Blaming Twitter for changing its terms and conditions, Air France said on Friday it would stop offering customer support via the social media platform’s direct messages for its accounts worldwide. KLM, a sister brand, has yet to make a similar move.
Update: 4pm ET: An Air France spokesperson clarified, “Twitter’s recent change in access to its API has led us to adapt our commercial policy in terms of customer relations.”
Changed pricing terms for accessing its APIs (or application programming interfaces — a way of exchanging data) is a key reason. Twitter recently changed its product offerings for business clients, creating a new “enterprise” level for commercial users that use it heavily. There’s no public price list, but quoted price hikes of thousands of dollars a month, Platformer and The Verge reported.
New York City’s subway and bus operator said on Thursday it would no longer use Twitter to post real-time service alerts because of the new pricing, the New York Post reported.
In recent years, some travelers have found it more convenient to chat via Twitter with the French flag carrier than by phone or online contact forms.
“It would really be a shame if airlines and hotels would have to stop providing support via Twitter DM as I found this to be very effective, and it has saved me on more than one occasion. Especially communicating this way while currently being on a plane works wonders.—Sebastian Powell, a contributing editor at Loyalty Lobby
We’ve yet to see other travel brands make a similar move. We asked Twitter for comment. Here was its auto-reply: