Assessing the Antecedents and Dimensions of Air Passenger Experience (Case study: Iranian Airlines, Isfahan Airport)

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Management, Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Economics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


Though the customer experience and its components are measured to define, the antecedents and dimensions of customer experience require a comprehensive assessment in developing countries such as Iran. For this purpose, 23 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the passengers of different Iranian airlines. In this attempt, seven dimensions of customer experience were identified – including sensory, emotional, cognitive, recognition, security, novelty, and relationship dimensions – through thematic analysis method. To identify the factors affecting the passenger experience, a list of factors was initially extracted from previous studies. The impact of the ambiance inside the airplane, marketing programs, staff, scheduling, planning and management actions, the scope of passenger choice, and physical facilities were extracted through the fuzzy Delphi method according to 10 experts’ views. The purposed method and the findings therein would contribute to the efforts of researchers and marketing practitioners, airline managers, and travel agencies in identifying the existing challenges in the airline industry besides planning to develop modern airline infrastructure and competitive differentiation.


Main Subjects

Abdollahi, M., Ranjbarian, B., & Kazemi, A. (2020). An investigation of the antecedents of consumers’ confusion in purchasing an outbound package tour in the city of Isfahan by Fuzzy Delphi Method. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 11(3), 463-486.
Ali, F., Dey, B. L., & Filieri, R. (2015). An assessment of service quality and resulting customer satisfaction in Pakistan international airlines findings from foreigners and overseas Pakistani customers. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 32(5), 486-502.
Arnold, M. J., Reynolds, K. E., Ponder, N., & Lueg, J. E. (2005). Customer delight in a retail context: Investigating delightful and terrible shopping experiences. Journal of Business Research, 58(8), 1132-1145.
Ban, H. J., & Kim, H. S. (2019). Understanding customer experience and satisfaction through airline passengers’ online review. Sustainability, 11(15), 4066.
Bilgihan, A., Okumus, F., Nusair, K., & Bujisic, M. (2014). Online experiences: Flow theory, measuring online customer experience in e-commerce and managerial implications for the lodging industry. Information Technology and Tourism, 14(1), 49-71.
Boetsch, T., Bieger, T., & Wittmer, A. (2011). A customer-value framework for analyzing airline services. Transportation Journal, 50(3), 251-270.
Bogicevic, V., Yang, W., Bilgihan, A., & Bujisic, M. (2013). Airport service quality drivers of passenger satisfaction. Tourism Review, 68(4), 3-18.
Bolton, R. N., Kannan, P. K., & Bramlett, M. D. (2000). Implications of loyalty program membership and service experiences for customer retention and value. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science28(1), 95–108.
 Broun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
Cajetan, I. M., & Patrick, O. E. (2018). Digital banking, customer experience and bank financial performance: UK customers’ perceptions. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 36(2), 230-255.
Cavalli-Sforza, V., & Ortolano, L. (1984). Delphi forecasts of land-use–transportation interactions. Journal of Transportation Engineering, 110(3), 324-339.
Cheng, C. H., & Lin, Y. (2002). Evaluating the best main battle tank using fuzzy modification of Delphi. Human Systems Management, 5(1), 76-80.
Dalkey, N., & Helmer O. (1963). An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts. Management science, 9(3), 458 -67.
Farhadian, T., & Shahgholian, K. (2015). A fuzzy Delphi method for identifying effective indexes in absorption banking resources in Iran and pathology he performance of a bank with fan p-swot (Case study: Mehr bank of Iran). International Journal Biology Pharmacy and Allied Sciences, 4(8), 557-568.
Garg, R., Rahman, Z., & Qureshi, M. N. (2014). Measuring customer experience in banks: Scale development and validation. Journal of Modelling in Management, 9(1), 87-117.
Gentile, C., Spiller, N., & Noci, G. (2007). How to sustain the customer experience: An overview of experience components that co-create value with the customer. European Management Journal, 25(5), 395–410.
Gnoth, J., & Matteucci, X. (2014). A phenomenological view of the behavioral tourism research literature. International Journal of Culture Tourism and Hospitality Research8(1), 3-4.
Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Sage.
Hamzah, Z. L., Alwi, S. F. S., & Othman, M. N. (2014). Designing corporate brand experience in an online context: A qualitative insight. Journal of Business Research, 67(11),  2299-2310.
Harrison, A., Popovic, V., Kraal, B., & Kleinschmidt, T. (1-4 July, 2012). Challenges in passenger terminal design: A conceptual model of passenger experience. Paper presented at Research: Uncertainty Contradiction Value - DRS International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand.
Havir, D. (2017). A comparison of the approaches to customer experience analysis. Economics and Business, 31(1), 82–93.
Homburg, C., Jozi, D., & Kuehnl, C. (2015). Customer experience management: Toward implementing an evolving marketing concept. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1), 1–13.
Hosany, S., & Witham, M. (2009). Dimensions of cruisers’ experiences, satisfaction, and intention to recommend. Journal of Travel Research, 49(3), 351-364.
Hoyer, W. D., Kroschke, M., Schmitt, B., Kraume, K., & Shankar, V. (2020). Transforming the customer experience through new technologies. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 51(15), 57-71.
Hvass, K. A. (2014). To fund or not to fund: A critical look at funding destination marketing campaigns, Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, 3(3), 173-179.
Hwang, J., & Seo, S. (2016). A critical review of research on customer experience management: Theoretical, methodological and cultural perspectives. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(10), 2218-2246.
Jankingthong, W., & Gonejanart, P. (2012). The relationships of factors affecting post-purchase behavioral intentions in tourism sector. Silpakorn University Journal of Social Sciences Humanities, and Arts, 12(1), 72-90.
Jeloudarlou, S. N. A., Aali, S., Faryabi, M., & Bafandeh Zendeh, A. (2021). The effect of service scape on customer engagement: The mediating role of customer experience. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 23(2), 318-344.
Jiang, H., & Zhang, Y. (2016). An assessment of passenger experience at Melbourne Airport. Journal of Air Transport Management, 54(1), 88-92.
Kaufmann, A., & Gupta, M. M. (1988). Fuzzy mathematical models in engineering and management science. Elsevier Science Publishers.
Khan, I., & Rahman, Z. (2015). Brand experience formation mechanism and its possible outcomes: A theoretical framework. The Marketing Review, 15(2), 239-259.
 Kuppelwieser, V. G., & Klaus, P. (2021). Measuring customer experience quality: The EXQ scale, revisited. Journal of Business Research, 126(1), 624-633.
Laming, C., & Mason, K. (2014). Customer experience an analysis of the concept and its performance in airline brands. Research in Transportation Business and Management, 10(1), 15-25.
Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 69–96.
Liu, X. (2013). Crafting customer experience through cultural theming: A case of a cultural themed hotel in China [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Purdue University west, and Lafayette, Indiana.
 Lolini, E. (2018). Experience in customer experience. Data mining applications in an airline company. II level University Master's Degree Management, Innovation and Engineering of Services.
Losekoot, E. (2015). Factors influencing the airport customer experience: A case study of Auckland international airport’s customers [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Auckland University of technology.
Mahmoudi, S., Ranjbarian, B., & Fathi, S. (2017). Factors influencing on Iran’s image as a tourism destination. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 26(2), 186-210.
Maklan, S., & Klaus, P. (2011).Customer experience: Are we measuring the right things? International Journal of Market Research, 53(6), 771.
Martin, J., Mortimer, G., & Andrews, L. (2015). Re-examining online customer experience to include purchase frequency and perceived risk. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 25(1), 81-95.
McColl-Kennedy, J. R., Gustafsson, A., Jaakkola, E., Klaus, P., Radnor, Z. J., Helen erks, H., & Friman, M. (2015). Fresh perspectives on customer experience. Journal of Services Marketing, 29(6/7), 430-435.
Misopoulos, F., Mitic, M., Kapoulas, A., & Karapiperis, C. (2014). Uncovering customer service experiences with Twitter: The case of airline industry. Management Decision, 52(4), 705-723.
