Airlines are asking customers to hold off trying to contact their call centres, as they face unprecedented demand due to uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Aer Lingus, Delta and Virgin Atlantic have all posted requests that customers do not contact them unless they are scheduled to fly within the next 72 hours.

Aer Lingus said that “While we have expanded our call centre and social media teams in recent days, we know that guests experiencing flight disruption are having difficulty getting through to us”.

“We want to ensure that our social media and call centre teams can deal with those experiencing flight disruption and with imminent travel plans,” the carrier continues. “Guests who are due to travel and want to change their flight, can do so online, please visit ‘Manage Trip’ section on Change fees have been waived. We appreciate your understanding.”

Meanwhile Delta said:

“Taking care of our customers is at the center of everything we do and remains our priority as we navigate times of change.

“As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, our teams are focused on first addressing the needs of customers who are travelling within the next 72 hours, as well as those who have been impacted by the US government-issued travel restrictions between the US and Europe.

“Due to high volume traffic, customers are experiencing issues and we recognize that this is frustrating.

“To help address customers with immediate travel needs, we are asking those who do not have travel in the next 72 hours to wait and contact us closer to your trip.

“Comprehensive information and ongoing updates on Delta’s response to the COVID-19 virus is available here.”

And Virgin said:

“Due to the extremely high volume of customers needing assistance, we are asking that unless you are travelling in the next 72 hours you refrain from contacting us. We need to prioritise customers who are travelling imminently. Thank you for your patience as we deal with this unprecedented situation.”

Airlines worldwide are having to make huge cuts to capacity, as they struggle to adjust schedules in the light of travel restrictions and plummeting demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.,