Passengers’ Airside Food and Beverage Patronage Intentions in Commercial Airports: A Case Approach

Merkle, Thorsten (2016) Passengers’ Airside Food and Beverage Patronage Intentions in Commercial Airports: A Case Approach. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This thesis investigates the factors that influence air passengers in their food and beverage outlet patronage intentions in the airside areas of commercial airports. Commercial operations, including the provision of food and beverages are becoming more important for airport operators. Air passengers’ behaviour in the airside setting is not always following rational decision‐making processes. Due to the nature of the setting and due to a loss of behavioural freedom, behaviour is influenced by the airside context. Extant literature on airport commercial operations has not yet addressed the question of factors influencing passengers’ outlet patronage intentions. Consumer theory usually accepts one of three perspectives: The rational‐choice, the behavioural influence and the experiential perspective. The review of literature on consumer behaviour in the field of food and beverage shows that none of the three theoretical perspectives sufficiently explains behaviour in the airside context and the need for a less paradigm‐dependant approach is derived. This methodological gap around the need for a less paradigm‐dependent approach is addressed through a mixed‐methods case study approach, during which both qualitative and quantitative evidence is analysed in order to explore the effect of the airside context and other factors on air passenger outlet patronage intentions. One medium‐sized German commercial airport serves as typical case for a class of German commercial airports. Evidence is collected mainly in‐situ in the airport’s airside area. The findings reveal that, besides the airport context, personal and outlet‐related factors have an influence on behaviour. Those factors can then be related to three emotional states that passengers may experience, namely AirsideFear, AirsideStress, and AirsideEnjoy. Depending on the type of trip, air passengers show different outlet patronage intentions, resulting in the need to adjust the extant view on passenger typologies. The role of service brands in the airside setting is explored, revealing that service brands are important for very frequent flyers mainly. Findings are discussed in light of extant literature and an Airport Airside Outlet Patronage Model is developed. The thesis concludes by offering a new perspective on airside consumption. This study contributes to the knowledge of the subject field by highlighting the conceptual gap in the literature, as well as by aiming to close it. This is achieved by exploring the factors that influence food and beverage outlet patronage intentions. On a methodological level, the mixed‐methods case approach aims at overcoming the limitations caused by the application of one of the three different paradigms in extant consumer behaviour literature.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Commercial airports, Germany; Airport catering; Airport food outlets
Subjects: T Technology > TX Home economics > TX901-946.5 Hospitality Industry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 09:45
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:40

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