Delta suspends reservations assistance via Facebook and Twitter

Jun 17, 2020

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Having trouble getting in touch with an airline agent over the phone? In many cases, there’s a fantastic alternative; a number of major carriers have been great about providing customer service via social media, including handling reservations changes, processing refunds and more via Facebook and Twitter.

That’s no longer the case with Delta Air Lines, though, despite it coming at a time during which it would be more helpful than ever. Recently, the carrier has struggled to provide customer service via its call centre, as I reported earlier this month. Even today, I’m still unable to reach an agent over the phone at 1-800-323-2323 — instead, callers are greeted with the following message:

Due to extremely high call volume, we are unable to answer your call. If you need to travel within the next week, please try your call again later, or message us from Delta.com/needhelp or by clicking the “Message Us” button in the “More” section of the Fly Delta app.

My first instinct would be to reach out to Delta via a direct message on Twitter. I never received a response to my message on 4 June, though, and when I followed up this week, I received a note to use the carrier’s dedicated messaging service, as others, including Thrifty Traveler, have experienced as well.

Screenshot courtesy of Twitter.

It appears that Delta has discontinued customer service on Twitter, and Facebook as well; I received the same response to my message there.

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Following the automated response’s suggestion, my next step was Delta’s “secure messaging service,” via Apple’s Messages app. In theory, I love the concept. You can start the chat in Delta’s app and pick it up from any Apple device via Messages, making it easier to multitask with chats from a computer. But I have yet to receive a response to my message from today, and, when I tried the tool a few days ago, it took more than six hours for an agent to respond.

Among the three largest U.S. airlines, the delays appear to be isolated to Delta. American and United offer dedicated chat tools as well, and agents responded in less than five minutes during my tests there. I was able to reach both airlines via Twitter today, as well.

Screenshot courtesy of Twitter.

Fortunately, Delta confirmed that the move away from Facebook and Twitter is only temporary, and related to the pandemic:

We know that many customers prefer to interact with Delta about needs for their upcoming travel through messaging. That’s why we continue to offer that via the ‘Message Us’ feature in the Fly Delta App. Delta teams continue to actively service customer needs in this way even as private/direct messaging via Delta’s Facebook and Twitter pages is temporarily paused. We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we serve them during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The difficulty in reaching Delta comes as it has struggled with staffing at its customer service centres.

In a statement earlier this month, Delta told TPG:

Many of our specialists are returning from voluntary leaves of absence next week and Delta is expanding the training and capability of all specialists to be able to better serve the needs of any customer. We are also working to adjust and enhance technology to further support our specialists and continue to enhance our self-service options available on delta.com and the Fly Delta App. We appreciate our customers’ patience and apologize for any inconvenience some may be experiencing.

For more, check out our recent coverage of Delta’s current customer service challenges right here.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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