Why Don’t People Hate Alaska Airlines?

On the surface, Alaska Airlines seems like a company that Americans would love to hate, yet exactly the opposite is true. People love Alaska, and it’s no accident. Let me explain.

Think about everything going against the airline. First of all, it’s an airline. Hating every move an airline makes is actually Alaska Airlines Loverequired in the US in order to graduate from high school. If, however, you build a brand as a low fare airline that eschews fees like Southwest, then you get a pass. Alaska is not that airline. Alaska looks more like a traditional hub-and-spoke airline. You’ll pay to check bags and fares aren’t rock bottom. Want inflight entertainment on a long haul? That’ll be $14. How about food? You’ll pay for that as well.

Last quarter, Alaska had an epic meltdown when its computer system failed and thousands were stuck. As if that’s not enough, Alaska is posting record profits. In the first quarter, Alaska had an operating profit of nearly $134 million. Its operating margin was nearly 14 percent. That’s a rock star result.

Were any other airline making that kind of money, people would be screaming bloody murder. Employees would be clamoring for fair treatment and better pay while customers would demand that the “outrageous” fees go away. But that’s not what’s happening here. And here’s why.

1) Alaska is Small
The bigger the company, the bigger the target it is. Think about oil companies. People love to jump on ExxonMobil and BP, but how many people hate, say, Sinclair Oil? Nobody. Well, I’m sure someone does, but it’s not vilified on a daily basis. Sinclair has gas stations in 21 states, so it’s certainly a visible name, but it’s not in the cross hairs when people think of big, bad oil. Being small also means that earnings don’t look so huge. Sure, Alaska had a great margin but its operating profit was only $134 million. Had United achieved a similar operating margin, it’s operating profit would have $1 billion. That just sound enormous.

2) Alaska’s Fees Seem “Fair”
It helps when other airlines set the bar for what the public considers to be greedy. It means if you do something below that level, you look like a hero. The big legacy airlines charge $150 to change a ticket. Alaska charges half that for changes made online. If you want to check a bag on Alaska, it’ll be $20 for each bag up to three. That may not seem that much cheaper than other airlines, but it comes with a promise. If your bag isn’t on the carousel within 20 minutes, you get compensation.

3) Alaska Operates Out of the Spotlight
Being based in Seattle means that people don’t really pay attention to you. Oh sure, the local papers will jump on stories when things go wrong, but you’re not likely to end up on the national news unless you really mess something up in a huge city like LA, New York, or Washington DC. Being in the Northwest insulates Alaska nationally, both when things are good and when they’re bad so it’s a mixed blessing.

4) Alaska’s Mileage Program is Flexible
Loyalists to Alaska’s Mileage Plan program are VERY loyal. There are so many mileage partners around the globe that members can use their miles to go just about anywhere. Those with MVP elite status get the same kind of benefits as other airlines give but with a lower mileage qualification threshold. (It’s only 20,000 miles to become MVP.) The program is also integrated with Delta SkyMiles to the point where elite members get priority boarding, better seating, and more. So it’s a program that can compete with the big guys and even provide better benefits by partnering across alliances.

5) Alaska Runs a Good Operation
For the twelve months ending February 2011, Alaska was second in on-time performance with 87.2 percent arriving within 15 minutes of schedule. There’s no question that the airline is helped by not flying much in horrible east coast congestion, but that’s not the point. Running on time means that there’s less for people to complain about. It doesn’t matter why you run on time. It just matters that you do.

6) Alaska Understands Customer Service
One of the most important reasons that people don’t hate Alaska is because when things go wrong, the airline is all over it. When computers failed, Alaska was pumping updates out constantly. Execs filmed a video apology and gave details on what happened. Alaska also encouraged everyone impacted to write in so that the airline could deal with compensation individually. It was an excellent effort all around and certainly reduced the negative impact that might have been felt by others in a similar situation.

I’m sure there are more reasons, and I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts. I should make it clear that this doesn’t mean Alaska has a sparklingly perfect record. This is the same airline that in 2000 had one of its MD-80s crash off the coast of California. The resulting scrutiny over the airline’s maintenance created a ton of bad press and without question damaged the brand significantly. Alaska also took a hit after it laid off its 500 ramp workers in Seattle and outsourced the work to a third party. (It was later determined Alaska actually violated the union contract.) For these reasons, some people will always hate Alaska and I can’t blame them. But those people are in the minority today, and Alaska finds itself in one of the most enviable positions in the industry when it comes to customer perception.

