Frontier Airlines Claims To Save $1.9M By Eliminating Toll-Free Customer Service Calls

If you’ve ever run into an issue with your airline of choice, then you probably know one of the preferred ways to reach out to the carrier is through their toll-free customer service phone number. But that’s not the case anymore for Frontier Airlines, which has ditched its 800 number in order to cut costs. 

The Denver Post reports that the airline recently eliminated its toll-free number in favor of a Salt Lake City phone number; a move the company claims will save an estimated $160,000 per month – or $1.9 million per year.

So what exactly does the change mean for customers? Well, if you have a cell phone you’ll need to make sure you have enough available minutes before placing the call. And if you’re a landline user, you’ll be calling long-distance, which in some cases could cost more.

Despite putting more of those costs on consumers, the airline say it plans to pass on its $1.9 million saving to passengers, but didn’t specify how that would happen.

Some analysts say the move makes sense for the low-cost carrier, as many people have moved away from using traditional landlines in favor of wireless or VOiP calling plans that include long-distance calls at no extra charge.

“This is the airline saying: ‘Why should we pay for something a lot of people don’t care about anyway anymore?’ Of course, some people will care,” Seth Kaplan, Airline Weekly analyst tells the Post. “But the ultra-low-cost model, which they’re mostly adopting, is all about not accepting any costs unless those costs clearly drive revenue, and this is one where they probably had a hard time figuring out where it was translating to meaningful revenue.”

Still, others say eliminating the toll-free line could alienate some of the customers Frontier has courted in the past.

“If you’re trying to attract people who are budget conscious or on a limited income — they could be college students, lower income working people and elderly people — it’s sending a conflicting message that ‘we are the airline for you, but we’re not here for you when you need us’,” Stephanie Brooks, director of marketing of communications at University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, tells the Post. “It’s a cost savings that on its face seems like a good idea, but it’s really going to hurt customers in the end.”

Frontier, of course, isn’t the first airline to do away with toll-free lines, other ultra low-cost carriers Spirit and Allegiant have previously ditched their 800 numbers.

Frontier Airlines eliminates toll-free customer service calls [The Denver Post]