Customers who need flight information or want to change travel plans can no longer call Frontier Airlines and speak to an agent, the company confirmed to CNN on Saturday.
As of last week, the ultra-low-cost carrier said it has moved to all-digital communications. Customers seeking assistance or information from the carrier must act with an online chatbot, social media channels or WhatsApp. Those who need to speak to a live agent can use the carrier’s 24/7 chat tool.
“We found that most customers prefer to communicate through digital channels,” spokesperson Jennifer F. de la Cruz said in a statement, saying they can now receive information as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Frontier is known for its cost-cutting measures, such as charging for pre-assigned seats and for carry-on baggage exceeding the carrier’s measures. (It checks their dimensions when you board).
Customers who now call the customer service phone number are greeted with an automated message that says, “At Frontier, we offer the lowest fares in the industry by operating our airline as efficiently as possible. We want our customers to work efficiently too, so we make it easy to find what you need on Flyfrontier.com or on our mobile app. We also have a chat service that is available 24/7.”
The low-cost flights, Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines, still use call centers with live agents.
It’s no wonder Frontier wants to do away with customer service over the phone. The Department of Transportation said in November it is imposing $7.25 million in fines on six airlines for the “extreme delays” in issuing refunds to passengers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The only US carrier was Frontier, which was fined $2.2 million by the agency.
Frontier recently launched an unlimited annual flight pass for currently $799, though it comes with caveats, such as blackout periods concentrated around the holiday season. Customers can also book a domestic flight no more than one day in advance.
It is not the only carrier without a call center for its customers. Breeze Airways, an airline founded in 2018 by JetBlue’s David Neeleman, doesn’t even have a call center phone number. Customers are advised to contact the carrier via Facebook Messenger, SMS, email or they can make changes to their flights on the app and website.
– CNN’s Geneva Sands and Pete Muntean contributed to this report.