Costumer satisfaction during the flights
Criteria for customer service. Measuring service quality via customer satisfaction complaint. Customer behavior. Feature AirBaltic and Uzbekistan airways companies. Destinations, fleet, level of satisfaction of airBaltic and Uzbekistan airways passengers.
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Nowadays the customer satisfaction in tourism becomes more important throughout a lot of tourism organizations, travel agencies, airlines which provide different tourism products and services. There are literally thousands of books and articles written on the subject of customer satisfaction.
The theoretical part of my work is about customer satisfaction in tourism general: definitions, the main goals, study and learning. This work will reflect not only customer satisfaction definitions, but the exact aim is evaluation of customer satisfaction during the flight with Uzbekistan airways and airBaltic. So, it means that during the analyzing the situation, the topic will include the most important theme of my work - customer satisfaction during the flights.
The customer satisfaction strategies must have both long-term and immediate results. The importance of customer satisfaction has become an essential business issue as organizations have realized the significant outcomes achieved when providing effective customer service. For hospitality and tourism, satisfaction has always been important, but there is a growing awareness that it can make the difference between a company's survival and failure.
It is an enormous challenge for businesses to successfully attain customer satisfaction in hospitality and tourism services. The costumer is the most important person in a business. It is essential to systematically provide current research as service expectations continue to rise. Customer satisfaction programs should envision the process of looking at new insights as a perpetual process. To remain current, it is necessary to look beyond the scope of your own business situation and examine how others operate in similar markets. (J.A. Williams 2003, p4-5)
The main aim and tasks of the study paper research is to evaluate customer satisfaction during the flights in Uzbekistan airways and airBaltic. The main task in theoretical part is to study and learn literature about customer satisfaction in tourism general. During the analysis of the situation, to characterize and to compare airways companies. Based on the theory to understand, what are the criteria for satisfied guest, who have used these airlines. Make a survey and based on the survey to analyze airlines satisfaction.
Methods used in research.
In the theoretical part, research will be based on literature books about customer satisfaction, hospitality and tourism satisfaction and also service satisfaction will be included. During the analyzing of the situation I will use the secondary data: internet sources, data bases and statistical yearbooks. In the research part, there will be evaluation and comparison of the service satisfaction during the flight with Uzbekistan airways and airBaltic. Additionally, there will be survey among students who have used both airlines in order to present opinions of real customers, based on the survey I can exactly evaluate and compare service quality of these airlines.
1. What is customer satisfaction?
airways customer service
The word “satisfaction” is the most appropriate label for the range of attitudes and feelings that customers hold about their experiences with an organization. (N. Hill p.6)
From the beginning of the “customer service revolution” almost 20 years ago, a body of business research has focused on customer satisfaction and customer-focused organizations. Business consultants, corporations and others have worked to identify the characteristics of organizations that consistently please their customers, to develop tools for monitoring customer satisfaction, and to build continuous, quality improvement systems that respond to consumer feedback. Although much of the research has been conducted by and for the corporate world, customer service and satisfaction is not limited to the private sector. Publicly funded organizations that are incorporating practices developed in the business world provide a growing body of experience and study. Increasingly, federal, state and local government agencies are attempting to gauge their performance and the effect on those they directly serve. Throughout the public sector, initiatives to “reinvent” government--including education reform, privatization, and managed care--have elevated customer service and satisfaction to new priorities. Within the European Union, a shift is underway to re-think and reform social services with social inclusion and “user involvement” as driving forces in quality improvement.
The definition of customer satisfaction has been widely debated as organizations increasingly attempt to measure it. Customer satisfaction can be experienced in a variety of situations and connected to both goods and services. It is a highly personal assessment that is greatly affected by customer expectations. Satisfaction also is based on the customer's experience of both contact with the organization (the “moment of truth” as it is called in business literature) and personal outcomes. Some researchers define a satisfied customer within the private sector as “one who receives significant added value” to his/her bottom line--a definition that may apply just as well to public services. Customer satisfaction differs depending on the situation and the product or service. A customer may be satisfied with a product or service, an experience, a purchase decision, a salesperson, store, service provider, or an attribute or any of these. Some researchers completely avoid “satisfaction” as a measurement objective because it is “too fuzzy an idea to serve as a meaningful benchmark.” Instead, they focus on the customer's entire experience with an organization or service contact and the detailed assessment of that experience. For example, reporting methods developed for health care patient surveys often ask customers to rate their providers and experiences in response to detailed questions such as, “How well did your physicians keep you informed?” These surveys provide “actionable” data that reveal obvious steps for improvement.
