Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that passenger complaints filed for the first quarter of 2015 were up 14.4% over the same period of the previous year. The purpose of this single case study was to explore strategies for mitigating low-cost airlines' passenger complaints. Porter's generic strategies provided the conceptual framework for this research study. Data were collected from 3 ground service managers employed by a low-cost airline in Florida using semistructured interview questions, direct observation, field notes, and review of the airline's website and public documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Member checking and methodological triangulation were used to ensure data saturation. Inductive line-by-line analysis of participant interviews and review of documents and website to identify similar words and phrases resulted in the emergence of 5 themes: complaints, training, customer retention, policies and procedures, and low-cost strategies. The implication for social change exists because airline managers can apply insights gained from this study to mitigate passenger complaints, thereby increasing the number of customers, lowering fares, and maintaining profitability. In this way, the study may support the creation of additional jobs for airlines as well as other industries providing services to an expanded workforce necessary to accommodate more passengers. Further, in supporting better performance for low-cost carriers, this study may help these businesses to offer low fares to customers previously unable to afford travel, enabling them to visit new places and gain a better understanding of other cultures.