An assessment of airline disruptions of passenger perceptions and expectations of service quality – a case of passengers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Mugai, Faith Marigu
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of airline disruptions on passengers’ expectations and perception of service quality for the airlines operating at JKIA. The respondents of this study were passengers and management of airlines. This study sampled a total of 196 passengers and 10 airlines. However, 106 passengers and 8 representatives of management responded. This study employed quantitative methods to analyze the effect of airline disruptions on passengers’ expectations and perception of service quality. Percentages, mean and standard deviations were computed which aided in analysis of data collected. Qualitative data collected was coded so as to be analyzed using factor analysis. Majority of the passengers (81%) believe that delays are the major type of disruptions they faced. Causes of airline disruptions experienced at JKIA in the past one year included maintenance problems, crew problems, extreme weather conditions, fire outbreak and runway closures. Seventy five percent of the management of the airlines ranked the highest the following ways of responding to disruptions: use of state of the art forecasting systems; rescheduling delayed operations among others. This study also established that the following strategies were found be commonly employed by the airlines to mitigate the effects of disruptions: use of state of the art forecasting systems; use of appropriate system redundancy during disruptions; training employees on how to effectively handle disruptions; pre-treating runways overnight to eliminate closures among others. The study found out that airline disruptions affect passengers’ perception and expectations of service quality. Passengers’ expectations of service quality namely: Responsiveness, Empathy and Assurance were established to be affected by airline disruptions with an average mean factor loadings of 0.836, 0.825 and 0.814 respectively. For perception of service quality, three components were found to be affected by airline disruptions. These components included Assurance, Empathy and Reliability with average factor loading values of 0.944, 0.899 and 0.609 respectively.