WASHINGTON — Budget airline Frontier is cutting its customer service lines for flyers, meaning that you won't be able to call to speak with a human being anymore.
Instead, customers will only be able to get in touch with Frontier's agents through the company's website, via WhatsApp or on social media.
"Our Customer Care function recently transitioned to fully digital communications, which enables us to ensure our customers get the information they need as expeditiously and efficiently as possible," Frontier spokesperson Jennifer de la Cruz said in an emailed statement.
This makes Frontier the largest airline in the U.S. to not have live phone support for flyers.
Even though the customer service phone number has been removed from the airline's website, it still appears in a Google search.
Calling the number reaches a pre-recorded message:
"At Frontier, we offer the lowest fares in the industry by operating our airlines 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."
Although it appears phone chats are done at the airline, it doesn't mean human interaction has gone the way of the gramophone as well.
"We have found that most customers prefer communicating via digital channels," de la Cruz said. "Customers can visit our website and interact initially with a chatbot which provides answers to common questions. If live agent support is needed, we have live chat available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week."
When contacting Frontier online, the chatbot will open up a conversation trying to solve any basic issues a customer might have. If there's a problem too complex for it to handle, it will pass the customer to a live representative who can handle more detailed issues.
The move to digital-only communication comes shortly after the company's Nov. 15 investor presentation, which calls one-to-one voice calls "unscalable, inefficient and expensive."
The presentation's solutions included the chatbot and implementing a "three-to-one" live chat that would have one representative solving issues for three customers at a time.
According to CNBC, Frontier executives touted the idea as a time-saving measure.
“Think about the most sort of obscure question a customer might ask that would take a call center agent many, many minutes to research and find an answer to,” Jack Filene, Frontier’s senior vice president of customers said during the presentation, according to CNBC. “The chatbot can answer that very quickly.”