The Impact of Delays on Customers’ Satisfaction: an Empirical Analysis of the British Airways On-Time Performance at Heathrow Airport

Marina Efthymiou, Eric Tchouamou Njoya, Pak Lam Lo, Andreas Papatheodorou, Daniel Randall


Increased congestion at hub airports affects on-time airline performance to the detriment of customer satisfaction and may have substantially negative repercussions for airlines in a hypercompetitive environment. This paper concentrates on the on-time performance of British Airways (BA) at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to identify BA’s delays/disruption management; measure the passengers’ expectations in case of a delay; and investigate the passenger satisfaction levels. A survey of 160 BA passengers based on a close-ended questionnaire was conducted, complemented by semi-structured interviews with four members of staff at BA’s network operations department. The survey results show that BA has been able to satisfy its customers by matching or exceeding their expectations and that those customers will travel with BA again.Interestingly, the results contradict the widespread belief that BA passengers are annoyed by a service failure/delay at LHR; this is because they expect to experience such a delay anyway.


Delay; On-time performance; Customer satisfaction; Airline; Hub airport

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