Cunningham, Lawrence F., Gerlach, James and Harper, Michael D.
Journal of Air Transportation Vol. 9 Issue 1, p. 21-35
This research investigates the premise that the use of Internet airline reservation systems is perceived to be riskier than traditional airline reservation systems. Unlike previous studies on perceived risk that typically focused on the relationship of perceived risk and information search, this study examines the dynamics of perceived risk throughout the various stages of the consumer buying process. A survey of 159 respondents reveals that perceived risk for both traditional and Internet airline reservation services follows a systematic pattern throughout the consumer buying process. Perceived risk for both traditional and Internet airline reservation systems falls during information search but recovers and rapidly increases as consumers approach the moment of purchase. When viewed as a dynamic process, perceived risk for Internet airline reservation services shows more radical changes in risk levels than the traditional service. Another major finding of this study is the discovery of a risk premium for Internet airline reservation services that permeates all stages of the consumer buying process.