Molinillo, S., Navarro-García, Va., Anaya-Sánchez, R., & Japutra, A. (2020). The impact of affective and cognitive app experiences on loyalty towards retailersJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54(3), 3-4.
Namukasa, J. (2013). The influence of airline service quality on passenger satisfaction and loyalty: The case of Uganda airline industry. The TQM Journal, 25(5), 520-532.
Nysveen, H., Pedersen, P. E., & Skard, S. (2013). Brand experiences in service organizations: Exploring the individual effects of brand experience dimensions. Journal of Brand Management, 20(5), 404–423.
Otto, J. E., & Ritchie, J. R. B. (1996). The service experience in tourism. Tourism Management, 17(3), 165-174.
Pekovic, S., & Rolland, S. (2020). Recipes for achieving customer loyalty: A qualitative comparative analysis of the dimensions of customer experience. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 56(1), 102171.
Pine II, B. J., & Gilmore, J. H. (1998). Welcome to the experience economy. Harvard Business Review, 4(1), 97-105.
Rageh, A., Melewar, T. C., & Woodside, A. (2013). Using netnography research method to reveal the underlying dimensions of the customer/tourist experience. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 16(2), 126-149.
Ranjbarian, B., Ghasemi, V., & Shekarchizadeh, Z. (2018). Factors affecting information search behavior in purchasing an outbound package tour: A thematic analysis. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 11(3), 463-486.
Richardson, C. T. (2012). A study of generation X’s and Y’s perception of the customer experience when purchasing airline travel [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Capella University.
Rose, S., Clark, M., Samouel, P., & Hair, N. (2012). Online customer experience in e-retailing: An empirical model of antecedents and outcomes, Journal of Retailing, 88(2), 308–322.
Rudkowski, J., Heney, C., Yu, H., Sedlezky, S., & Gunn, F. (2020). Here today, gone tomorrow? Mapping and modeling the pop-up retail customer journey. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54(20), 101698.
Schmitt, B. (1999). Experiential marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 15(1-3), 53-67.
Srivastava, M., & Kaul, D. (2014). Social interaction, convenience and satisfaction: The mediating effect of customer satisfaction. Journal of Relating and Consumer Services, 21(6), 1028-103.
 Tajeddini, K., Rasoolimanesh, M., Gamage, T. C., & Martin, E. (2021). Exploring the visitors’ decision-making process for Airbnb and hotel accommodations using value-attitude-behavior and theory of planned behavior. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 96(1), 102950.
Verhoef, P., Lemon, K., Parasuraman, A., Roggeveen, A., Tsiros, M., & Schlesinger, L. (2009). Customer experience creation: Determinants, dynamics and management strategies. Journal of Retailing, 85(1), 31–41.
Verleye, K. (2015). The co-creation experience from the customer perspective: Its measurement and determinants. Journal of Service Management, 26(2), 321-342.
Voss, C., Tsikriktsis, N., & Frohlich, M. (2002). Case research in operations management. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 22(2), 195-219.
Walls, A., Okumus, F., Wang, Y., & Kwun, D. J. W. (2011). Understanding the consumer experience: An exploratory study of luxury hotels. Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, 20(2), 166-197.
Waqas, M., Hamzah, Z. L. B., & Salleh, N. A. M. (2021). Customer experience: A systematic literature review and consumer culture theory‑based conceptualization. Management Review Quarterly, 71(1), 135-176.
Wu, H. Y., Tzeng, G. H., & Chen, Y. H. (2009). A fuzzy MCDM approach for evaluating banking performance based on Balanced Scorecard. Expert Systems with Applications, 36(2), 10135–10147.
Zabkar, V., Brencic, M., & Dmitrovic, T. (2010). Modeling perceived quality, visitor satisfaction and behavioral intentions at the destination level. Tourism Management, 31(4), 537-546.
­Zhang, H., Lu, Y., Wang, B., & Wu, S. (2015). The impacts of technological environments and co-creation experiences on customer participation. Information and Management, 52(4), 468-482.