Air-travelers' concerns emerging from online comments during the COVID-19 outbreak

Abstract

Piccinelli, S., Moro, S., & Rita, P. (2021). Air-travelers' concerns emerging from online comments during the COVID-19 outbreak. Tourism Management, 85, 1-9. [104313]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104313This research aims to assess air travelers' concerns affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, expressed in the comments they wrote online. A sample of 639 comments written on the Italian National Consumer Union website and related to the airline industry was assessed through an automated sentiment analysis in this study. The achieved results showed that travelers' concerns were directed mainly towards compensations, cancellations, and COVID-19 and at the same time, they had mixed and unpredictable feelings. This element suggests that consumers may have understood that airline companies are facing unsustainable cash-flow and revenue situations. Moreover, all our hypotheses, grounded on existing literature, were refuted. Accordingly, we argue that the actual context prevents assessments based on previous assumptions, and studies related to the impact of COVID-19 need to be conducted anew.authorsversionpublishe

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