If you need to talk to a live Frontier Airlines customer service agent, you are out of luck. The troubled low-cost airline has shut down its customer service call center, which most major airlines still operate, including competitors Spirit and Allegiant.
Instead, the only way to get help with rebooking a cancelled or missed flight, tracking lost baggage, getting a refund for a cancelled flight, etc. is via a chatbot on the airline’s website, a live chat available 24/7, its social media channels or even WhatsApp.
The Frontier Airlines call center was eliminated quietly just before the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the peak travel periods of the year.
The change, said spokesperson Jennifer De La Cruz in a statement, “enables us to ensure our customers get the information they need as expeditiously and efficiently as possible.”
She said the airline found that most customers preferred communicating through online channels. Really?
And it wasn’t even a FREE phone number, as other airlines offer.
In 2015, Frontier switched from a free call center number to the Salt Lake City area code (801), making it a long-distance call for anybody who does not have a national phone plan. Frontier said at the time that it would save $2 Million a year.
When customers call the airline’s now-defunct customer service line, according to CNN, they hear this automated message telling travelers where to go –
“At Frontier, we offer the lowest fares in the industry by operating our airline as efficiently as possible. We want our customers to be able to operate efficiently as well, which is why we make it easy to find what you need at Flyfrontier.com or on our mobile app. We also have a chat service available 24/7.”
Breeze, founded in 2018 by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, does not even have a call center phone number. Customers are advised to contact the carrier via Facebook Messenger, text, email or make changes to their flights on the airline’s app and website.
Frontier is known for its cost-cutting measures, such as charging for advance seat assignments and for carry-on bags that exceed the carrier’s size rules. (It checks bag sizes when you board). It also charges one of the highest fees of any airline for checked baggage.
Frontier Airlines Problems
In July, Frontier’s hoped-for merger with fellow budget-airline Spirit failed. Instead, Spirit settled on a deal to merge with JetBlue.
Earlier in November, Frontier was one of six airlines fined $7.5 million for refusing to give customers refunds for canceled flights. It was the only domestic airline to be fined.
This latest cost-cutting measure – dropping live customer service – is likely related to those two setbacks.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
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