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125 Comments on "Why Don’t People Hate Alaska Airlines?"

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Anonymous
Guest

Why does this feel like a blatant ad disguised as a post? I’ve seen so many Alaska Air ads on your RSS feed.

They’re maybe better than other carriers (I fly Horizon frequently), but not that much better. If you want a good carrier try one that doesn’t charge you to check bags and is known for their service, ie Jetblue or SWA.

Tonei
Member

The problem with Southwest and Jetblue is that if you need to get somewhere that that airline doesn’t fly, you’re pretty much SOL in terms of benefits, mileage/points accrual, and award tickets. Alaska gives you more flexibility than any other airline in terms of mileage redemption and accrual, especially within the U.S.

On the “known for their service” angle, Alaska has been ranked at the top of traditional network carriers for the past three years…the same distinction that Jetblue holds among low-cost carriers (though theirs is for 5 years).

Mike
Guest

Brett, wonder if you noticed that when you remove the livery head and move it to a human body it starts to eerily resemble Chumlee from Pawn Stars.

Jon
Guest
Having spent a fair amount of time in Anchorage, you’ll find the people there very much have a love/hate relationship with AS. They’ll ache about the cost of intra-state flights, the shortage of seats around the holidays (even as they run a nearly-hourly ANC-SEA shuttle), and your usual complaints about surly flight attendants, etc. But they can’t/won’t fly anyone else, they’ve all got AS credit cards, etc. It’s no different than they way people here in ATL feel about DL. It’s just on a much smaller scale and limited to their smaller west coast/Alaska network. Thus, why you don’t hear… Read more »
gba
Guest
They’ve had their share of PR mishaps asside from the crash in 2000: remember when they fired all their union baggage handlers and the new out-sourced crew couldn’t get anything right for weeks? Alaska has spent years marketing itself as different/better/friendlier than the big guys, that pays huge dividends and people still believe it although it’s not as true as it once was. Most people expect alaska eto be reasonably friendly (and they are) and are willing to see the bad apple employee or delay as an exception whereas for other airlines, with a less cultivated image, the exceptions are… Read more »
James Burke
Guest
I flew AS on the weekend for the first time, and was throughly impressed. The mainline flight from GEG-SEA was fine – on time, clean plane, good service, nice views over the Cascades. I was particularly impressed on the return flight on Horizon. I like flying Porter Airlines, and my Horizon flight felt like a Porter flight – nice quiet Q400, friendly FA’s, smooth flight. Normally they don’t have much for drink service on the shortest Horizon flights, but with a 24% load on Easter Sunday morning, they pulled out all the stops, and I had much more wine than… Read more »
Alex Hill
Member

Biggest thing for me: when I call their phone number (as a non-status passenger), almost immediately after I hit send, a human being answers “Alaska Airlines” and is uniformly helpful. That goes a long way.

Maria
Guest

Great comment; thats the Alaska spirit!

David SF eastbay
Member

“””””The bigger the company, the bigger the target it is.”””””

That reminded me of a CNBC or MSNBC show on Target. It’s number two behind WalMart and they like it that way. Why? Because no one protests at the number two company, they go to the number one company to protest anything.

It’s the same with airlines, the bigger your are the more people will put you in the spotlight about anything negative because your ‘data’ will be a bigger negative then a smaller carrier.

MM
Guest

Being able to speak to a human when I call (before I had status), above average (not perfect) customer service, but the number one–where else can I get credits for flying both American and Delta, the two largest legacy carriers in STL? As far as earning potential, award seats, etc. Mileage Plan is heads above any other FF plan. In return for good service, I will endure the often out of the way connection in Seattle (nearly) anytime I am going to travel to the west coast.

Don Nadeau
Guest

Alaska knows how to hire appropriate people to interface with customers.

That sums it up for me.

