When the nation’s third-largest airline stops taking complaints by phone, what does that mean? Yesterday’s news that United Airlines would shutter an Indian call center that took complaints after a flight, telling customers to send a letter or email instead, has a lot of air travelers scratching their heads. I count myself among them.

“Why?” asked reader Jonathan Yarmis. “Instead of asking why people aren’t satisfied with the phone response and fixing it, they just say, ‘Hey, our phone line sucks. Let’s cancel it.’”

United says it is able to respond better to customers who write, since they often include more detail, making it possible to provide a more specific response. And it has a point. I almost always encourage people who have a problem with any airline to write instead of calling.

Asking people to write instead of call is not necessarily a bad idea. But should it be their only choice?

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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