Bryman, 2001) quantitative research is explained as the gathering of statistical numbers in addition to displaying an outlook of the link involving the concepts and course study as deductive and it final achieves intent results. In this research paper, the author had selected quantitative methodology, as it targets to determine actual relationship

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between the identical elements and also to analyse a particular problem. Additionally, this research work involves collating facts to conclude the research problem.

The drawbacks to carry out investigations and interviews for corporate which are prevalent across the World motivated the researcher to engage in a qualitative research. It had been examined as a time consuming and more cost effective process to contact workforce of corporate firms. But the interest of the researcher and effective guidance of the tutor motivated the author to apply both quantitative and qualitative research method for this research work. The quantitative method was executed by interviewing customers of British airways and other companies on main airports in United Kingdom.

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3.4 Linking the Aims and Objectives of the Research work with the Methodologies

Aim 1: The primary aim of this research is to study the Customer satisfaction levels in Airline Sector in United Kingdom with reference to British Airways, in order to achieve the same, information in the form of customer satisfaction factors such as fare, customer service, promotion & sales and logistics would be required to be analysed thoroughly. Hence researcher would undertake a descriptive mode of study and also quantitative research method would be applied in this dissertation paper. Objective 2: To examine customer perceptions and customer expectations in Airline Industry with reference to British Airways: The main purpose of the thesis work is to explore the customer‟s insight and observations of airline sector and customer‟s convention preference which may be considered as an pragmatic investigation, Thus, a quantitative research data collection method may be applied. The information collated from passengers from diverse age groups as well as from diverse passenger levels in the form of questionnaires on customer perception in airline sector would be collected to have an improved understanding on the endresult and it will help the researcher to draw conclusions appropriately. Objective 3:To understand and analyse the role of quality of service in affecting customer satisfaction in Airline Sector in context with British Airways: In order to achieve this objective, the researcher had done a exploratory study to evaluate the role of service quality in meeting customer satisfaction and also collected secondary data in the form of Literature from various data sources such as books, journals, online articles and compiled the data together to develop theories and expand it further. Existing theories and anticipated models are understood as a means to highlight their significance in United Kingdom. Additionally, current theories on service quality and approach are determined to be practical for a broad understanding of the practices followed by British Airways Limited.

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3.5 Methods of Data collection and Analysis

The data has also been gathered in the form of questionnaires where the sample was collected from the British airways customer who was developed as a source of prime source to this research work. The researcher collected feedback from British airways customers at the airport out of 140 passengers 85 passengers give the feedback about the service provided by the British airways. In addition to this author interviewed some more passengers at the airport in person with travellers 45 responded out of 50 travellers. Because of the limited timeframe, researcher tried to come to the final conclusion with the above sample collected at the airport. The secondary data applied for this research is derived from academic journals, newspapers and publications thus moreover from analysing the online data. It is often argued that secondary research may offer facts and figures with reliable data which are less costly and easy to access (Blaxter, 2008). The questionnaire was framed in the form of open-end and straight enquiries. To examine the feedback collected from the questionnaire the researcher has applied the technique of explanatory figures and uncomplicated interrelationships. In this thesis, explanatory data method was applied as the opinion poll was conducted on a small scale where the sample count is relatively less in number. There exists a three different interview techniques namely structured, semi-structured and non structured the researcher selected the semi-structured method for this thesis. The motivation for adopting the semi-structured interview was mainly due to the questions framed to determine the anticipations of British airways as the best airline among the passengers across the World. The questions posed to the customers had proven to be very useful in assessing the customer service standards at the British Airways. According to Mququ (2005) states that the replies to the questionnaire may be accepted as the face value however an answer to an interview will be clear and accurate. The response to the interviews has been explored by representing statistics for the surveys.

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Research Findings

4. Introduction

In this chapter author will critically analyse data and information collected. The final results may be assessed and evaluated with the help of SPSS application moreover will link theoretical aspect of correlation which was examined in the review of literature chapter to the research findings based on primary data.

