Students Investigate Customers’ Perceptions of SRQ Airport

SRQDean Cihan Cobanoglu, Dr. Serdar Ongan and Dr. Wan Yang of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership (CHTL) are conducting a satisfaction study for Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) with the aid of Yang’s 16 students in her fall 2014 Research Methods class. This study will investigate customers’ perceptions of the airport as well as their behavioral patterns, specifically including their reasons for choosing the local airport, how they book their tickets, and what their travel destinations are.

Yang’s students are collecting data during a pilot period, devoting 10 hours each to the study as part of a class assignment. After this time, Cobanoglu, Ongan and Yang will analyze the students’ data and revise the questionnaire. During the month of November, a new group of CHTL students will continue with the study. “Collaborating with SRQ provides a valuable marketing service for our important community partner as well as a great learning opportunity for the students,” said Professor Yang. “My students are able to go into the field and apply the knowledge in the classroom to a real research project.”

Mr. Fredrick J. Piccolo, president and chief executive officer at SRQ stated: “The last SRQ customer satisfaction survey was completed in 2001 so we look forward to hear the opinions of our patrons on our products and services as they will assist in our continuous effort to improve customer service at SRQ. We are extremely pleased to partner with USF Sarasota-Manatee on this project and are confident that their staff and students will do an outstanding job.”

The final report from this satisfaction study will be delivered in May 2015.