It is true that each traveler has their unique reasons for their airline of choice. Certain common factors also exist that strongly influence their decisions. This paper evaluates potential variables that impact on potential passengers;, their measurable definitions and ways to measure them as well as potential data to collect in making this kind of analysis happen.
First, choices made by passengers are often made based on the demand and supply curve. Therefore, an inverse relationship exists between ticket prices and profits. An increase in ticket prices equate to a decrease in the profits that the airline firm makes. According to Bilotkach et al, the satisfaction of demand is based on the adequate supply in the market (12). Most ticket prices increment means a subsequent rise in the demand and supply. This kind of price increment begins to lock out the number of potential clients ready to purchase tickets. Due to the decrease in the number of potential clients, the amount of purchases decreases and eventually impacts the profits for the airline. Buaphiban notes that the percentage increment in airline prices leads to an equivalent decrease in demand for the same airline product (13). Measuring this kind of impact requires a percentage increment in the ticket prices as well as the rate of purchases to the same airline in a given time frame. For example, when ticket prices from New York to South Carolina are USD 120 in spring, the amount of passengers buying in tend to increase across all the airlines. On the other hand, when the rates increase in fall to USD 250, the potential client base decreases based on the spending demographics index of the United States. In summary, the profits decrease as the flights leave half full or with spaces, unlike when the rates accommodate more potential clients.
The second factor is competition. Logically, when more airlines that provide the same flight increase, the profits for each individual company decrease. Competition occurs when more suppliers of the same products exist in the market. When supply is more than the demand of the product, the profits logically decrease. In the context of airline flight provision, more airlines plying the same route would want to compete for the potential client base of that region. In the competition, various airlines will introduce unique offers to entice clients’ choice. Some will lower their prices, while others will improve the quality of services. Regardless of their value addition measure, clients’ purchasing choice will be impacted. Determining the logic in this hypothesis requires the data of how many competitors each market has at a given time versus the number of potential clients on each given season (Kouwenhoven, 31). With this data, extract the rates and client preferences for each airline and the marginal difference.
The quality of service also influences the price and choice of an airline. Alaska airline has risen to be the best on time performance airline in the entire United States of America according to Kouwenhoven (18). The pricy airline has an on time performance of 87.3% with very few clients complains compared to other airlines in the area. The airline also experienced an over 50% drop in the mishandling of baggage (41). This kind of service quality has the impact of improving client experience regardless of competition or other variables in the market.
In the era of cost cutting and finding cheapest ways of providing service, some airline know better than to withhold providing certain services that boost their customer experience. The quality of service determines an increment in clients preferring an airline over the others. These kinds of preference have a ripple effect as the clients will often express their pleasure via social media platforms and attract more clients. Firms meaning to track these changes require an audit of their service deliveries as well as the impact on the clients. Most firms prefer to have paid survey forms, fun lucky draws to determine impact of certain specific services that have an impact on the profits of the airline.
Similarly, the increase in the quality of services also impacts the airline’s publicity through social media platforms. This kind of exposure increases the chances of the clients and other potential clients pick the same airline firm again in future. According to Parrella (42), social media has risen over time to command a great market share regardless of the business one operates. Airline industries are continuously thriving from the impact of social media from the reviews that happy clients leave. The assertion that the improvement in the quality of service influences the nature of reviews the clients leave on social media is true. From the past analysis by Parella, over 90% of clients rely on online search platforms and social media, either directly or through a third party (52). When clients look for airlines online and can experience the quality of their service from the share of past clients, the number of potential preference for that airline improves. On the other hand, the possibility of the past clients using the same airline repeatedly also increases. An effective way for airlines to determine the effectiveness of their social media is to encourage as much online sharing as possible. One of the great indicators is to encourage provision of free Wi-Fi on their special waiting lounge with a request for the clients to share their experience online. As hard as it may sound, the authenticity of the clients’ feedback online determines whether the airline is doing well in customer experience or not (56).
Finally, the available of other services that promote mobility from the airport to the clients’ desired destination impacts their choices of one airline over another. Most clients using airlines prefer to have an efficient and cost effective means of transfer to and from the airport. In some cases, some airlines are located farther away from the location of most clients. When these logistics and mobility challenges occur, clients often prefer options that are closer to them or have an efficient transfer system. Airlines choosing their logistics and locations are encouraged by Carsten & Heyns (31) to consider mobility services available for their potential clients to choose from. In some cases, some airlines have provisions for outsourcing airport pickup and drop offs as required. These kinds of value addition often improve the possibility of clients choosing these airlines over the rest. In fact, some airlines also partner with local hotels and guesthouses in the areas they have stop overs to offer exemplary services to their clients. However, when other means of reaching the same destination are available, the airlines may also lose clients. Determining the options available for clients requires one to evaluate other travel options available in the area and how accessible they are in the region.
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Bilotkach, Volodymyr, Alberto A. Gaggero, and Claudio A. Piga. Airline Pricing Under Different Market Conditions: Evidence from European Low-Cost Carriers. Loughborough: Loughborough Univ., Dep. of Economics, 2011. Internet resource. 10th November 2018. https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/RePEc/lbo/lbowps/Bilotkach_Gaggero_PIGA_WP12-01.pdf
Buaphiban, Thapanat. Determination of Factors That Influence Passengers’ Airline Selection: A Study of Low Cost Carriers in Thailand. , 2015. Print. 10th November 2018. https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1156&context=edt
Carstens, S, and G Heyns. “Influence of Passenger Demographics on Airport Attribute Evaluation : State of the Airline Industry : Passenger Influence.” World Airnews. 41.6 (2013): 28-29. Print. 10th November 2018. https://jtscm.co.za/index.php/jtscm/article/download/31/29
Kouwenhoven, Marco. “The Role of Accessibility in Passengers’ Choice of Airports.” (2008). Print. 10th November 2018. http://www.significance.nl/papers/2008-OECD-Accessibility-in-Passengers-Choice-of-Airports.pdf
Parrella, Barney C. Understanding Airline and Passenger Choice in Multi-Airport Regions. , 2013. Print. 10th November 2018. https://www.nap.edu/read/22443/chapter/6
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