Spirit Airlines Introduces New Customer Service Feature to Repair Its Reputation

Spirit Airlines has a less-than-stellar reputation when it comes to customer service. According to the latest survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Spirit is one of the lowest-ranking airlines for passenger satisfaction, ranking last out of 10 carriers. But the company is taking measures to improve customer service, including the introduction of support via WhatsApp. As of this month customers can directly text the airline for flight reservations, travel modifications, or basic questions in English and Spanish—but it’ll cost passengers $25.

Spirit is notorious for offering low cost flight options and subsequently tacking on additional fees, charging passengers for everything from being able to choose their seat to the option to check in with a live agent.

But this new WhatsApp feature will be worth it, Bobby Schroeter, the airline’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a company statement: 

“From travel updates to adding a bag to your reservation, this new messaging service allows Guests to communicate with us in English and Spanish and to opt in to WhatsApp messaging. It is all part of our goal to elevate and improve our guest experience.” 

Though a bot will handle the initial conversation with passengers, collecting basic information, a Spirit agent will eventually take over the interaction to provide assistance. The human interaction is the reason for the $25 fee, according to Spirit. 

The move to introduce WhatsApp service is a logical one, given the international community that Spirit serves. Schroder said:

“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. We know WhatsApp is incredibly popular in the United States, but also in the more than two dozen destinations we serve in the Caribbean and Latin America.”

As the company works to improve its reputation when it comes to satisfaction and service, time will tell whether this new feature makes a difference. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spirit is on its way to making many “significant improvements” to its customer service strategy.

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