This research requires analysing data collected about the British Airways. Thus, to determine the purpose of the thesis, various primary statistical information resources were collected from passengers interviewed at the Manchester, Birmingham Airports United Kingdom.

4.1 SPSS Application results with total values by T-Test (Paired Sample Statistics) As per Pearson‟s product moment correlation coefficient will be utilised to assess the relation among Gender, Age Group, Class travelled, How often they travel, Occupation, Overall Quality of Service, Expect anything else from British Airways, Suggest British Airways to others. T-Test will be useful to reach to the final results wherein to be accept or refuse the null hypothesis. The given below proposition will be obtained in order to study the considerable link among passengers service provided with satisfaction.

In this dissertation the author tried

to evaluate the sample data collected in the form of

questionnaires by conducting interviews to the passengers and analysing the same by means of tool known as Statistical hypothesis. The hypothesis may be carried out at the 95 percent confidence level. Generally hypothesis will result in one of the two options (We may accept the null hypothesis or we reject the null hypothesis). This may be simply explained as accepting the null hypothesis means hypothesis testing is accurate, conversely, rejecting null hypothesis means the sample data gathered is inadequate or it is sensible to exercise alternative hypothesis over the null hypothesis. In this thesis work, the author had highlighted two types of hypothesis:
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Null Hypothesis: The null hypothesis represented by H0, here, hypothesis is that sample observations resulted directly from change (H0: Pr = .05).

Alternative Hypothesis: The alternative hypothesis is signified as H1, here, hypothesis is the sample annotations which are influenced due to few unsystematic reasons (H1: Pr ≠ 0.05).

Three ways of testing null hypothesis & alternative hypothesis

Two-Tailed Test

H0: Pr = 0 H1: Pr ≠ 0

Note: - Equal hypothesis Vs Not equal Hypothesis

Figure 1: Gender Wise Travel Gender Male Female Others Passengers 53 32 0

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Gender Wise Travel
0% 38%

62%

Male

Female

Others

Figure 1 depicts that the gender wise travel by passengers. It is been observed that male travellers are more than female travellers, where as male travellers stand at 62 percent and female travel by 38 percent. It is also observed that male travellers are nearly double than female travellers.

Figure 2: Gender wise travellers Vs Customer Satisfaction Gender Male Female Others Passengers 53 32 0 Total Satisfied with Service 38 27 0

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Gender Wise Vs Cust Satisfaction
60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Others Passengers Female Male Total Satisfied with Service

It is clearly evident that from figure 2 out of 32 female travellers 27 passengers were very much satisfied with the service provided by British Airways, compared with 53 male passengers commented of which only 38 passengers were happy with the service. It shows 84 percent of female were satisfied and only 72 percent of male were happy with the British Airways.

Figure 3: Age Group Wise Vs Total Passengers Travel & Satisfied Customers Age Group < 15 > 15 and < 30 > 30 and < 45 > 45 Passengers 8 17 38 22 Satisfied 7 14 24 20

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Figure 3 depicts different age wise travel by British Airways and their satisfaction passengers. It is very clear that passengers travelling under age 15 are very minimum and the highest is age between 30 and 45, the second highest travel age group is above 45. The important point is age above 45, are very much happy by 91 percent people. Least satisfied people from age group 30 and 45 with 63 percent. So, British Airways need to concentrate more on 30 to 45 age group requirement.

Table 1: Age Group Wise Vs Total Passengers & Customer Satisfaction Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 4 12.57975 Std. Error Mean 6.28987

Mean Pair 1 Passengers (Male / Female) Customer Satisfaction 21.2500

N

16.2500

4

7.41058

3.70529

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Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 Passengers (Male / Female) Customer Satisfaction Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper t df 3 Sig. (2tailed) .197 4 Correlation .947 Sig. .053

Std. Deviatio Mean n

Std. Error Mean

Pair Passengers(Mal 5.000 6.05530 3.02765 -4.63533 14.63533 1.651 1 e / Female) 00 Customer Satisfaction

t (4)

= 1.651

The data given in the table above may be concluded as higher age group passengers are more positively correlated. The rate of „r‟ denotes a very strong positive correlated amid age group with high satisfaction. The significance of „t‟ is 1.651 i.e. rating of „t‟ is falling between -1.960 – 1.960.

