Del Chiappa, Giacomo and Martin, Juan Carlos and Roman, Concepcion (2016) Service quality of airports' food and beverage retailers: a fuzzy approach. Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol. 53 , p. 105-113. ISSN 0969-6997. Article.
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Nowadays the profitability of airports is largely based on non-aeronautical or commercial activities, and particularly on retail and food and beverage services. Further, researchers concur that shopping, eating and drinking in airports have to be considered an important part of tourists' experience and activities that can significantly enhance or damage the tourist destination image. Despite this, there is still little research that analyses how service quality (SQ) is perceived by passengers consuming food and beverages (F&B) in airport areas. This study aims to deepen the scientific debate on this topic. Specifically, this study applies fuzzy numbers with a sample of 551 passengers flying from Olbia-Costa Smeralda Airport (Sardinia Region, Italy) with the aim of determining how they perceive the SQ delivered by F&B retailers and whether age plays a determinant role in segmentation. Findings reveal which F&B features outperform others; furthermore, they show that age is a moderating factor in consumer satisfaction, with older passengers being less satisfied than their counterparts. This study adds knowledge to the literature devoted to SQ, applying a fuzzy number approach to the under-investigated research area related to F&B consumption in airport areas. Further, it provides information useful to airport managers on the features of F&B services that are most important in shaping consumer satisfaction, based also on their age. Limitations of the study are also discussed and suggestions for future research are given.
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