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Popular budget airline gets rid of telephone customer support service to cut expenses and ‘serve customers more efficiently’



The airline industry started this year better than expected, as traffic and the number of airline passengers not only in America but also globally outpaced industry experts’ expectations. The airline industry still hasn’t fully recovered from the pandemic, but the growing number of passengers this year is nothing but optimistic that the industry will get there very soon. According to a forecast from earlier this year, Fitch expects US revenue passenger miles to end 2022 at 10%-15% below pre-pandemic.

Recent years have been very difficult for airline carriers as they initially faced huge financial difficulties, a situation that later worsened with the worker shortage. Pre-pandemic levels might return as soon as next year, but it will take years before the airline carriers consolidate their workforce.

All of the US airline companies have implemented dozens of measures to cut expenses in recent years. The pandemic changed the industry as a whole, and carriers had to adapt to overcome the difficult times and the uncertainty they faced. Covid reshaped the airline industry, but airline companies are still working hard to lower operating costs and implement new types of fees for passengers, which will result in additional revenue.

Budget airlines are known to offer very low base fees, but they charge for everything, from seat selection to carry-on luggage and snacks. In an effort to cut expenses, Frontier Airlines has now gone one step further and decided to shut down its telephone customer support service, which is undoubtedly the most convenient way for customers to get in touch with carriers, especially when they are in need of urgent help. While most of the major carriers still offer customer service lines, that’s not the case with Frontier Airlines anymore.

Shutting down the telephone customer support service was part of the company’s transition to online, mobile, and text support. According to Frontier Airlines’ spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz, the carrier wants to make sure customers get “the information they need as expeditiously and efficiently as possible,” she said in a statement, as reported by CNBC. Frontier Airlines’ transition to online was completed last weekend.

“We offer the lowest fares in the industry by operating our airlines as efficiently as possible. We want our customers to operate efficiently as well, which is why we make it easy to find what you need at or on our mobile app. We also have a chat service,” this is what passengers now get when they call the service number, which is no longer listed on the carrier’s official website. With this change, Frontier is now the largest airline in the U.S. to not offer customer service via telephone.

While the company claims that the change was needed in an effort to improve the quality of their customer support and better serve their customers, the information from this month’s investor presentation says something else.

“We are supporting higher labor rates in the voice channel, and we’re limited to this one-to-one interaction,” Jack Filene, Frontier’s senior vice president of customers said. “By contrast, a chat agent could handle three inquiries at once, and possibly more,” Filene added. Filene further elaborated that the company hopes to lower labor costs and speed up transactions since labor costs are the company’s second-biggest expense after jet fuel.

Frontier Airlines had difficulties during the summer as they had to refund their passengers, resulting in $200 million in debt. With the aim of improving financially, the company announced the all-you-can-fly pass earlier this month, which was initially advertised at $599 for the first year but later increased to $799. A very important detail to note is that the pass will automatically renew at $1,999 for the second year unless you cancel in time.

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