Customer satisfaction is a highly personal assessment that is greatly influenced by individual expectations. Some definitions are based on the observation that customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction results from either the confirmation or disconfirmation of individual expectations regarding a service or product. To avoid difficulties stemming from the kaleidoscope of customer expectations and differences, some experts urge companies to “concentrate on a goal that's more closely linked to customer equity.”
Instead of asking whether customers are satisfied, they encourage companies to determine how customers hold them accountable. In the public sector, the definition of customer satisfaction is often linked to both the personal interaction with the service provider and the outcomes experienced by service users. (Customer satisfaction, 2007, p. 6-7)
1.1 Measuring service quality via customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the leading criterion for determining the quality that is actually delivered to customers through the product/service and by the accompanying servicing (Vavra, 1997). Simply stated, customer satisfaction is essential for corporate survival. Several studies have found that it costs about five times as much in time, money and resources to attract a new customer as it do to retain an existing customer. This creates the challenge of maintaining high levels of service, awareness of customer expectations and improvement in services and product.
Knowledge of customer expectations and requirements, Hayes states, is essential for two reasons - it provides understanding of how the customer defines quality of service and products, and facilitates the development of customer satisfaction questionnaires (Hayes, 1997, p. 7). Furthermore, customer satisfaction is recognized as of great importance to all commercial firms because of its influence on repeat purchases and word-of-mouth recommendations
Satisfaction, reinforces positive attitudes toward the brand, leading to a greater likelihood that the same brand will be purchased again ... dissatisfaction leads to negative brand attitudes and lessens the likelihood of buying the same brand again
...if consumers are satisfied with a product or brand, they will be more likely to continue to purchase and use it and to tell others of their favorable experience with it ... if they are dissatisfied, they will be more likely to switch brands and complain to manufacturers, retailers, and other consumers about the product.
There are several ways to assess the quality of services and customer satisfaction through subjective, or soft, measures of quality, which focus on perceptions and attitudes of the customer rather than more concrete objective criteria. These soft measures include customer satisfaction surveys and questionnaires to determine customer attitudes and perceptions of the quality of the service they are receiving (Hayes, 1997, p. 2). Because the extent to which goods or services meet the customer's needs and requirements is the index by which quality is determined, customers' perceptions of service is vital in identifying customer needs and satisfaction.
To be successful, a customer satisfaction measurement program must come from and be incorporated into the firm's corporate culture. In today's competitive environment one of the most important goals of corporate cultures is retaining and satisfying current and past customers. Experience shows that only “consumer oriented” corporations can achieve this goal. These companies focus on the needs and want of specific target groups and then work hard to maximize satisfaction with the product or service being offered (Vavra, 1997, p. 12). Instead of waiting for customer complaints to let them know when something isn't satisfactory or wrong, a “consumer oriented” corporate culture, seeks continuous feedback from its customers through repeated customer satisfaction measurements (Vavra, 1997, p. 13).
Social psychologists, marketing researchers, and students of consumer behavior, have extensively studied the concepts of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The increasing importance of quality in both service and manufacturing industries has also created a proliferation of research, with more than 15,000 academic and trade articles having been published on the topic of customer satisfaction in the past two decades. Several conferences have been devoted to the subject and extensive literature reviews have been published. The result of all this research has been the development of nine distinct theories of customer satisfaction. The majority of these theories are based on cognitive psychology; some have received moderate attention, while other theories have been introduced without any empirical research. The nine theories include:
· expectancy disconfirmation;
· assimilation or cognitive dissonance;
· generalized negativity; and
Customer satisfaction can also be defined as satisfaction based on an outcome or a process. Vavra's (1997, p. 4) outcome definition of customer satisfaction characterizes satisfaction as the end-state resulting from the experience of consumption. This end state may be a cognitive state of reward, an emotional response to an experience or a comparison of rewards and costs to the anticipated consequences. Vavra also puts forth a definition of customer satisfaction based as a process, emphasizing the perceptual, evaluative and psychological processes contributing to customer satisfaction (1997, p. 4). In this definition, assessment of satisfaction is made during the service delivery process.
