Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
competency-based training, flight attendants, airline cabin crew, employee performance, passenger satisfaction
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2017), over one billion tourists traveled the globe in 2016. In spite of this increase of travelers, airlines are faced with declining levels of customer service and quality of customer experience (American Customer Satisfaction Index [ACSI], 2012). Frontline service employees, like flight attendants, create a critical impression of the service which affects customer perceptions and satisfaction. Nevertheless, many unknowns exist about what creates such impression and how it can be improved. In particular, no study has investigated the effects of Competency-Based Training (CBT) on flight attendants’ performance and consequently passengers’ satisfaction. The goal of this research was to examine the effect of CBT on flight attendants’ performance and consequently passengers’ satisfaction. A group of 109 flight attendants was trained in four competences: managing stress, dealing with conflict situations, displaying human relations skills, and delivering quality customer service. Pre-and post-training measures of flight attendants’ performance and customer satisfaction were taken. Random sampling was employed to administer questionnaires to passengers traveling between the Caribbean and North America. Bivariate analysis revealed that there was a positive association between flight attendant performance and customer satisfaction. However, flight attendant performance was not positively associated with CBT. Further analysis revealed that customer satisfaction is associated with CBT. Consequently, theoretical and practical implications were developed.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Gibbs, L., Slevitch, L., & Washburn, I. (2017). Competency-Based Training in Aviation: The Impact on Flight Attendant Performance and Passenger Satisfaction. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.15394/jaaer.2017.1716