Dealing with flight cancellations is a nightmare, but it's even worse for Frontier customers because the airline has axed its customer service phone line.
Customers no longer are able to call Frontier and speak with a live person, whether it's to book flights, manage tickets, complain, or deal with cancellations. Only online methods of contact are available, including chatbots on Frontier's website, a live chat that's available 24/7, social media channels, and WhatsApp, an instant messenger phone app.
Frontier Airline's customer service phone line is no longer available. Probably because no one called it due to extreme lack of customer service.— NIKKI IRISH: HOUSTON (@Nikki_Irish) November 27, 2022
"We have found that most customers prefer communicating via digital channels,” Frontier spokesperson Jennifer F. de la Cruz said in a statement to CNN. Further, Cruz said, the change helps to get information to passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Though a quick chat might work in some cases, we're dubious that it works well for complicated problems that would always be easier to solve just by talking with an agent.
Frontier has a bad reputation for cutting corners and nickel-and-diming passengers, even compared to other budget airlines like Spirit and Allegiant, both of which still have customer-service phone lines staffed by live agents.
The extreme cost-cutting measure isn't a good sign for Frontier, which planned to merge with Spirit earlier this year. That deal fell through in July when Spirit announced plans to instead merge with JetBlue. That deal is expected to close in early 2024.
Adding to its challenges this year, Frontier was fined $2.2 million by the Department of Transportation for trying to skirt laws during the pandemic that require airlines to refund passengers for canceled and changed flights in a timely manner. It was the only U.S.-based airline to be fined and amassed the largest fine of any carrier worldwide.