1.2 Customer complaint
Customer complaint is very important factor for any airline. In service industry human behavior plays a very important role to minimize customer complaint. There are two types of complaints via controlled and uncontrolled. There are many factors that affect passengers such as, flight delays, misbehavior by staff, etc. and they result in a complaining behavior. Whereas, there are so many situations where can't be controlled such as, weather problems, technical fault, etc. Although these situations are not in control but can reduce the complaining behavior which depends on “how situation is handled by airline staff”. If a staff is not trained to handle situation then it is not acceptable because it is airline fault. If staff misbehaves with the passenger or due to lack of staff knowledge, wrong information has passed to the passenger. Such are the complaints which can be minimized and controlled. However, genuine customers' complaint can enhance service quality of airlines. Some airlines have customer feedback form for rating of the services rendered by them and feedback helps the airline industry in identifying its strengths and weaknesses.
1.3 Customer complaint behavior
It is the tendency of every human that whatever is promised, it must be given to them if there is any deviation in the services, will attract complaint. Whenever a passenger book ticket for any airline and at the time of booking he/she is informed about the services which will be rendered to him/her, thereon. Whatsoever is the reason for not providing the services, passengers are not concerned but they want services which were promised to them at the time of booking. This will lead to the customer complaint. Some customers are followers to others, however, they don't want to make complain but they follow the others.
Flight related problems: Such problems lead to customer complaint when there is planned delay or cancellation of flights and passengers are not informed in advance. It is dissatisfying if change is planned or unplanned and the passengers are not informed. Even if passengers are informed about schedule change but it is complaining for customers who were having onward flights for different destinations but alternative arrangements were not made.
Fare related problems: When there is any discrepancy in fare related issues, such as incorrect fare information, extra charges, wrong availability status etc.
Reservation/Ticketing: Any mistake at the time of ticketing by travel agents or airline staff in terms of date of travel, name mismatch etc. leads to waiting in queue for a long time for obtaining tickets.
Baggage mishandling: If any baggage is missing or damaged on arrival due to wrong offloading of baggage. Claim settlement is not done properly for missing or damage baggage. Also, if arrival baggage comes late on arrival belt.
Refunds of tickets: If ticket is unused partially or fully and refund is not processed. Problems in airline procedure for obtaining refund for unused tickets.
Excess Baggage charge: If excess baggage charged wrongly due to non updation of current procedure, staff error whereas passenger was allowed to carry that much weight.
Staff attitude: Staff attitude plays very important role in complaint as well as compliment. If staff attitude is positive that can convert a complaint into compliment and vice versa.
Advertising: If any airline do wrong advertising for their services, will directly lead to complaint.
In-flight services: If services are rendered in flight not up to the standard and behavior of cabin crew is also rude and unhelpful will lead to complaint.
Cargo: If a person books urgent cargo with the airline and it is misplaced and not delivered on time due to staff error.
Tour operation: Now a days, so many airlines operates tours (Air tickets, hotel reservations, sight seen, taxi etc.) even if there is no problem with air travel nevertheless it attracts complain if there is any problem in full tour package because it was sold by airline.
In service industry, service quality and price have an important role in influencing customer satisfaction. This paper serves to add the knowledge by improving the understanding of how service quality and price affect customer satisfaction in full service airlines and low cost airlines. To test the hypothesis, data were collected using cross-sectional approach from consumers of both full service low cost airlines. Using self-administered questionnaires, 400respondent data (200 data from each airline) was collected using incidental sampling method from Jakarta and Bandung. This study underlines that the service quality especially the service employees' attitudes and price are factors that should be given more attention for developing customer satisfaction in both types of airlines, although their competitive strategy and target market are different.
