Delta Airlines to test video chat with reservations agents

Photo credit: Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is planning to become the first U.S. airline to let customers video chat with the reservations team — but it may not be what you think.

The new technology will only be used at airports, which likely means customers will be using the video chat only to change reservations for missed or delayed flights. This means the agents could only be speaking with unhappy customers who would rather be talking to a real person.

Delta is testing the technology at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“Five interactive digital screens with individual receivers are now featured at the redesigned Delta Sky Assist so customers can connect face-to-face with Delta specialists,” the airline said. “Customers simply pick up a receiver, initiate the live video chat with one touch on the screen and are on their way to anything from changing a flight to sharing feedback.”

Like many other airlines, customers can also contact Delta through Twitter and Facebook, as well as by email and phone.

“More and more people are choosing video chat to connect in their everyday lives, so we wanted to bring that channel to Delta customers,” said Charisse Evans, vice president of Reservations Sales and Customer Care. “We have the best specialists in the business — and now, they’ll be able to deliver customer solutions in an even more personal, face-to-face way.”

Delta Airlines is also testing biometric based self-service bag drop at some airports. The video chat test will determine how customers respond to the technology, and the airline may roll out the feature at additional airports if it goes well.