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Estudios y perspectivas en turismo

On-line version ISSN 1851-1732


BRAVO, Mercedes; VASQUEZ-PARRAGA, Arturo Z.  and  ZAMORA GONZALEZ, Jorge. Loyalty in the Air: Facts and Myths Related to Airline Passenger Loyalty. Estud. perspect. tur. [online]. 2005, vol.14, n.2, pp.101-121. ISSN 1851-1732.

Passenger loyalty has grown in importance in international commercial airlines services, mainly because of the crisis affecting the tourist sector in later years and an increased competition among the service providers in a shrinking market.  As a consequence, there is more promotion of this service and there is an emphasis on the company programs aiming at generating loyalty.  However, multiple memberships and weak satisfaction with the service have made such programs ineffective, as demonstrated by customers frequently switching airlines and postponing their flights.  Mainstream studies of loyalty indicate that loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction, reason why "loyalty programs" emerged.  This direct linkage has been questioned in recent studies, according to which loyalty is determined by relational factors, as opposed to transactional ones. This study explores such factors regarding airline passenger loyalty.  Primary data is based on a survey collected at the Santiago International Airport. Empirical evidence demonstrates that the process generating loyalty in airline services is determined by commitment, trust and satisfaction, in that order of importance.

Keywords : Customer loyalty; Commitment; Trust; Satisfaction; Airline passenger; Loyalty programs.

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