In the last 25 years, the aviation industry has been growing rapidly. In addition to its technological developments, the growing of airline industry due to its role as supporting the world trade, international investment, and tourism activities. Because of these roles, it is often said that the aviation industry is the center of globalization for other industries (Hanlon, 2000). The growing of the airline industry provides opportunities as well as challenges to the business entities in this industry. Thegrowing of this industry has led to the governments around the world to deregulate the industry by enabling companies to form private airlines. Further, the stringent rules on safety flight are currently applied in almost all countries. The low cost airlines grew up in America and Europe in the 1990s and the development of low cost airlines now has spreaded throughout the world including Indonesia. In Indonesia, currently listed no less than nine low-cost airlines serving short-haul flights, domestic as well as to neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore. With emphasizing on low price strategy and providing efficient service (commonly called no frills), low cost airline now a serious competitor for traditional airlines which provide full service. This paper examines how service quality and price as airlines competitive strategy influence consumer satisfaction in both low cost and full service airlines.
Airline service provides a good example, with customers first making inquiries and reservations, and then checking in their baggage, getting seat assignments, being checked at the gate, receiving on-board service in flight, and retrieving their baggage at the destination airport. Each of these activities is an operations task that is secondary to the core product of physically transporting passengers and their bags between two airports. But these secondary tasks have a greater potential to generate customer dissatisfaction if performed poorly ( (Doganis, 2006) p. 272).
2. AirBaltic and Uzbekistan airways companies
2.1 AirBaltic - a Regional Airline.
Latvian airline A/S "Air Baltic Corporation" (airBaltic) was founded in 1995. The primary shareholder is the Latvian state with 99.8% of stock. airBaltic is a hybrid airline taking the best practices both from traditional network airlines and low cost carriers.
In 2008, airBaltic changed its operating model from a point-to-point carrier to a network airline making Riga a connecting hub between East and West. Since the transition, airBaltic has experienced significant improvements in traffic and financial performance, including a 30% rise in passengers at its home airport in 2009. In 2009, airBaltic carried almost 2.8 million passengers. (AirBaltic, 2014)
The top priorities of airBaltic are - safety, punctuality and service.
In 2010, airBaltic received the ATW's Phoenix Award, the “Oscar” for the aviation industry, as well as the anna.aero ANNIES Award as Europe's largest flag carrier by the number of new routes. The following table shows leading Baltic airlines:
2.2 Simple and Accessible
The airline offers low fare tickets in its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. The prices are competitive not only with other airlines, but also with the prices of bus, car, train or ferry travel. One way tickets are available not only for direct but also for transfer flights. The one-way ticket structure allows combining air travel with other means of transportation and gives customers broader schedule options. Ticket pricing is demand driven. Ticket sales are offered through the airline's website as well as travel agencies. The company employs over 1100 people, the majority of whom are directly involved in flight operations. (AirBaltic, 2014)
Currently, airBaltic operates direct flights out of two Baltic State capitals - Riga, Latvia and Vilnius, Lithuania and serves over 50 destinations. airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East.
From Riga airBaltic offers direct flights to Aalesund, Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Baku, Barcelona, Bari, Bergen, Berlin, Billund, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Burgas, Chisinau, Copenhagen, Dublin, Dьsseldorf, Frankfurt,Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kaliningrad, Kiev, London, Milan, Minsk, Moscow, Munich, Nice, Odessa, Oslo, Palanga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Stavanger, Stockholm, Tallinn, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Turku, Varna, Venice, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zurich.
The airBaltic fleet currently consists of 3 types of aircraft - 5 Boeing 737-500s, 8 Boeing 737-300 and 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen, in total - 25 aircraft. (AirBaltic, 2014)
AirBaltic has established close co-operation with airlines that enhance airBaltic's well-balanced network of West-bound and East-bound destinations. The flights are operated in codeshare with the following partners: SAS, Aeroflot, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air Berlin, Etihad Airways, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airline, British Airways, Ukraine International Airlines, Rossiya Airlines, Tarom, Transaero Airlines, Belavia, Uzbekistan Airways, Azerbaijan Airlines, Georgian Airways. airBaltic's business model is based on both point-to-point service and transfer traffic. AirBaltic provides air cargo transportation services and is the official representative of Singapore Airlines in Latvia. (AirBaltic, 2014)
2.3 National Air Company Uzbekistan Airways
Operating as Uzbekistan Airways is the national airline of Uzbekistan, headquartered in Tashkent. From its hub in Tashkent International Airport, the airline serves a number of domestic destinations; the company also flies international services to Asia, Europe and North America.