Figure 4: Passengers Travel by Different Class Vs Customer Satisfaction Class Economy Class Premium Class
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Passengers 62 12

Satisfied 47 10

Business Class First Class

7 4

5 3

Passengers Travel by Different Class Vs Customer Satisfaction
120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Economy Class Premium Class Passengers Business Class Satisfied First Class

Figure 4 represents passengers travel in different class and their satisfaction level. Maximum passengers will travel in economy class and least is first class then followed by business class. This is because of the high price variance at economy class and all other class. Satisfaction level shows 100 percent at first class, business class, whereas economy class stands at 69 percent.

Table 2: Passengers Travel by Different Class Vs Customer Satisfaction Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 4 27.36634 Std. Error Mean 13.68317

Mean Pair 1 Passengers Travel by Different Class Customer Satisfaction 21.2500

N

16.2500

4

20.71030

10.35515

Paired Samples Correlations

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N Pair 1 Passengers Travel by Different Class & Customer Satisfaction 4

Correlation 1.000

Sig. .000

Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper t df 3 Sig. (2tailed) .231

Std. Deviatio Mean n Pair Passengers 1 Travel by Different Class – Customer Satisfaction

Std. Error Mean

5.000 6.68331 3.34166 -5.63464 15.63464 1.496 00

The table 2 correlation table gives clear picture that „r‟ co-efficient is positively correlated with .231 at 4 different class of travel. The rate of„t‟ is 1.496, which is between -1.960 to +1.960. Out of four group of different class of travelling, major two groups commented as 100 percent satisfaction and only one group less satisfied i.e. economy class.

Figure 5: How often Passengers Travel yearly Vs Customer Satisfaction How Often do you fly More then 1
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Passengers 21

Satisfied 12

More then 3 More then 5

48 16

40 13

How often Passenger Travell Vs Customer Satisfaction

60 40 20 0 More than 1 times More than 3 times Passengers More than 5 times Satisfied

In this research author is trying to understand nearly how many times each customer will travel with British Airways and very much satisfied. As per the Figure 5 more than major junk of travellers get satisfied who are travelling more than 3 times by 84 percent and followed by 81 percent people are satisfied those who are travelling more than 5 times. British Airways need to concentrate more on the people those who travel first time, as they have more expectations. Company needs to keep a track on people travelling for the first time or repeatedly travelling.

Table 3: How Often Passenger Travel Vs Customer Satisfaction Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 17.21434 Std. Error Mean 9.93870

Mean Pair 1 How Often Passengers travel (More than 1/ More than 3 / More than 5)
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N

28.3333

Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 17.21434 Std. Error Mean 9.93870

Mean Pair 1 How Often Passengers travel (More than 1/ More than 3 / More than 5) Customer Satisfaction 28.3333

N

21.6667

3

15.88500

9.17121

Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 How Often Passengers travel (More than 1/ More than 3/ More than 5) & Customer Satisfaction 3 Correlation .984 Sig. .113

Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper T df Sig. (2tailed)

Std. Deviatio Mean n

Std. Error Mean

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Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 17.21434 Std. Error Mean 9.93870

Mean Pair 1 How Often Passengers travel (More than 1/ More than 3 / More than 5) Pair How Often 1 Passengers Travel (More than 1/ More than 3/ More than 5) – Customer Satisfaction 28.3333

N

6.666 3.21455 1.85592 -1.31872 14.65205 3.592 67

2

.070

Figure 6: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Age wise & Passengers satisfaction How Often do you fly More then 1 More then 3 More then 5 Passengers 21 48 16 Age >15 and < 30 7 2 1 Age > 30 and < 45 9 38 11 Age > 45 5 8 4

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How often Passengers Travel Vs Diffferent Age Wise & Passengers Satisfaction
60 40 20 0 More than 1 times More than 3 times More than 5 times Passengers Age > 30 and < 45 Age >15 and < 30 Age > 45

Figure 6 shows clearly that more than 3 times a year travelling passengers are more and with age group between 30 & 45 falls under this category, those who are more satisfied. Next highest is more than 1 time travellers of which nearly all the different age group get satisfied with the service by British by same percentage. The passengers those travel more than 5 times a year, age between 30 and 45 is better off, but the passengers crossing age 45 are not much satisfied. British Airways are not able to meet the customer expectation for the old people especially travelling repeatedly.