Mike Hillwig
Guest

When I’m going to the west coast, I fly Alaska. Living in Boston, it’s great having non-stops to both Portland and Seattle. It’s not just that. It’s their service. And they treat people the way they should be treated. I’ve never had an Alaska employee be anything less than polite to me.

CDKing
Guest

Not outsourcing the call center helps satisfy customers as well

Scott
Member

because they’re human. They admit when they’ve made a mistake.

I was in Seattle in a big snow of 2009 (SEA closed for a few hours altogether), thousands of delayed passengers, and no one was cranky in the AS concourses. Why? because they knew AS would deal with it, and it wasn’t AS’ fault.

And @CDKing summed it up “Not outsourcing the call center helps satisfy customers”.

Ben
Guest

Another nice touch is that they give perks to Elite members, even if they don’t get the first class upgrade. I remember reading an article about how they offer elite members in coach a free drink before the flight, address them by their first name, and thank them for flying. If I don’t get my upgrade on Delta, I’m really no different than the guy who rarely flies them and paid next to nothing for his ticket.

robertdavidek
Member

Do OLCI with Delta; you’ll get a coupon for a free drink if you aren’t upgraded in advance.

Nick Barnard
Member

For those non-flyertalk folks, the results of my googling yields OLCI=on-line check-in

ancdude
Guest
Two things. One, given 87.2% on time performance is outstanding when you consider a large percentage of their flights are within Alaska and subject to outrageous weather. Two, when AS had a very profitable year, they shared their good fortune with their employees; most of the bonuses were equal to one month’s pay, a good way to reward employee loyalty. I live in Anchorage and am MVP and find the perks very attratctive – so attractive that I really can’t justify flying anyone else, unless they are a code-share (Delta, American). We got caught in the computer meltdown and I… Read more »
ancdude
Guest

To Ben (and all).

Yes, AS does give special, first-name recognition personally to MVP Gold. I’m not there yet, but I’ve flown next to Gold – they are treated very well!

FBKSan
Member
Another issue that you allude to but don’t state explicitly is that Alaska Airlines is in many ways (a) a regional airline and (b) and “Alaskan” airline. I spent my first 18 years in Alaska and then the next 9 in Southern California (flying AS up the coast). While I was frustrated by high AS fares to Alaska (due to limited competition, especially in Fairbanks), I always felt a special connection with the airline. For example, in many ways AS understands and looks after its Alaska passengers (dividend fare sale, baggage allowances within the state, etc.), and I think some… Read more »
Perry
Guest

I haven’t flown Alaska all that often and not in a few years now, but from my experience they’ve got the most surly and least friendly employees of any airline I’ve seen. Not a smile to be seen on the ground or in the air, and this is my experience not from a single trip, but from several.

People may love Alaska, but from my experience, their employees do not.

Tom in Raleigh
Guest

I guess you don’t fly DL much if you think AS has the surliest FAs. The ones DL inherited from NW haven’t learned much “southern hospitality” yet.

JD
Guest

They also fly routes that have little to no competition which helps drive up their numbers. Specifically they have a direct route from San Diego to Cabo, I planned a trip down south for the first time last year and I could have spent less on another airline but I would have had to connect. So I opted to pay more on AS to skip the connection and give me a few more hours in Cabo, it was well worth it for me!

Ryan
Guest

In the state of Alaska…yes. On the west coast where most of the flying is done? Not at all. The bulk of operations are along the west coast where WN has a stronghold as well. WN is actually AS’s biggest head to head competitor. This has forced AS to lower costs to compete, which benefits them against every other carrier. To say they have little competition is completely false.

ElGordo
Guest

As I was reading this article, a song by Alaska Airlines logo model Johnny Cash came up on Pandora. Perfect!

Nick Barnard
Member

Part of why they’re not hated is that they push technology in a smart way, and to work intelligently.

I was kinda amazed when I missed putting my Dividend Miles number on a reservation. I expected to fill out a form online, then wait for the miles to post. I filled the form out online, and the miles posted, right then, and there.