Uzbekistan Airways serves almost 50 domestic and international destinations, from Tashkent International Airport. The airline owns 11 airports, five of which have international status.
Uzbekistan Airways Technics provides technical services for Il-76, Il-62, An-2 and Yak-42 aircraft, and aircraft engines Аn-25, Тa-6А and Тa-8, also A, B, C, D and IL checks on the Boeing 767, Boeing 757, Airbus 310, Airbus 320 and RJ-85.
At April 2000, the airline had 16,296 employees. Destinations served at the time included Almaty, Amsterdam, Andizhan,Ashgabat, Athens, Baku, Bangkok, Beijing, Bishkek, Bukhara, Chelyabinsk, Delhi, Dhaka, Ekaterinburg, Fergana, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jeddah, Karshi, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow, Namangan, New York, Novosibirsk, Nukus, Omsk, Paris, Riyadh, Rostov, Samara, Samarkand, Seoul, Sharjah, Simferopol, St. Petersburg, Tashkent, Tel Aviv, Termez, Tyumen, Ufa, and Urgench. (UzAirways, 2014)
Since its formation, Uzbekistan Airways has mainly aimed its passenger service at Western Europe and other international locations. Most flights to international locations operate from Tashkent, although regional international services do exist.
The carrier is not part of any partnerships or alliances, but negotiations are under way to join SkyTeam, according to reports from the Uzbek government; however, no official announcement has been made so far either by the airline or the alliance. Uzbekistan Airways' candidacy is being sponsored by Korean Air.
Uzbekistan Airways has code share agreements with the following airlines:
· Air Baltic
· Air India
· Czech Airlines
· Korean Air
· Malaysia Airlines
Both the Boeing 757-200 and the Boeing 767-300ER entered the fleet in late 1996; the airline took delivery of these aircraft as part of an order placed in October 1995. Still in operation, both types are powered with Pratt & Whitney engines.
Uzbekistan Airways was the launch customer for the Ilyushin Il-114; it took delivery of the first, locally-assembled aircraft, in July 1998.
In mid-2007, the carrier ordered six Airbus A320s; by that time the fleet was 55 strong, comprising 10 different aircraft models; the Russian-built Yak-40 was among them.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbekistan_Airways - cite_note-Airbus_signs_China_A320_FAL_agreement-9 Also in mid-2007, the airline ordered two Boeing 787-8s, with a contract for the engines with General Electric worth US$70 million. In late 2008, the company ordered four Boeing 767-300ERs in a US$597 million deal, and the A320 order was boosted to ten aircraft.
The airline took delivery of its first A320 in July 2010; the type started operations servicing the Tashkent-Baku route. The first of four Boeing 767-300ERs ordered in 2008 was delivered in February 2012, in coincidence with the carrier's 20th anniversary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbekistan_Airways - cite_note-16Also in 2012, the airline retired the An-24 from active service. It was informed in May 2013 that the Islamic Development Bank signed a deal for US$270 million with the Government of Uzbekistan that will be partly (US$170 million) used to finance the acquisition of two Boeing aircraft, yet the type involved was not disclosed.
In July 2013, the Airbus A310 was retired from active service. (Wikipedia, 2014)
The Uzbekistan Airways National Airline is the flag carrier of the Republic of Uzbekistan that meets the demand of the national economy and population for air transportation services (cargo, passenger and special aviation tasks).
The principal functions of the company include providing high quality services on local and international flights, research and introduction of new developments and technologies in aviation.
Uzbek Airways has the status of a corporation comprising different legal entities as its structural units and operates on the principles of cost accounting, self-financing and self-reevaluation. The company has its capital assets and working capital, individual and consolidated balance, a range of accounts in the banks of Uzbekistan as well as abroad. (UzAirways, 2014)
The airline regularly flies to over 40 cities of the world in Europe and Asia, the US and Japan. It has its representative offices in 25 countries of the world.
