Airline passengers’ perceptions of service quality: themes in online reviews

Ana Brochado, Paulo Rita, Cristina Oliveira, Fernando Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
944 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper aims to identify the main themes shared in online reviews by airline travellers, as well as which of these themes were linked with higher and lower value for money ratings. Design/methodology/approach: The research used mixed content analyses (i.e. quantitative and qualitative) to examine 1,200 reviews of six airline companies shared by airline travellers in a social media platform. Findings: The analyses revealed nine themes in descriptions of airline travel experiences. These are the core services during “flights”, “airport” operations, crew and ground “staff”, ticket “classes”, “seats”, inflight “services”, “entertainment”, overall experiences of “airlines” and post-purchase recommendations of with which companies to “fly”. Low value for money ratings are linked with the “airport” and “flights” themes. Originality/value: The results offer useful insights into airline travellers’ overall experiences based on social media information and facilitate the identification of the main themes linked with different value for money ratings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-873
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


  • Airline industry
  • Content analysis
  • Service quality
  • Value for money
  • Web reviews


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