South African airline passengers’ relationship length with airlines as well as their satisfaction with
airlines’ service recovery efforts was used to determine the effect of a service failure on their relationship
with airlines as well as their willingness to recommend airlines to others following a service failure. The
results are compared with the findings from a similar study among United States airline passengers. The
comparison reveals while relationship length influence the effect of service failures on U.S. passengers’
relationship with and their willingness to recommend an airline, South African passengers are more
influenced by their satisfaction with airlines’ service recovery efforts.