Uzbekistan Airways' fleet consists of Boeing 757 and 767, Airbus 320, locally made Ilyushin-114-100 and Airbus 300-600 cargo aircraft. To maintain professional qualification, competence and skills of its pilots, the airline runs its own Training Centre which has modern procedural training machines for B757/767, A320 and the unique IL-114-100 full-flight simulator. As the company is looking forward to receiving new generation airliners Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in 2016, it is working on the establishment of the regional repair depot for planes' large constructive elements made of composite materials. This repair shop, first in Central Asia, is being developed on the basis of Uzbekistan Airways Technics, the company's maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. All the eleven airports of Uzbekistan Airways are international, and the company employs over 14,000 people. (UzAirways, 2014) Uzbekistan Airways' business strategy stipulates the implementation of the programme for the development of the country's civil aviation which includes the modernisation and unification of its aircraft and engines, the construction of new airports and terminals, reconstruction of its air traffic control systems, replacement of its aerodrome ground equipment with new modern facilities, the enhancement of the capacity of its repair and maintenance units and the establishment of its own modern stuff training centre. Uzbek Airways also plans to join the SkyTeam International Airline Alliance. (UzAirways, 2014)
According to SKYTRAX over 800 features of product facility and staff service are ranked across the ground/airport and cabin service environments, covering categories listed below. Airport rating is based on an airline's "home-base" airport. (Skytrax, 2014) CABIN SERVICES Cabin Seating Cabin Cleanliness Cabin Comfort Amenities Cabin Announcements Onboard Catering Inflight Entertainment Cabin Staff Service
Figure 2.1 The evaluation of importance of services during the flights, according to Skytrax
According to this figure, the cabin staff service is the most important for customers, but the cabin seating and onboard catering not less important than cabin staff. This table shows, that the costumers decided comfort amenities are not so important than other services, because the result of this service is significantly behind. (Airlinenews, 2014)
3. Level of satisfaction of airBaltic and Uzbekistan airways passengers
According to the Skytrax (air travel ratings and reviews) Uzbekistan airways and airBaltic have 3 star rating. The 3-Star Airline Rating is awarded delivering a fair Quality performance that conforms to an industry “average” of acceptable product and service standards the 3-Star Airline rating signifies a satisfactory standard of core Product for most travel categories - but may reflect inconsistent standards of Staff Service and/or Product delivery in either the Onboard or Airport environments. (Skytrax, 2014)
In order to specifically understand and analyze the answers and opinions of people, I create a small questionnaire of most important issues. I have surveyed passengers of both airlines: airBaltic and Uzbekistan airways, to determine the customer satisfaction during the flights. The number of participated people was 15. They all are students who have used both airlines on the flights from Tashkent to Riga and from Riga to Tashkent. Students, who have volunteered to participate in my survey, had the opportunity to express their complaints, recommendations and suggestions and assured what they were satisfied. In total there were only 9 simple questions, that students can easily answer paying just a few minutes.
The first question of my survey was: “How do you evaluate airBaltic and Uzbekistan airways in general?” The following charts show the question summary.
According to the table 3.1, the most of passengers answered that the airBaltic in general is satisfactorily and good. The 2nd question was the same, but the opinions about Uzbekistan airways in general:
According to this chart (table 3.2), no one answered Uzbekistan airways as terribly, poorly or even satisfactorily. So, it means that the Uzbekistan airways clearly superior than airBaltic in general. But what exactly passengers think about other types of services during the flights? Here are some comments of passengers about airlines: “I flew to Tashkent with Uzbekistan airways on 5 October, return on 12 October. Flights both ways were excellent, Boeing 757 on the way out, and Boeing 767 on return. Planes were clean, the flight crew helpful and friendly. Neither flight was full to capacity nor thus was I able to have the entire seating row to myself each way. Was served dinner on both flights, they were substantial and satisfying, nice, warm blankets were also on the seats on boarding. Both flights took off and landed at time. My only criticism is that the inflight entertainment was in Uzbek/Russian, even though the films being shown were English/American. I would recommend this airline”; “From Riga to Tashkent. The Dh8 is very good aircraft for regional flight. There were on time takeoff and landing. Everything on board you must pay for. I ordered one hot chocolate. It was very nice. Ground staff at Riga airport was so helpful. Crew was friendly to all passengers.”
