### What steps would you take to close the gap

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Assignment: Customer Service

The airline industry has suffered recent setbacks, such as the high cost of fuel, that have forced the major carriers to cut back on many their services. Many airlines, like Delta and United, charge passengers a fee for checked baggage. Spirit Air announced it would also charge for carry-on bags. Most airlines charge for in-flight snacks or don't serve any at all. Airlines have reduced the number flights they operate to certain destinations, packing planes full to overflowing, and recent restrictions on the use of frequent-flyer miles make it difficult to cash them in. Then there are the record-setting delays and lost-luggage claims. All of these factors add up to less-than-enjoyable flying experiences for most travelers, many of whom are opting to find other modes of transportation or just staying home.

Suppose you are a marketer for one of the major airlines. Your company is facing difficulty providing acceptable service to the passengers on its flights, but you need to find a way to emphasize the positive features of your airline's service.

1. Using the five variables of service quality (Chapter 12) as your guideline, what steps would you take (within your control) to close the gap between the level of service passengers expect and the level they have been receiving?

2. How might you attract other customers? Would you give then a level of service that is different from other consumers who are flying with you?

The above ‘areas of concern' are provided to help stimulate your thinking for this case. They are not intended to provide a list of questions to answer.

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