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Table 4: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Age wise & Passengers satisfaction Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 3 17.21434 3.21455 Std. Error Mean 9.93870 1.85592

Mean Pair 1 Total Passengers Age more than 15 less than 30 Pair 2 Total Passengers Age more than 30 and less than 45 Pair 3 Total Passengers Age more than 45 28.3333 3.3333

N

28.3333 19.3333

3 3

17.21434 16.19671

9.93870 9.35117

28.3333 5.6667

3 3

17.21434 2.08167

9.93870 1.20185

Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 Total Passengers & Age more than 15 less than 30 Pair 2 Total Passengers & Age more than 30 and lessthan45 Pair 3 Total Passengers & Agemorethan45 3 Correlation -.220 Sig. .859

3

.979

.132

3

.895

.062

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Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Std. Deviatio Mean n Std. Error Mean

Lower

Upper

T

df 2

Sig. (2tailed) .140

Pair Total 25.000 18.1934 10.50397 - 70.19492 2.380 1 Passengers – 00 1 20.19492 Age more than 15 less than 30 Pair Total 9.0000 3.60555 2.08167 2 Passengers – 0 Age more than 30 and less than 45 .04331 17.95669 1.323

2

.050

Pair Total 22.666 15.1437 8.74325 - 60.28584 2.592 3 Passengers – 67 6 14.95251 Age more than 45

2

.122

Age between 15 and 30 t (3) p r Age between 30 and 45 t (3) p r
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= 2.380 = 0.140 = -0.220

= 1.323 = 0.50 = 0.979

Age above 45 t (3) p r = 2.592 = 0.122 = 0.895

After carefully analysing the above table for the age between 15 and 30 „r‟ vale is -0.220 which is very weak correlation and vale of„t‟ is 2.380 which is beyond -1.960 to +1.960 where null hypothesis is not accepted. Whereas for the age group between 30 and 45, rate of „t‟ is 1.323 which is between -1.960 to +1.960, so, null hypothesis is accepted and rate of „r‟ is 0.979 which is very nearer to the coefficient 1, which represents very positive correlation among the variables. Finally for the age group beyond 45 rate of„t‟ is 2.592 which falls beyond -1.960 to +1.960 so, null hypothesis is not accepted and the rate of „r‟ is 0.895 is between 0 to 1, so there is a correlation among the variables.

Figure 7: How often Passengers Travel Vs Different Class Travel How Often do you fly More then 1 More then 3 More then 5 Passengers 21 48 16 Economy Class 20 19 1 Premium Class 1 7 2 Business Class 0 13 8 First Class 0 9 5

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How often Passenger Travel Vs Different Class they Travel
25 20 15 10 5 0 More then 1 times Economy Class More then 3 times Premium Class More then 5 times First Class Business Class

The above figure 7 speaks any passengers travelling more than one time contribution goes to major junk for economy class then very less percentage by premium class. For the passengers travelling for more than 3 times with British Airways are filled with all the classes. Major contribution from economy class and then followed by business class then first class. Finally the passengers travelling for more than 5 times a year are majorly contributed by business class then first class there after premium class and the least is economy class.

Figure 8: How often Passenger Travel Vs Gender Wise How Often do you fly More then 1 More then 3 More then 5 Passengers 21 48 16 Male 9 31 13 Female 12 17 3

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How often Passenger Travel Vs Gender Wise
60 50 40 30 20 10 0 More then 1 Passengers More then 3 Male More then 5 Female

As we have already discussed that male travellers are more than female travellers, but by observing the given above figure 8 represents, passengers travelling for more than 3 times and more than 5 times are dominated by male passengers and the passengers travelling for the first time female travellers are more.