The 3rd and 4th question were about the quality of in-flight services of both airlines. This question includes onboard catering: design, the quality; and in-flight entertainment: TV, radio, magazines, music and other. Here's the charts, which shows the summaries:
In the table 3.3 we can see that the costumers have different opinions, but in total the in-flight service of airBaltic is satisfactorily. Here is one of the comments of passenger, who flew with Uzbekistan airways: “The airBaltic plane was nice, quiet new, a little noisy inside but the seat pitch was better than on most other airlines I have traveled with. We pre-ordered drinks online which we received very fast and had a cheese plate with olives which was tasty, too, but food and drinks are costly. Staff on board was really friendly and spoke good English. Flight was on time. But: no inflight entertainment, but no magazines or newspapers offered, only the airlines onboard magazine. All in all I can recommend this airline.” So, according to this comment, we can understand that the problem of not good answers is in entertainment.
The table 3.4 shows the result of question about the quality of in-flight services in Uzbekistan airways. The answers for these questions are almost similar, so, that means that the every airline have several disadvantages, But anyway, in general both of airlines is satisfactorily. Here's the comment of costumer: “Cabin crew of Uzbekistan airways were smart, friendly and efficient. Spoke quite good English. Food was free, but the quality of food were disappointed me, service generally professional and everything passed off without a hitch, entertainment were good, because there were TVs with 6 or 7 films in three languages.” According to the comment we can say that the quality of food is poor, but the entertainment is quiet nice.
The 5th and 6th questions were about one of the most important things which is affect for the customer's mood during all flights - flight attendant. In this questions passengers a little bit disagreed
The table 5 shows that the biggest number of answers is “good”. So, it means the passengers satisfied, and they pleased about flight attendant in airBaltic. Almost all comments of passengers confirm their satisfaction: “Ground staff at Riga airport were so helpful. Crew were friendly to all passengers.”, “on board flight attendants were polite.”
The flight attendant in Uzbekistan airways disappointed costumers, because the answers are quiet bad. But some of people found them as “good”. It means that the passengers had different experiences during the flights. Cabin crew is often changed, so that's why passengers disagreed, and gave different answers and results. Here's some comments about flight attendant in Uzbekistan airways: “Crew members don't say sorry or thank you.”, “Cabin Crew were very friendly.” „The flight crew helpful and friendly.” “The crew members - not even a smile or 'Hello'”.
The next questions were so interesting, because the questions are opened and there I could find more information, suggestions and opinions of customers. “What do you think about service during the flights with airBaltic?” Most of answers of passengers were about on-board catering: food drinks. (Figure 3.1) For example this answer: “The planes is so small, so seating were not comfortable, when i flew to Tashkent with airBaltic first time, i bought the ticket with the same price as in Uzbekistan airways, the flight attendant was so pretty and smile always. But the food and drinks were not cheap, in Uzbekistan airways drinks served several times and the food were delicious during the flight.” In this comment passenger compared both of airlines. He said that the flight attendant is friendly; we saw it in the table 5. The following comment “Good flight attendants, but the price should include free drinks for all flights and free catering for long-haul flights” is saying the same. In total 11 people answered and 4 people skipped the question
Figure 3.1 Some comments and suggestions for airBaltic
According to the answers for the next question about Uzbekistan airways(Figure 3.2), I can say that the passengers paid attendant more for flight attendant. “The flight attendant should be friendlier”; “I think they should train flight attendants to be more attentive to the passengers.” For this question answered only 8 people and 7 people skipped
Figure 3.2 Some comments and suggestion for Uzbekistan airways
The last question of the survey is ”what the most important service during the flight?”. There were several types of answers, from which the customers would choose:
· Cabin Staff Service
· Cabin Seating
· Cabin Cleanliness
· In-flight entertainment
· Cabin Comfort Amenities
· Cabin Announcement
· On board catering
And according to this question (Table 3.7) the most important service during the flights is - on board catering - 10 people voted, cabin staff service - 9 people voted, and cabin comfort amenities - 7 people choosed.
