Traveling through airports can sometimes be a hectic experience, making it all the more essential to be able to get in touch with an airline quickly.
To create an easier way for passengers to get quick answers, Alaska Airlines has launched text messaging customer service assistance.
The airline rolled out the new feature in late July, providing its passengers with another way to connect beyond calling its contact center (1-800-252-7522).
Through the new service, passengers who have an upcoming itinerary with Alaska Airlines can text 82008 to be connected with a customer service representative to get answers to specific travel questions.
This includes real-time information on flight delays, schedule changes, and flight status in addition to general policy questions.
Agents can also assist passengers with adding a frequent flier number to a reservation, opting in or out of an upgrade, receipts, seat assignments, requests for accessible travel services, and enrollment in the airline’s frequent flier program, Mileage Plan.
Alaska Airlines started the new service after noticing that 70 percent of its passengers were already contacting the airline using mobile devices. Reps for the airline told Travel + Leisure they estimate 40 percent of the calls received could be handled via text.
Since the service launched less than a month ago, representatives also said 83 percent of customers have been either "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with the experience.
While the texting feature is a great way to connect with live agents in a timely manner, it cannot accept payments and so reservations requiring fees will need to either be booked online or by phone.
The airline also provides a virtual assistant chat for questions called "Ask Jenn" on its website, and customers can also get assistance via social media.
Hawaiian Airlines also offers the ability to text agents, though the airline's system also cannot accept payments via text. Agents can assist with everything from re-booking flights to answering questions about flight changes and checked baggage fees.