By Andrea Romano
June 26, 2019
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Next time you have a question or concern on your Delta flight, all you’ll need to do is send a text.

According to USA Today, Delta Airlines is testing a new service that will allow passengers to use their iPhone or other iOS devices to send a text through the Delta mobile app if they encounter any issues during their trip.

If all goes well, the service will become a permanent feature on the Delta mobile app (for all devices) in the fall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

While email and phone calls are still go-to options for most customers out there, many people have started to use social media as a means of asking the airline questions or airing their grievances, according to USA Today.

Tori Forbes-Roberts, Delta's Vice President of reservation sales and customer care, told USA Today that 85 percent of customers still call the airline when they need help, followed by email and then, social media. Messaging with a virtual assistant (with the option to chat with a representative) may cut down on wait times.

While USA Today reported that it's own testing of the feature resulted in a wait time that exceeded six minutes, Forbes-Roberts told the publication that the airline aims for average wait times to be around two minutes once the feature fully launches.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, chatting with a virtual assistant is already available on the Delta website, but this would be the first time it is available via mobile.

“We want Delta customers to feel in full control of their experience with Delta, but know that we’re just a click or tap away when they need us,” Rhonda Crawford, Vice President of distribution and digital channels, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Texting has become increasingly popular as a customer service tool, especially for airlines, in the last few years. Airlines like JetBlue and Alaska Airlines already have features that involve texting with virtual assistants for customers who need help on the go.

Delta’s new texting feature, however, will not be a 24-hour system (like reaching out on social media can be). According to USA Today, the virual assistant and representatives will only be available to answer texts between 7 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. EST, daily.

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