Improving the travel experience – greater profits through effective satisfaction measures

David Perroud
P. Robert and Partners SA (PRP), Switzerland

Daniel Ray
Grenoble Management School, France

Carsten Friedrichsen
Business Insights, IATA, Switzerland


This paper analyses why a lot of efforts that have been made in the past to raise air passengers' satisfaction have not helped most airlines to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Using years of historical and current data collected in the airline industry (more than 400,000 interviews, representative of intercontinental flights on 20 airlines over a period of 6.5 years), it demonstrates how each individual attribute can impact overall satisfaction in very different ways. In fact, only a few attributes have a linear impact (as is too often deduced from statistical models). Furthermore, corrective actions that only take into account the degree of importance of an attribute, whilst ignoring a potential asymmetry of its impact, often result in poor ROI.