Waiting On Hold? Chat With Airlines On iMessage & WhatsApp Instead

by Chris Dong

Calling an airline customer service phone line and waiting on hold can be incredibly aggravating, not to mention time consuming. And for airlines, phone centers are sometimes not the most efficient (and cost-conscious) ways to address customer concerns.

That’s why messaging functionality has exploded in popularity in recent years. It seemed to all start with Twitter direct messaging several years ago. A messaging function allows for an airline’s customer service agent to address multiple issues at the same time. And now, improvements in automation and artificial intelligence allow for questions to be answered entirely by software instead of a human.

Spirit Airlines Launches WhatsApp Customer Service

While Spirit might not be best known for its customer service (it’s been called the Ryanair of the US for a reason), the airline is starting a new WhatsApp help line in both English and Spanish.

We launched this service to better connect with our guests, both domestically and abroad, as many have told us that they would rather communicate on a familiar and convenient service like WhatsApp.” — Bobby Schroeter, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Spirit Airlines.

Customers will be able to interact with a guest assistant bot before potentially being connected with a live human. Spirit says there will be the ability to add checked bags and even purchase and create a new booking through WhatsApp. 

WhatsApp is an interesting choice for a messaging platform since usage is more international focused. However, it should be noted that Spirit has over two dozen routes to the Caribbean and Latin America, where I imagine this would have a more heavy take rate.

spirit whatsapp

Spirit partnered with LivePerson, a company that offers conversational commerce solutions.

Delta Is Piloting iMessage Customer Service

Earlier this summer, Delta announced new ways to connect with customer service besides the traditional means of calling — and direct messaging on Twitter. While DMing an airline for customer service has become commonplace, some people would just rather not use social media.

The new methods to contact Delta that are being tested are live chat functions on Delta’s website, app, and even Apple iMessage. If you are using an iOS device, the native chat functionality will be through iMessage, similar to texting friends and family currently — except, you know, you’ll be texting Delta directly for help.

whatsapp spirit

Related: Delta’s Impressive Investment In The Customer Experience

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Mo August 29, 2019 - 9:05 pm

KLM was the first airline to use WhatsApp (+31206490787). There are others as well.

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