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Frontier Airlines drops its customer service line

A Frontier Airlines plane (right) prepares to take off from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Justin Sullivan
Getty Images
A Frontier Airlines plane (right) prepares to take off from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Frontier airlines will no longer let customers call a phone number in order to speak with a live agent. And while the budget airline is known for its cost-cutting measures, most major airlines still operate customer service lines.

Customers will instead have to rely on other ways to contact the airline: a chatbot on its website, a live chat available 24/7, its social media channels and even WhatsApp, according to Frontier spokesperson, Jennifer De La Cruz, who confirmed the news to NPR on Saturday.

The change, said De La Cruz, "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.

When customers call the airline's now-defunct customer service line, they hear a prerecorded message telling travelers about the other options they have for contacting the airline.

"At Frontier, we offer the lowest fares in the industry by operating our airline as efficiently as possible," the airline's customer service line now replies.

The call center was eliminated last weekend, the airline told Travel Noire.

In July, Frontier's attempt to merge with fellow budget-airline Spirit failed. Spirit instead settled a deal to mergewith budget-airline competitor, JetBlue. And in November, Frontier became one of six airlines fined $7.5 million for refusing to give customers refunds for canceled flights.

It's fairly uncommon for even budget airlines not to have a customer service call center. Two budget competitors, Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines, still use call centers staffed by live representatives, according to CNN. At least one airline, Breeze Airways, also reportedly does not have a phone number for customers. Instead, people can make changes to their travel plans through other methods like the website or Facebook messenger.

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Giulia Heyward
Giulia Heyward is a weekend reporter for Digital News, based out of New York. She previously covered education and other national news as a reporting fellow at The New York Times and as the national education reporter at Capital B News. She interned for POLITICO, where she covered criminal justice reform in Florida, and CNN, as a writer for the trends & culture team. Her work has also been published in The Atlantic, HuffPost and The New Republic.