Airline passenger loyalty: the distinct effects of airline passenger perceived pre-flight and in-flight service quality

Reza Etemad-Sajadi, Sean A. Way, Laura Bohrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The current study contributes to the extant literature by illustrating that airlines can enhance passenger (customer) satisfaction and loyalty by focusing on the enhancement of those aspects of the pre-flight and in-flight service experience over which they have direct control. The results indicate that airline passenger perceived pre-flight service quality and perceived in-flight service quality are distinct aspects of airline service quality that have independent and positive direct effects on airline passenger satisfaction. Moreover, perceived pre-flight service quality had a substantive, positive impact on airline passenger loyalty. Our findings illustrate the importance of airline pre-flight service quality and highlight the focal role that customer perceptions of pre-experience service quality (e.g., pre-experience communication, procedures, and interactions) play in the enhancement of customer satisfaction and fostering customer loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • airline service quality
  • customer loyalty
  • customer satisfaction
  • pre-experience service quality

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