Air France Highlights Customer Service Challenge Amid New …

Air France Highlights Customer Service Challenge Amid New …

Passengers will have to use a different social media app to communicate with the airline.

Air France A220.
Photo: kamilpetran/Shutterstock

Social media platform Twitter will no longer be a resource to Air France for its customer service. The airline announced last week that it would cease direct message access for customer support.

The announcement comes as Twitter has become a helpful platform for airlines to communicate instead of emails or phone calls. Air France said it would continue to use other social media websites for its customer support.

No longer available

In a Twitter post on Friday, the flag carrier of France cited Twitter’s changes to its conditions as a result of its decision to axe direct messaging with passengers.

Instead of Twitter, customers can continue to contact the airline for customer support through its website, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, despite having official profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Several Twitter users that replied to Air France’s tweet seemed confused over the changes that Twitter had done to make the airline remove customer support access.

“What conditions?” one user wrote.

Air France Boeing 787-9

Photo: GB-Photographie | Shutterstock

Another user tweeted, “What exactly changed? @elonmusk love the direct message feature to airlines. This is a surprising move by @airfrance.”

One person explained that the airline’s staff was helpful on the social media platform.

“Too bad, your staff was nice and efficient there,” they wrote.

What’s the reason?

The airline’s reasoning appears to be related to Twitter’s recent changes regarding its API (application programming interfaces) conditions. An Air France spokesperson on Friday provided a deeper explanation, according to Skift.

“Twitter’s recent change in access to its API has led us to adapt our commercial policy in terms of customer relations.”

On March 30th, Twitter formally announced newly restructured API tiers, according to The Verge. The platform described that three new tiers, Free, Basic, and Enterprise, would go into effect over the next month. The Free tier allows users to post 1,500 tweets per month at no cost. The other tiers require the user to pay.

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The Basic tier is a monthly subscription of $100, giving the subscriber two different levels to choose from. The user lever allows 3,000 tweets per month, and the app level allows 50,000 tweets per month.

The third tier, Enterprise, is designed for companies. Twitter said that it gives the user commercial-level access that meets the company and its customer’s specific needs, as well as managed services. No exact price for the tier was listed, but it could cost companies tens of thousands of dollars, according to another person who replied to Air France’s tweet.

“Twitter started charging enterprises up to $50,000 per month to use their API,” the person wrote.

Other reports have indicated that the tier could cost as much as $42,000. Last week, the New York City metro system reportedly stopped using the social media app for its automated service updates.

Will other airlines follow suit?

Elon Musk bought Twitter earlier this year for $43 billion and warned that significant changes would come to the platform.

Air France and KLM aircraft tails

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Several airlines use Twitter for customer relations support and have not yet indicated that they would be moving away from the platform like Air France. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and British Airways currently encourage passengers to communicate with them through the app. Even Air France’s sister carrier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, continues to utilize Twitter as a resource for customer service.

Sources: Shift, The Verge

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