ABSRJ 2017 Volume 8, Number 1

Advantages and disadvantages of deploying frequent flyer programs as impact factors affecting airline customer behavior and retention

Mark Wever
University of Latvia, Latvia
mark.wever@gmx.de

Abstract
As findings for the Asian air travel market show, across all market segments frequent flyer programs can have a positive effect on airline loyalty (Chang & Hung, 2013, p. 29). At the same time, while these customer loyalty programs are in wide use in the airline industry, whether these programs can bestow durable competitive advantage remains debatable (Martín et al., 2011, p. 364). Similarly, studies on customer loyalty programs indicate that, despite their popularity, these programs do not have an unequivocal effect on customer behavior, which is likely to limit their effectiveness (Dorotic et al., 2012, p. 217). Therefore, the impact of frequent flyer programs on behavioral and affective customer loyalty, such as in the form of customer retention, and company performance demands further research, due to lacking scholarly consensus on either the positive or the negative influence of these programs on competitive advantage in the airline industry.

Keywords: airline industry; frequent flyer programs; customer loyalty; customer retention; consumer behavior

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