I also look at their Airport of the Future to be an implementation of this, basically answering the question “How can we use technology to make this experience more pleasant?”

flightgirl316
Guest
I thought I would post my experience on AS, since an Anonymous writer thought the article sounded like an ad. I am actually Mrs. Cranky, and you will see I have a very different, completely subjective view of AS than my husband…I have probably flown AS/horizon only two or three times, but the only time I actually remember is an AS flight from SNA to SFO. This flight was a complete cluster only made worse by an insulting pilot…long story short my flight was delayed, which turned into a rolling delay, which turned into a mechanical delay only after we… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

First thought: Mr. and Mrs. Cranky have odd arguments:: Alaska Airlines and PB&J vs PB & Honey? Re: http://inmff.net/o1y

Really? If (when?) Baby Cranky joins us, I’m not sure I want to know where the arguments will go..

Second: Yeah, it sounds like you had a really bad experience, but at least you got to hang out on Salmon-thirty-Salmon with the cool overhead bin decals..

christine.negroni
Member
Cranky, These are very interesting points and I think your conclusion is right on. You did neglect to leave out one thing when discussing the airline’s safety issues. After Alaska outsourced its ramp operations in 2005, a luggage loader was smacked into the side of an Alaska MD-80 causing a crease that was undetected until after the plane took off and experienced a rapid decompression at 26,000 feet. The line between that airplane landing safely (as it did) and disaster is a fine line indeed. It is a significant enough event to be included in your assessment. More details can… Read more »
CP
Guest

Although I’m based in DC, as a frequent business traveler, I have flown Alaska several times, both across the country and up-and-down the West Coast. I’ve also done some intra-Alaska flying. I’ve had pretty universally good experiences on Alaska — clean planes, polite staff, useful people on the phone, etc. I’m a fan.

cbachik
Member
Cranky, Alaska Airlines is great until to comes to flights involving their partnering with other airlines. We booked a flight to the Florida on an airline that Alaska has a partnership with, then flew to Texas, and finally had a flight back from Texas on Alaska to complete our trip. We booked this trip 8 months in advance to ensure we got flight times and seats we wanted. When we tried to check in on-line the night before our flight on Alaska, we could not. When we arrived at the airport, we were told that we could not check in… Read more »
Tom in Raleigh
Guest
Why don’t people hate AS? Because it sucks far less than all other airlines. Take, for example, a route I often take: SEA-ATL-RDU. Then compare the service on AS compared with DL. Of course, it’s hard to really provide great or bad service on a 1 hour flight from ATL-RDU. But DL is up to the challenge. It’s not just that DL or UA/CO are so big. It’s that they also suck. DL’s merger with NW simply created an airline with DL’s lackadaisical attitude toward on-time flights and reasonable connections (which is why they don’t care that their biggest hub… Read more »
Kelly S
Guest

Alaska Airlines in Alaska has a captive audience, and they do take advantage of that. Not much choice year round, but in the summer there are other carriers that fly. Alaskans cannot get a decant flight before 1 am most times.
Because of this, I have seen people get bummped so the tourist can make a flight. I live here!
I know I have made a choice to live here but come on, treat us with a little respect.

Bad Bob
Guest

I’ve traveled on AS many many times. I’ve traveled on DL, AA, etc several times as well. And there’s just no comparison between AS and the rest. AS has clean airplanes, nice people, fast baggage, and on-time flights. And then there’s the mileage plan which is far better than any other.

I hate to travel on any other airline because the people are surly, the planes dirty, they get there when they want, my bags are torn up or don’t show up, etc. I’m simply spoiled by quality service from AS.

Zoann Murphy
Guest

Just had to add my thoughts: Alaska Airlines is the only airline to provide service to 98% of Alaska. Only Fairbanks and Anchorage have any other airline flying directly into their airports. So yes, we Alaskans “like” our airline, we have no choice in the matter.