Figure 9: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs Customer Satisfied Occupation Salaried Salaried Professional Self Employed Passengers 42 30 13 Satisfied 37 19 9

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Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs Customer Satisfied
80 60 40 20 0 Salaried Salaried Professional Passangers Self Employeed

Customer Satisfied

The given above figure 9 represents different occupation wise passengers travel by British Airways compared with satisfaction level of customers. It is plainly evident that salaried travellers are more compared with salaried professional and self-employed, and even satisfaction level is also very high by salaried people. The least satisfaction level of passengers where as salaried professional, as their expectations are high. The least percentage of travellers is selfemployed and their satisfactions from the service provided by British Airways were better off.

Table 5: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs Customer Satisfied Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 14.57166 Std. Error Mean 8.41295

Mean Pair 1 Occupation wise Passengers Customer Satisfaction 28.3333

N

21.6667

3

14.18920

8.19214

Paired Samples Correlations N
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Correlation

Sig.

Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 14.57166 Std. Error Mean 8.41295

Mean Pair 1 Occupation wise Passengers 28.3333

N

Pair 1 Occupation wise Passengers & Customer Satisfaction

3

.966

.167

Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper t df 2 Sig. (2tailed) .093

Std. Deviatio Mean n

Std. Error Mean

Pair Occupation 6.666 3.78594 2.18581 -2.73813 16.07146 3.050 1 wise Passengers 67 – Customer Satisfaction t(3) p r = 3.050 = 0.093 = 0.966

The above table speaks the rate of „t‟ is 3.050 which is beyond the range of -1.960 to +1.960 so, null hypothesis is not accepted, where as the rate of „p‟ is 0.093 which is between 0 to 1 so there is a correlation between the occupation wise passengers with customer satisfaction.

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Figure 10: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel More than 1 time travel 11 7 3 More than 3 time travel 27 17 4 More than 5 time travel 4 6 6

Occupation Salaried Salaried Professional Self Employed

Passengers 42 30 13

Occupation wise Passenger Travel Vs How often Passenegr Travel
30 20 10 0 Salaried Salaried Professional Self Employeed More than 1 time travel More than 5 time travel More than 3 time travel

The above figure describes different occupation wise passengers how often they travel yearly. Salaried travel more than 3 times a year is the highest then followed by more than 1 time then the least is more than 5 times. Salaried professional are also travel more than 3 times a year stands on the top with nearly equal with more than 1 times year and more than 5 times a year. Self employed speaks differently they travel more than 5 times the maximum and least with more than 1 time travel a year.

Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel Paired Samples Statistics

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Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel Paired Samples Statistics

Table 6: Occupation Wise Passengers Travel Vs How often Passenger Travel Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 3 3 14.57166 4.00000 Std. Error Mean 8.41295 2.30940

Mean Pair 1 Total Passengers More than 1 Time Pair 2 Total Passengers More than 3 times Pair 3 Total Passengers More than 5 times 28.3333 7.0000

N

28.3333 16.0000

3 3

14.57166 11.53256

8.41295 6.65833

28.3333 5.3333

3 3

14.57166 1.15470

8.41295 .66667

Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 Total Passengers & More than 1 Time Pair 2 Total Passengers & More than 3 times Pair 3 Total Passengers & More than 5 times
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Correlation 3 .995

Sig. .063

3

1.000

.015

3

-.812

.396

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Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Std. Deviatio Mean n Pair Total 1 Passengers – More than 1 Time Pair Total 2 Passengers – More than 3 times Pair Total 3 Passengers – More than 5 times Std. Error Mean

