Frontier Airlines removed a well-known service option from its menu — telephone communications.
If you need to speak with a customer service representative, you’ll have to do so solely through digital means now. The budget airline has transitioned to digital-only communications.
The transition will "ensure our customers get the information they need as expeditiously and efficiently as possible," Frontier spokesperson Jennifer de la Cruz told FOX Television Stations, adding that they’ve found most customers prefer communicating via digital channels anyway.
On Frontier’s customer support page, a phone number isn’t even listed anymore.
Frontier offers a chatbot, which can answer common questions. If support from a live agent is needed, live chat is available 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Frontier said customers can also chat with agents via common social media channels and Whatsapp. The company can also still be reached by email.
Frontier didn’t give a specific reason for the transition, though the announcement comes just days after the airline was slapped with a civil penalty from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
DOT ordered Frontier to pay a $2.2 million fine for delaying flight refunds so long that they violated consumer-protection rules. Frontier was also ordered to pay $222 million in refunds.
In a consent order, the government charged that Frontier changed its definition of a significant delay to make refunds less likely, and an online system to process credits went down for a 15-day period in 2020.
De la Cruz told The Associated Press the Denver-based airline issued nearly $100 million in "goodwill refunds," including to people with non-refundable tickets who canceled on their own and were not entitled to a refund under federal law.
The refunds "demonstrate Frontier’s commitment to treating our customers with fairness and flexibility," de la Cruz said.
Earlier this month, Frontier also introduced an all-you-can-fly annual pass for domestic travel.
The GoWild! Pass is on sale now through Nov. 28 for $799, and gets the pass holder on an unlimited number of flights for one year.
And earlier this year, Frontier was in talks to merge with fellow U.S. budget airline Spirit to compete with American, United, Delta and Southwest, though the deal was abandoned over the summer after a bidding war ensued with JetBlue.
Frontier’s business motto offers rock-bottom fares but, like other budget airlines, tacks on fees for some things that bigger carriers include with most tickets, from soft drinks to room for a bag in the overhead bin.
Frontier is reportedly now the largest U.S. airline not to offer telephone assistance.
According to Travel Weekly, discount carrier Breeze Airways launched in the spring of 2021 with all-digital customer service. Discount transatlantic startup Norse Atlantic also does not offer telephone support.
This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.