The challenges range from high fuel prices to entry of smaller industry players offering lower introductory prices to clients (Pfeffer, 2012). What makes some register more sales over the others is the customer satisfaction initiatives employed to encourage repeat business. This proposal analyses and evaluates the methods used by American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Air Tran and Virgin America to increase customer sales in this increasingly competitive market.
Airline companies under study, the operational challenges facing this industry, methods used by one major Airline Company to increase sales and the methods used by two smaller companies to increase sales.
Interviews with the top company management on the methods used to increase customer satisfaction and eventual sales. This is used as it allows for clarity on information that is not so clear for instance, obtaining clarity on company strategic plans and other documents.
The sampling strategy used reflects diversity in operations between the bigger and smaller players in the American airline industry. To clarify on this, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines enjoy economies of scale in sourcing for resource inputs while Air Tran and Virgin America are smaller players who get these operational resources in relatively smaller quantities.
These are big companies experiencing the same hindrances to growth, as well as same opportunities for success and so, just having one from the major airline segment and two from smaller airline group gives a holistic view of what is happening in the American airline industry.
There are 11 major airline companies, 3 major cargo operators and 30 smaller companies operating within American and global airspace. Given that the number of small airlines is almost double of those listed as major companies, a ratio of 2:1 is therefore appropriate for this qualitative research.