Parasuraman,Berry, and Zeithaml (1991b, p. 41) defined tangibles as ”the appearance ofphysical facilities, equipment, personnel and communication materials”.Aghdaie and Faghani (2012), Nadiri, Hussain, Ekiz, and Erdogan (2008), Kim andLee (2011) and Lee, Lee, and Yoou (2000) discovered that tangibles may givesignificant positive impact on customer satisfaction.
In the context of airlineindustry, the tangible dimensions refer equipment such as air conditioners,communication devices. If these tangibles are inadequate, unavailable or inpoor conditions, then most likely customers will not feel satisfied with theservice of airline carrier. Therefore, airlines need to ensure that thephysical conditions of their aircrafts, facilities and equipment as well as thereading and entertainment materials provide in-flight and the appearance oftheir cabin crews are always tip-top. Reliability is described as ”theability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately”(Parasuraman et al., 1991b, p.
41). In their pass research, the variable reliabilityhas been found to have significant influence on customer satisfaction (Aghdaie& Faghani, 2012; Lee et al., 2000). In terms of airline industry,reliability dimension is referred to as the degree to which a carrier is ableto provide precise and trustable services as promised to the customers. Thisincludes staff are sincere interest to help the customersolve the problems, flightschedule depart and arrive on time without delay, accurate and up-to-dateflight information, luggage safety and delivery and personal safety andsecurity.
If the level of reliability is high, customers will definitely besatisfied with the airline service. Hence, the airlines need to ensure thattheir products and service are always trustable and reliable Responsiveness may be described as”the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service” (Parasuramanet al., 1991b, p. 41). Responsiveness is a significant antecedent of customersatisfaction (Aghdaie & Faghani, 2012; Kim & Lee, 2011; Lee et al.,2000).
In the airline context, responsiveness refers to the promptness of actiontaken whenever there are requests or complaints from the customers. Immediateaction must be taken in order to provide the service assistance and helpneeded. If the response time is poor then the service is deemed to beunsatisfactory and will leave a negative impact on the customer’s satisfaction.Acustomer will perceive quality in a positive way only when the service providermeets or exceeds his/her expectations (Robledo, 2001).
Assurance can be described as ”theknowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust andconfidence” (Parasuraman et al., 1991b, p. 41). Previous studies ((Clemes etal., 2008; Lee et al.
, 2000; Yi & La, 2003have found that assurance poses asignificant positive impact on customer satisfaction. In the airlineperspective, it is referred as the ability of a carrier to make customersconfidence and trust towards the airline. Moreover, the capability to exhibitcredibility and courtesy will play a vital role in building customers’confidence and trust. Empathy is referred to as “thecaring and individualized attention provided to the customer” (Parasuraman etal., 1991b, p. 41). This dimension is referred to the carrier’s ability toprovide individualized attention to the customers.
Empathy has been found tohave significant effect on customer satisfaction (Aghdaie & Faghani, 2012;Clemes et al., 2008; Lee et al., 2000; Suki, 2014).
A cabin crew who has a highdegree of empathy will have the ability to understand the feelings, needs andwants of their customers. Customers will definitely feel appreciated and thusestablishing a good interpersonal relationship. Personal caring attention willcreate a comfortable environment for customers during the flight.