Lower

Upper

T

Df 2

Sig. (2tailed) .073

21.333 10.5987 6.11919 -4.99540 47.66207 3.486 33 4

12.333 3.05505 1.76383 4.74417 19.92250 6.992 33

2

.020

23.000 15.5241 8.96289 - 61.56419 2.566 00 7 15.56419

2

.124

More than 1 time travel a year t (3) p r = 3.486 = 0.073 = 0.995

More than 3 times travel a year t (3) p r
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= 6.992 = 0.020 = 1.000

More than 5 times travel a year t (3) p r = 2.566 = 0.124 = -0.812

Even statistical term SPSS represents all the „t‟ rate in 3 options more than1 time travel / more than 3 time travel and more than 5 time travel falls beyond the limit -1.960 to +1.960 so, in all the three case null hypothesis not acceptable. Whereas the rate of „r‟ in case of more than 3 time travel is exactly 1 means it is strongly correlated, in case of more than 1 time travel rate is near to 1 means lightly correlated, but in case of more than 5 times travel a year is negatively correlated as the rate (-0.812).

Figure 11: Overall Quality of Service Overall Quality of Service Excellent Good Average Poor Passengers 38 27 8 12

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Overall Quality of Service
14% 9% 45%

32%

Excellent

Good

Average

Poor

When we take a feedback from 85 passengers as per their comment the overall quality of service provided by the British Airways and meeting the customer expectations are representing in the above table. Out of 85 customers 65 passengers commented excellent and good quality of service that means overall 45 percent of travellers commented as excellent quality of service then 32 percent said good service provided later 9 percent stands at average service and 14 percent stands at poor quality of service. The British Airways need to concentrate on converting 14 percent of poor quality service to at least to good. Now the overall percentage of good and excellent stands at 76 percent only, to move this 76 percent to above 85 percent which is least amount to maintain the quality of service; they need to concentrate on 14 percent said as poor service.

Table 7: Overall Quality of Service Vs Total Passengers Travelled Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 4 4 .00000 13.84136 Std. Error Mean .00000 6.92068

Mean Pair 1 Total Passengers Overall Quality of Service 85.0000 21.2500

N

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Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 Total Passengers & Overall Quality of Service 4 Correlation .535 Sig. .

Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Lower Upper t df 3 Sig. (2tailed) .003

Std. Deviatio Mean n

Std. Error Mean

Pair Total 63.750 13.8413 6.92068 41.72530 85.77470 9.212 1 Passengers – 00 6 Overall Quality of Service

From the above table the rate of „r‟ is 0.535 which represents very strong positive correlation. Since the rate of„t‟ is 9.212 which is beyond -1.960 to +1.960, so it represents null hypothesis is not accepted.

Figure 12: Overall Quality of Service Vs Gender Overall Quality of Service Excellent Good Average Poor Passengers 38 27 8 12 Male 23 17 5 8 Female 15 10 3 4

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Overall Quality of Serive Vs Gender
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Excellent Good Passengers Average Male Female Poor

Figure 12 clearly portray gender wise comments on overall quality of service provided by the British Airways. Female customers are happier with the quality of service provided, they rated as highest percentage as “Excellent Service” rather than Male passengers. Quality of service as “Good “Male passengers rated with highest percentage than Female passengers.

Table 8: Overall Quality of Service Vs Gender Paired Samples Statistics Std. Deviation 4 13.84136 Std. Error Mean 6.92068

Mean Pair 1 Overall Quality of Service Male Pair 2 Overall Quality of Service Female 21.2500

N

13.2500 21.2500

4 4

7.93200 13.84136

3.96600 6.92068

8.0000

4

7.11805

3.55903

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Paired Samples Correlations N Pair 1 Overall Quality of Service & Male Pair 2 Overall Quality of Service & Female 4 Correlation .695 Sig. .305

4

.934

.066

Paired Samples Test Paired Differences 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Std. Deviatio Mean n Pair Overall 1 Quality of Service Male Pair Overall 2 Quality of Service Female
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Std. Error Mean

Lower

Upper

t

df 3

Sig. (2tailed) .211

8.0000 10.09950 5.04975 -8.07057 24.07057 1.584 0

13.250 7.63217 3.81608 1.10552 25.39448 0.472 00

3

.040

The given above table it is found that overall quality of service is positively correlated with male and female level of expectation. The rate of „r‟ is .211 which is very strong positively correlated for male and for female it‟s lightly positively correlated.

