The thought of travel season should evoke images of pristine beaches, rest and relaxation, and comfy hotel beds. But for far too many travelers, it instead brings to mind the notion of lugging 40-pound suitcases all around creation or an endless maze of automated voices telling them to wait or call back because “all of our agents are busy.”
Yes, traveling can be a hassle. While those luggage struggles may be optional, customer service at many airlines could stand some improvement. If you’re placing a call, voice recognition systems are the industry norm. And if you opt for email, automated replies that promise prompt responses but often lead to digital purgatory are even worse.
That said, when it comes to vacation, go we must. That’s why we’ve compiled this essential travel resource to give you the best ways to contact customer service at some of the most popular airlines in the United States. These have proven to be the most reliable ways of reaching real people when you need them.
How to reach customer service at the major airlines
Here are the numbers and links that will get you adequate customer service as fast as possible at the major airlines.
Phone: Delta’s main customer number is 1-800-455-2720 . There is also a non-toll-free number, 404-765-5000, which will automatically connect to your SkyMiles account if you have one.
Web: You can also email the airline here to log complaints or report issues.
Social: The company used to be pretty responsive on Twitter, but in spring of 2016 it transitioned the @DeltaAssist support account and moved customer service to its main account at @Delta, which also tweets travel tips and promos. It’s still worth a shot if you’re encountering trouble, though.
On Facebook, the airline responds routinely to customers. On Messenger, Delta typically responds, according to its chat, “within a few hours,” which may not beg acceptable if you’re in a jam.
Phone: Southwest’s main Customer service number is 800-435-9792, which will take you to a human operator. Their Reservations & Information number is 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). I called their main toll-free number and chose the option to have them call me back. The automated voice told me the wait was 9 minutes. They called me back 20 minutes later.
Social: The company’s Facebook account regularly responds to customers, especially those offering fawning praise. But the @Southwest Twitter account has been known to push back at customers who seem to be a bit overzealous.
Phone: United’s customer service phone number: 1-800-864-8331. In less than 2 minutes I was able to speak to a live person at United by calling this number then listening briefly to a recording. I said “More options,” when prompted, then “Other services” in the next prompt and “Yes” in the last prompt. Next thing you know, a real live person answered the phone.
Social: @United is pretty silent on Twitter when it comes to responding to customers’ needs. On Facebook, the airline does respond to individual patrons who post their concerns in the comments of their stories.
Phone: To get in touch with someone at American, call the main customer service phone number at call 1-800-433-7300. I called the number and said “Agent,” when prompted by the system to state the reason for my call. I chose to get them to call me back rather than wait for customer service. The prompt said the delay would be between 17 and 23 minutes. They called back 16 minutes later. I missed the call, but 10 minutes later, they called back again.
Phone: The main customer service number for JetBlue is 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583). I called the number and pressed “0” when prompted. The automated voice said, “Your expected wait time is greater than 20 minutes.” They did not give me the option to hang up and be called back. I was, however, connected to a real person in 10 minutes.
Web: To ask a question via email, use this form.
Phone: To reach Frontier, the no-frills option for ultra-low fares, call their main customer service number at 1-801-401-9000. If you book a flight via phone, it will cost you an extra $25.
Social: Looking at their Facebook, the company typically doesn’t respond to complaints lodged on the social networking site. They will, however, from time to time post a reply to comments that praise them. On Twitter, @FlyFrontier is radio silent when it comes to answering individual concerns.
Phone: Spirit’s main customer service number is 1-801-401-2222. Press 5 for “automated general information” Press 1 for “general inquiries,” then select 5 for “all other inquiries.” “To speak with a representative, please press 3.” My anticipated wait time was “5 to 10 minutes.” But in 2 minutes I was speaking to a human.
Web: Aside from online check-in, Spirit’s website has few resources for customers. We did however find this “complaint, question, compliment” form they want you to fill out. The Spirit FAQ page can be found here.
Phone: The main customer service number for Hawaiian is 1-877-426-4537. You can also text them at 1-855-808-1717 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. HST. For general inquiries, call 1-800-367-5320.
As you can see, despite the multiple platforms available for the airlines to reach people and vice versa, there’s room for improvement across the board. Phone service is usually still the best way to go. When it comes to Twitter, only Delta even takes the time to answer a complaint.
Save this link so that you can find your favorite airline across all the popular communication channels, but know that for the most part, finding top-notch customer service can be as elusive as finding real paradise in a travel destination.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.