Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines will disconnect its customer service phone lines for three full days as it attempts to catch up with a backlog of queries that has overwhelmed its understaffed call center, the airline’s chief customer officer Garth Lund said on Thursday evening.
Phone lines will be disconnected from Friday through to Monday morning and customers who need to get in touch with the airline in that time will either have to make their way to the airport or send a message via a contact form on Flair’s website. The airline did not say how long it would take to respond to emailed enquiries.
“Demand for Flair flights has returned stronger than ever,” Lund said in an update on Thursday. “We are thrilled that Canadians are choosing Flair and it is our privilege to make travel affordable for so many. As a result of this increased demand, we are currently experiencing extremely high call volumes,” Lund continued.
“In order to address all customer enquiries and catch up on the backlog, we have temporarily closed our phone lines until Monday.”
Lund said the airline was sorry for cutting passengers off and that the bad customer service offered by Flair wasn’t “what you deserve, and not what we strive for”.
“We are currently training new team members to triple the size of our customer care team and we are also working to provide more digital self-serve options,” the airline said.
Last week, Flair announced plans to expand into the US market with flights set to take off from October to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Palm Springs and Burbank.
Earlier this year, the carrier said it would take on 13 new Boeing 737MAX aircraft to “accelerate its disruptive mission to make travel affordable for all Canadians.” It would appear, though, that Flair is suffering from some growing pains.
Not that Flair is the only carrier struggling to deal with an avalanche of customer queries. Airlines south of the border have been reporting long wait times for several months after employee numbers were cut back during the pandemic. Delta says it is urgently hiring new customer service agents and has brought back some retired agents as contractors to help tackle the backlog.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.