Figure 13: Expected anything else form British Airways Expect anything else from B.A Yes No Passengers 28 57

Expected anything else from B.A
33%

67%

Yes

No

Author gathered data from British Airways passengers by analysing it 67 percent of passengers said they are not expecting anything more or additional service from British Airways, they are very much satisfied from the service and company met their expectations. On the other hand only 33 percent of customers are still not happy with the service that may mean that British Airways not able to keep the promises about the services they said nor customer‟s still expecting more and more extra service to be provided.

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Figure 14: Suggest British Airways to Others Suggest B.A to others Yes No Passengers 47 38

Suggest British Airways to others

45% 55%

Yes

No

Author asked 85 passengers will they refer British Airways to anybody else of which 55 percent commented as they will suggest others to travel by British Airways. And only 45 percent travellers said they will not suggest others about British Airways.

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Discussions

In this research the author is trying to discuss and analyse the customer satisfaction levels especially in the British Airways Limited United Kingdom. Author is bridging the gap between customer perceptions, customer expectations and actual quality of service delivered to the customers.

The primary aim of this research is to understand the up to what level the customers of British Airways are satisfied with overall service quality delivered. After collecting the customer feedback, at the Manchester Airport and Birmingham Airport, author consolidate the data come to the conclusion that out of eighty five passengers feedback sixty five passengers commented they are very much satisfied with the overall service provided by the British Airways. This is clearly evident that 76 percent of the passengers said British Airways customer satisfaction is able to meet up customer perception and expectations.

Secondary objective is to evaluate customer perception and expectation of British Airways. Author in the research to this secondary objective, prepared questionnaire to identify the how frequently customer are travelling year wise and different class customer travel and their feedback, professional and age group. All the different category of people will have different perceptions and their own expectations as per their situation demands. When author asked “more than 5 times customer travels in a year”, of which 81 percent of customer said they are highly satisfied with British Airways for the reason, always they will travel by only British Airways. “More than 3 times travel a Year” also 83 percent supported positively. When author asked Business calls travellers they commented as “British Airways is the Best”. Third objective is “Role of quality of service that will affect the customer satisfaction”. When author asked the overall quality of service of the British airways with wide range of travellers they said forty five percent passengers said excellent service, thirty one percent passengers said “Good Service”.

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The British Airways started conducting different activities to sustain the customer satisfaction or trying to continual improvement in the quality of service.

First was top management at British Airways measure the satisfaction levels of its passengers on all major destinations worldwide. Once in a year they conduct surveys on customer satisfaction and analyse the feedbacks given by the customers and thus bring in changes which will enhance continual improvement (www.Britishairways.com).

Second was to development in technology has enabled passengers with great power and convenience as regards to online check in and e-ticketing.

Third was to up gradation has been made on service schedules for flights with long distance destinations.

Forth was to improvement in quality of food has been made in the customized meal service preferences on important directions; progress has been made in the process of handling grievances from travellers for instance resolving the customer complaints within 48hours.

Fifth was to cost effective meal options have been developed. In the year 1999 British airways has initiated the Language champions plan in London in order to highlight the current performances between business and schools. They have come up with a unique award known as British Airways Language Flag to encourage the students to learn different languages. It provides self-confidence to the undergraduates to widen their capabilities which are necessary to take up job in just an international organization but also in a firm that facilitates its staff with Multilingual and multicultural workplace (www.Britishairways.com).

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5. Conclusion

After detailed study, assessment and evaluation of primary and secondary data, it is significant to underline about how the aims and objectives of the thesis work were analysed. In this section, the author emphasise on how the specific aims and objectives of the research study were understood and attempts to provide a response to the research question. The subdivision deals with various limitations and recommendations of the research work and areas where there is a scope for further research.

