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Travel News: Delta SkyClub, Frontier Airlines & Customer Service, and Alaskan Airlines

In Travel News for November 30th, 2022 we talk about Delta Airlines restricting access to their SkyClub, Frontier Airlines eliminating phone based customer service, and Alaska Airlines introduces Electronic Luggage Tags

Delta Air Lines to Restrict SkyClub Access in 2023

Delta Air Lines has announced that they will be making changes to their popular SkyClub starting on January 1st, 2023.  The changes include limiting access to Medallion members only.  The annual fee will increase for an individual from $545 dollars to $695 dollars.  The  Executive membership will increase from $845 dollars to $1,495 dollars.  Companion passes will increase form $39 dollars to $50 dollars.  Starting on February 2nd travelers flying on basic economy will no longer be allowed to access the SkyClub unless they have club benefits with an American Express card or annual pass.  In early February travelers who are not flying Delta One or Delta Premium Select will no longer have access.  Medallion members flying in the main cabin or Comfort+ will no longer have access unless they have a SkyClub membership.  These changes are in response to the overwhelming popularity of the lounge, Delta is trying to balance access with the premium service that made SkyClub a success.

Frontier Airlines to Eliminate Phone Based Customer Service

The budget carrier Frontier Airlines will be eliminating phone based customer service.  The airline will now require travelers to communicate with them through either the online chat feature on their website, through social media, or through WhatsApp.  The service will use a chatbot to answer common questions, if the traveler still needs assistance a live person will come on the chat to further assist.  According to Frontier most of their customers prefer to communicate with the airline through these channels instead of over the phone.  It’s not yet clear how the airline plans on dealing with passengers with a disability that makes these digital method of communication difficult to impossible.  Only time will tell if this was a smart decision, or a costly ADA lawsuit.

Alaska Airlines Introduces Electronic Luggage Tags

Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. based airline to roll out electronic bag tags. The electronic bag tag is a 3 inch by 5 Inch device that attaches to the checked bag  and will work with the mobile app on the travelers phone.  The first 2,500 Travelers that signed up for the tag, have flown in the previous 12 months,  and checked in at least one bag should start to see the the device arrive this week.  The Electronic Bag Tag will allow for travelers to skip the kiosk checkin process and drop their bag in the bag drop area.  The airline estimates this will reduce the time a traveler spends in the airport lobby by as much as 40%.  Travelers that want to participate in this program but didn’t qualify for the first round of tags will be able to purchase one in 2023 and use the tag on flights with Alaskan Airlines, Horizon Air or SkyWest Airlines.