In this case, there were also some comments of customers satisfaction: about Uzbekistan airways ... “Well, for crew for less amount of tax, and probably because most of the crew stays quite long time in their grades for a long period of time, which makes them quite experienced. Most of the time new crew never smiles! The way they address people is quite cold and rude. Old crew, however, are pretty outgoing, helpful and smile a lot.”, “Cabin staff is good and speak English quite good. Food was not that good, probably because it's only 1 hour flight. “, “Cabin crew is smart, friendly and efficient. Spoke quite good English. Food was satisfactorily, service generally professional and everything passed off without a hitch. “Riga-Tashkent leg had a new crew. Service remained good. Food was actually a little better. I noticed they'd given him water and food. Overall, it was not a bad experience in Uzbekistan airways. I would recommend - it will most likely be the airline I choose. “And about airBaltic … “no inflight entertainment, but no magazines or newspapers offered, only the airlines onboard magazine.”, “The crew members - not even a smile or 'Hello'. Seats - were very narrow and uncomfortable. No meal or drinks on board. Not even water. But you can buy it or order when purchasing your ticket.”, “I had a terrible flight with Air Baltic, especially because of the behavior of their staff. In PLQ they like to shout at passengers "You have to pay", the only thing which produces a smile with their staff. 5 Minutes later it was checked, that I did not have to pay.”, “Water onboard was $2.50. I would recommend avoiding this airline by all means.”
There were so many different opinions about the airlines, services they offered, entertainment, other facilities, and everyone has a lot of positive and a lot of negative answers and ratings. Compare with the information and ratings in web sources I can say that everyone had different experience, not only the passengers who flew from Riga to Tashkent and return, but also all over the world.
Conclusions and recommendations
According to all of these opinions I can say that every passenger who have used both airlines had a very different experience, some of them are quiet good, but some is not. Generally based on answers, comments and suggestions of costumers about airBaltic I can conclude the following:
1. AirBaltic have delicious food and drinks, but everybody has to pay for it;
2. There is no entertainment on board, besides magazines;
3. The flight attendant according to the answers for last question is the most important thing for passengers and airBaltic successfully cope with the task. Cabin crew are friendly, smiling and helpful;
4. Comfort amenities are important for passengers, so airBaltic has good comfortable seats, and the costumers more or less satisfied.
Uzbekistan airways have many positive and negative ratings. According to them, i can make the following conclusion:
1. Uzbekistan airways serve the food and drinks several times during the flight - it is already good, but according to answers of costumers the quality sometimes is good, sometimes is poor;
2. The flight attendant does not need the expected image of a flight attendant as they look older, some of them are friendly and helpful, but some of them are not, cause some passengers satisfied, some of them not;
3. They have on board entertainment such as TV with several films in 3 languages: Uzbek, Russian and English. So, passengers can take themselves by watching movies or listening to music during the flight;
4. Despite the large aircraft, costumers complain about the uncomfortable seats.
In this case, I would like to give some suggestions:
1. Adding free drinks on board during the flights with airBaltic, because according to the question 7, most of passengers complain about food and drinks they need to pay for everything, even for water. The price for both airlines frequently changing, but anyway they are almost similar;
2. Add some kinds of in-flight entertainment in airBaltic, for example: headphones and several types of music, in order to take passengers during the flight;
3. For Uzbekistan airways - to work more with cabin crew and improve qualification of flight attendant;
4. To improve the quality of food in Uzbekistan airways.
Based on this work, I can say that it is very difficult to determine the results of customer satisfaction. Because each of them is unique, has limitless needs and special requirements.
1.AirBaltic. (2014). About us. Retrieved from AirBaltic airways: https://www.airbaltic.com/en/basic-company-information
2. Airlinenews. (2014). Airline industry today. Retrieved from Airlines: http://airlines.einnews.com/news/airbaltic
3. Doganis, R. (2006). The Airline Business. London: Routledge.
4. Francis P. Noe, M. U., & Magnini, V. P. (2010). Tourist Customer Service Satisfaction. London : Routledge.
5. Hayes, B. E. (1997). Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty. USA: ASQ.
6. John A. Williams, M. U. (2003). Current Issues and Development in Hospitality and Tourism Satisfaction. USA: The Haworth Hospitality Press.
7. N.B. (2013, June 26). Gulliver Business travel. Retrieved June 26, 2013, from Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2013/06/customer-satisfaction
8. Skytrax. (2014). Skytrax. Retrieved from Airline quality: http://www.airlinequality.com/
9. UzAirways. (2014). About our company. Retrieved from Uzbekistan Airways: http://www.uzairways.com/about/?lang=en
10. Vavra, T.G. (1997). Improving Your Measurement of Customer Satisfaction. USA: ASQ.
11. Wikipedia. (2014, April 7). Uzbekistan Airways. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbekistan_Airways
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