The research study attempts to understand and critically analyse the customer satisfaction in airline industry with reference to British Airways. Therefore to examine this, the investigation was executed to identify the main service determinants of British airways and based on these to gauge the satisfaction levels of the passengers and also to evaluate the customer perception and quality of service among travellers of British airways United Kingdom and further to emphasize the several measures taken by them to provide excellent customer service to its customers.

The results of the study based on the in-depth review of literature, primary and secondary sources of data available indicate that most of the passengers be it British Airways or other airlines who fly very often and who travel by premium class are likely to travel by the same airlines due to the excellent service and facilities provided to them. In addition to this, this section of passengers is more attached to the brand image or reputation, world-class facilities, better connectivity. It is also clear that these section of passengers are great source of revenue to any airline company as they travel very often hence it is vital that British Airways focuses more on these segment of customers to sustain in the business. Further in-depth study revealed that customers who fly twice yearly were more concerned with the ticket fares and also few passengers responded that they were worried about the baggage facilities and few of them expressed security issues as an area of concern.

After closely examining the literature review it is clearly understood that airline passengers judge the quality of flight services offered to them on the basis of prompt arrivals and departures, air
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fares and then based on the various facilities such as safety, food & beverages, attitude of staff, baggage to name a few. Overall conclusion may be interpreted from the literature review, passenger interview, feedbacks and secondary data on airline industry and British airways; it is evident that in airline industry reaching the customer perceptions and attaining excellent customer satisfaction is little beyond the reach of a specific airline when the competition is worldwide. In today‟s global economy people are more educated and intend to travel internationally both for work and leisure purposes than before and they enjoy travelling to more locations very easily and with better value of money (one world.com, media information, 2009). Therefore, the passenger insists for better connectivity, reasonable ticket prices and improved flight services than before. In today‟s competitive world with many best alternatives available to the customers it is very critical for the British Airways to meet the customer perceptions and offer excellent service to reach great heights in the near future.

6. Limitations of this Research Study

The various aspects namely partial data resources, limited duration and stiff targets restricted the thorough investigation on the research study. The main constraint of this thesis is its sample size as the author could interview few participants only; therefore, the output of this research work does not stand for whole population in United Kingdom.

7. Future Recommendations

In further investigation, it would be more challenging to interview the staff of British Airways to understand the various steps adopted by them to enhance customer satisfaction and methods of exception handling and grievances and also the author should concentrate more on the primary data resources and should strive to gather feedback and opinions from larger population residing in United Kingdom.

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Appendix I Q1. Give the gender Mail Female Q2. Age group < 15 >15 and <30 >31 and <45 >45 Q3. Which class you normally travel Economy Class Premium Economy Business Class First Class

Q4. How often do you fly? More than once in a Year More than 3 time a Year More than 5 time a year Q5. Occupation of the passengers Salaried Salaried professional Self Employed Q6. How did you find the overall quality of services of British Airline? Excellent Good Average Poor Q7. Is there anything else you expect from your favourite British airline Yes No
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Q8. Will you suggest about British Airline to anybody else Yes No Q9. Which airline do you prefer for domestic and for international travel? Please suggest the reasons for choosing a particular airline. Airline preferred for domestic travel……………………… Airline preferred for International travel………………….. Reason Airline company name In flight Services Ticket Price Customer services (ease of booking, cancellation, refund) Hospitality of crew Food quality & variety Brand Image Better Connectivity to various destinations Customer loyalty discount programs Special offers/ packages Others Domestic International

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Appendix II

Figure 15: The Kano model

Source: www.iiiee.lu.se/publication.nsf Figure 16: Five key points of customer feedback

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Source: Salvucci and Parker. National Centre for Education Statistics. Customer Satisfaction Report.

Figure 16: Most Travelled seating class by UK Business travellers in 2007

Source : Benner. J., 2009. The Airline Customer Loyalty Model.

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Figure 16: Service Quality Ring

Source : Berry and Zeithaml. Improving Service Quality.

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Figure 16: Operational improvements must support strengthened customer relations for airline.

Source: IBM Institute for Business Value

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