AN EXAMINATION INTO SERVICE QUALITY MEASUREMENT OF NIGERIAN AIRLINES
This study investigates airlines level of service to domestic passengers in Nigeria using process stages with a number of service quality attributes each. These attributes represent points where the passenger experience varying kind of services. Data were collected from passengers waiting for their flights using a well-structured questionnaire on a five-point likert scale regarding passenger’s expectations and perception of service offer. The data was encoded into Microsoft excel and subsequently analyzed with the aid of statistical analysis software (SAS) using percentage, mean and standard deviation. The analysis was done by computing the mean and standard deviation of both expectations and perception of the twenty service quality attributes. Subsequently, subtracting the expectation mean from the perception mean resulted in the perceived service quality which is the gap. The results indicate a negative perceived service quality (gap) in all the twenty service quality attributes and seven process items tested. Airline departure of flights at scheduled times and accuracy and promptness of baggage delivery obtained the highest expectation mean (m=4.55 and m=4.49), the least perception mean (m=2.37 and m=2.9) and the resultant widest negative gaps (m=-2.18 and m=-1.59). However, a general average perceived service quality mean of -1.00 was arrived at in the study. Since expectations exceeded perceptions in the twenty service quality attributes, the results suggest a high level of unacceptability and a conclusion that passengers are dissatisfied with airlines level of service. ANOVA tests show that service quality attributes have significant effect on passengers’ perceived service quality and that passengers show significant difference among age group in terms of passengers’ perception of service offer. Finally, it was obvious from the prioritization of service quality dimensions that assurance (safety records) is highly important to domestic airline passengers in Nigeria and influences their choice of airline rather than service quality. Consequently, recommendations were made to improve service delivery of airlines.