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Passengers' expectations of airport service quality

Dale Fodness (University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, USA)
Brian Murray (University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 16 October 2007




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the development of a conceptual model of service quality in airports by conducting an empirical investigation into passengers' expectations for this service industry.


The paper is a qualitative exploration of the airport experience from the passengers' perspective was combined with a review of relevant literature to identify variables, to clarify basic concepts and to generate a conceptual model of airport service quality expectations. The paper's quantitative research was used to develop a self‐report scale to measure passenger expectations of airport service quality, to test dimensionality and to evaluate scale reliability and validity.


Qualitative and quantitative research on nearly 1,000 airport users provided results suggesting that passengers' expectations of airport service quality is a multidimensional, hierarchical construct that includes three key dimensions: function, interaction and diversion.

Research limitations/implications

By bringing together different literatures and research paradigms to conceptualize service quality in a novel environment, the study contributes to the ongoing extension of service quality research. It is limited insofar as efforts to define a global expectations construct may have “homogenized” results.

Practical implications

This paper builds on the extant literature on service quality to propose an approach for measuring passengers' expectations of airport service quality that can serve as a foundation of a concise and easy‐to‐administer self‐report measure for identifying and managing airport service quality strategies.


The paper shows that by going beyond traditional service performance measures used in the airport industry and by introducing new variables to the service quality literature, such as Csikszentmihalyi's taxonomy of activity, this study broadens and enriches both practice and theory.



Fodness, D. and Murray, B. (2007), "Passengers' expectations of airport service quality", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 492-506.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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