Have you tried Chat yet?

Old Jul 6, 19, 2:17 pm
  #1  
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Have you tried Chat yet?

Alaska Airlines supports a "chat" feature with Reservations agents 24/7; you can text them at 82008, or use the "Web Chat" feature on the Contact Us page at alaskaair.com. Agents can assist with basic Q&A and so on, although anything needing payment still requires a phone call to Reservations directly. It even works while in flight, since alaskaair.com is available for free onboard.

For those who have used it so far, what has your experience been like?
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Old Jul 6, 19, 2:26 pm
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When SMS first launched it seemed kind of useless to me (there was a lot that the agents couldn't do) but lately it's gotten a lot better -- it seems that they can do anything that a phone reservation agent can do? Lately I've had a friend confirm a SDC (even changing to a coterminal) and had a different friend fix a "not waitlisted" problem after a SDC, all through SMS.

I assume that the web chat (which I didn't know about until you posted it) and the SMS go to the same agents. Web chat is especially welcome -- it can work if you are in a place where you can't call (eg, on a plane) even if your carrier doesn't support wifi calling/texting
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Old Jul 6, 19, 2:27 pm
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I knew about texting, and it worked pretty well the one time I used it which was onboard a flight (and was free). I didn't know about the chat, that might be better in many situations where I'd need to contact reservations in-flight. Nice improvement
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Old Jul 6, 19, 5:58 pm
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I use it a lot. Stuff that's simple but takes human involvement (e.g., small schedule change it's not letting me clean up online, can you please fix this? Or there was a sked change and they moved me to the 6pm to SEA, would rather have the 8pm, can u fix?). Those are very simple with chat.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 8:26 pm
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I've used it and it is fine, but Alaska really needs to unify the ability across social customer care and reservations. It's crazy that Twitter social customer care can't do reservation-related tasks.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 10:04 pm
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Customer Care is non-union; they're barred by the union contracts of the Reservations agents from performing what is considered "their work" such as making changes to Reservations. Same for Lounge concierges. But both SMS Chat and Web Chat are handled by Reservations agents, and they can help with most issues except those requiring payment.

Last edited by Snowdevil; Jul 6, 19 at 10:09 pm
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Old Jul 6, 19, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Snowdevil View Post
Customer Care is non-union; they're barred by the union contracts of the Reservations agents from performing what is considered "their work" such as making changes to Reservations. Same for Lounge concierges. But both SMS Chat and Web Chat are handled by Reservations agents, and they can help with most issues except those requiring payment.
I know why it's the case. That doesn't make it a good experience for the customer. Why should I be forced to pick a communication method based on how Alaska's union agreements and staffing are done? Put a reservation agent on the social care team.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by missamo80 View Post
Put a reservation agent on the social care team.
The Social Care team does regularly ask for assistance from Reservations agents when needed, and Reservations agents are empowered to use their best judgment to help all guests with any pre-flight situation that should arise. Customer Care/Social Care typically handles post-flight issues.

In any event, I'm glad to hear that the SMS and Web Chat options are being well-received so far!
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Old Jul 6, 19, 11:04 pm
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@Snowdevil, this is exciting news. I've been unable to make texting work in-flight (att android BlackBerry hybrid) so the chat sounds very exciting.

Also appreciate the explanation on why there is a difference in what Twitter and chat/text can do.

Intend to explore this soon. Maybe tonight?

​​​
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Old Jul 6, 19, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
@Snowdevil, this is exciting news. I've been unable to make texting work in-flight (att android BlackBerry hybrid) so the chat sounds very exciting.

Also appreciate the explanation on why there is a difference in what Twitter and chat/text can do.

Intend to explore this soon. Maybe tonight?

​​​
Seems chat is not live currently

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/ab...phone-numbers?

Originally Posted by alaskaair.com

Chat or text us.

Chat is currently unavailable, please text your questions to 82008.
  • When texting, use 160 characters or less per message.
  • Chat and texting can be used to answer most questions; if your request includes a credit card payment, call us instead.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Web Chat is new, so the offering is "throttled" right now to allow only 50% of visitors to alaskaair.com to receive the Web Chat option. This should be increased to a 100% offer rate on the website later this week. SMS Chat is always available, however.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 12:42 pm
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When I saw this thread I thought you meant the seatback chat. The first and only time I saw it used while things were still VX was the girl next to me getting an "A/S/L?" message.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:27 pm
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Yesterday I made a SDC over SMS. It was very smooth.

I would never use web chat unless SMS was not available to me for some reason, but the option to use it is invaluable. At one point I will probably really, really need it and be glad it's there.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 12:25 am
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I finally used it. Quick, efficient. Love it! Agent was able to change the FF # on my reservation, and reassign my seats in less than 2 minutes.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 9:38 am
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After my SDC experience on Thursday morning it seems like the SMS and chat interfaces are likely the same on the AS res end. Strangely, there were at least three agents on my text string over the time it took to SDC to a coterminal. And, at the end there was a sign off message of "your chat session has ended" which wasn't there in Nov the last time I used 82008. Maybe someone at AS or with more computing powers can confirm or deny.
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