Two successful companies are proposed as case study samples for the survey and extensive person-to-person interviews, namely, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. In addition, two other profit-taking companies, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, shall serve as subjects of secondary interest as the thesis looks into their CRM practice by requesting them through e-mail or fax to fill up a questionnaire on the topic. If feasible, the proposed research shall locate any remaining office or persons that can speak for the failed Oasis Airlines, which is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Learning about the CRM techniques of both a successful and a collapsed airline is valuable to the proposed thesis since it will enable us to evaluate which process is more effective and useful.
Whilst one airline after another goes out of business or on the edge of bankruptcy, a handful of airlines continue to operate profitably as if no crisis assails the industry at all. The most prominent of these successful airlines are Southwest Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, American Airlines and EasyJet. ...
Southwest Airlines, for example, was recently honored by the US Department of Transportation for having the least number of complaints received from customers. It is interesting to see what management and operational strategies do these airlines employ to insulate their companies against the current economic crisis as well as the instabilities common to the industry, which can be highly instructive to both practitioners and students of management and marketing.
1.1 Main question:
How do the fairly successful airlines handle their contacts with customers as compared to the customer relationship management applications used by failed airlines
(1) Can adoption of CRM in the airline industry make a difference between long-term and short-term profitability
(2) Which is more beneficial to an airline: online selling of plane tickets or through travel agents
(3) Are loyalty schemes that reward frequent flyers part of good CRM practice that should be offered by troubled airlines
(4) What tangible benefits have successful airlines derived from CRM for this to be considered a breakthrough system of management for the highly vulnerable airline industry
2. Literature Review
Research for the proposed thesis shall focus on the actual results and benefits of CRM applications in airlines in light of the inherent difficulty in managing an airline and the turbulence experienced by the industry in the past few years. In effect, it will measure the impact of CRM applications on the bottom line of airlines based on the experience of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. Studies of airline CRM in the existing literature, on the other hand, mostly discuss the rationale and mechanics of this process