Datamonitor, (2011), stated that travelers spend their resources, such as time and money, to reach the destination. When they choose the flight for their trip, air travelers not only try to minimize their expenditure of time and money, but also consider some other factors, such as, pleasure, and comfort during the journey. However, it is very difficult to generalize the factors which influence the decision procedures of flight choice. This decision is dependent on not only the attributes of the air service, but also the socio-economic characteristics of the individual.
According to Datamonitor, (2011), each traveler would consider different factors with different weight for his/ her flight choice, and even the same individual may behave differently in different situations. However, previous studies concerning transport choice models, have generally identified the travel time, cost, service frequency, and comfort during travel as basic factors for transport choice decisions. In the case of flight choice, the factors for the decision are generally identical to other transport choice models, but it is necessary to be a little more specific to adjust to the air traveler’s choice situation.
According to Belobaba, Odoni & Barnhart, (2009), the air travelers are of two categories: business travelers and leisure travelers. Business travelers have their travel purpose related to business and are usually paid for by employers. The leisure travelers are subdivided into two categories, holiday travel and travel for visiting friends or relatives (VFR). Leisure travelers pay for their own travel. For business travel, travel is usually arranged by the company itself, and the traveler may have only limited influence in flight choice.
Timing is more important than fare for business travelers. Corporations send employees overseas for a business matter, and usually have a fixed time plan. Flight arrangements should be flexible to accommodate last-minute change in the business schedules. The business trips are not well planned in advance. This situation of late flight booking and flexibility in schedule of business trips prevent business travelers from using discounted fare tickets. Business travelers consider the reliability of time performance as important and they also want to arrive at destination in good shape. So, quality of service is important for this kind of traveler.