HuskyAK
Guest

AS has done us NO favors up here in Alaska! In Anchorage, paying $600-800 r/t fares to SEA and HNL has us more in the hate zone and love. They have exploited every aspect of a monopoly carrier, who has also successfully convinced the competition to codeshare for feed rather than offer any true option or choice. To fly SEA to SAN is in the $400 range – so competition the key. Loyalty will go out the door with Southwest and Jet Blue start coming.

lizaz
Guest
All the comments are great and I have to put in my two cents. I am retired AS, 34 yrs and been retired 10 yrs. In my time, I was always customer service and spent my career giving away compensation and making unhappy passengers happy. Nothing was more satisfying. Alaska is not perfect as some have said, but it’s about as close to perfect as we think it can get. No airline operates without delays and other interruptions such as the recent computer outage. Some have commented that fares in the State of Alaska are high because of little competition.… Read more »
Laura
Guest
You wanted to hear about “hating” Alaska Airlines… Try living in Juneau or anywhere else in Southeast… the only airline here is “Scalp” Alaska. They have successfully run 3 competitors out of Juneau, when one is crazy enough to come in they do everything in their power to make them fail. There are no cheap fares to go anywhere… oops I forgot, you can buy cheap tickets to get here when the legislature is in session but I can’t buy the same priced ticket to leave here. They are running a monopoly and we are making up the difference in… Read more »
Ryan
Guest

No matter what Alaska does to run competitors out of SE Alaska, there is no way two carriers can survive both serving SE Alaska. If you can show me the numbers then I’d love to see them. But you won’t find the business case unless you want to fly 30 seat prop planes to Seattle. That’s the only way multiple airlines could fly many frequencies and make money.

Hunter
Guest

I’m in agreement with Laura. Southeast Alaska routes subsidize all those great fares Outside. Try getting to Anchorage. It is a milk run (three to four landings to get there) or pay through the nose to go KTN-SEA-ANC. And with that milk run…?, I only get the credit for one segment, with four landings.
So as a fare base opinion, AS sucks buttermilk. As an overall opinion of planes, crew, luggage, etc., I really like ’em. I will try everything to use AS for East coast directs. And yes, buying through a partner airline does indeed wreak havoc with “confirmed” seating.

travelnate
Guest
Local Juneauite chiming in here too. Alaska is a great customer-oriented product. I’ve found I really do like Mileage Plan, and the new partnership with Delta makes it even more attractive (although I lost MVP status and now only Delta Silver). The fares out of JNU are on the high side compared to other markets. $170 one way to ANC is the norm (and that’s 21 days out, and a 75 minute flight)… and $260ish each way to Seattle – block time is about 100 minutes. I’d love to fly to Seattle for $350-$400ish roundtrip – and I’d fly MUCH… Read more »
Chris
Guest

Its interesting the divergence of opinion. Living in a relatively isolated place with a population base large enough to support one operator, and that is a good formula for high fares. But that’s part of the cost of living where you do. JNU is clean, quiet, and away from it all….and for that you have different costs. If the airfares are so upsetting, perhaps you should move somewhere where they are cheap???

Nick Barnard
Member

You know, that’s probably a place they can improve. If you fly milk run they should give each landing as a segment credit. If you change planes at a hub you get credits by segment, why not here?

David M
Guest

Seems like through flights are often credited that way. Several years ago I flew SAN-IAD-MCO on a United through flight. My boarding pass said San Diego to Orlando, and I used the stub when I reboarded the plane in Dulles. My Mileage Plus account received just one segment credit and I was credited with the number of miles equivalent to a nonstop flight, which as this map shows, is not an insignificant difference : http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SAN-MCO,+SAN-IAD-MCO

tharanga
Guest

there’s an eskimo guy on the tail. how could anybody hate that?

Art
Guest
I live in Kodiak, and yeah, we’re a captive audience and I’ve had sticker shock several times booking tickets in and out of the state. On the other hand, when it all goes down the tubes and you’re standing in a very long line (which happens all the time flying in Alaska) there’s no need to wonder what’s going to happen when you finally reach the counter. They’ve seen it all before and they’re going to get you wherever you’re going. They make order out of chaos better than anyone else. In-state flights still get three free bags too! I… Read more »
Dk
Guest

I love Alaska Airlines… they have great service they have never lost my baggage they have great frequent flyer program and they treat people well… plus when they had the computer breakdown they came out and said they were sorry and didnt try to blame it on someone else took accountablity and moved on… best airline in America!

Nick Barnard
Member

Accountability is so important. DL/Comair would’ve fared better if they owned their computer meltdown at the CEO level of Comair, or the VP level of Delta Connection

Geoff Fischer
Guest
Wow, a long post by Brett and 39 comments and nobody mentions the signature Alaska prayer cards on the meal trays??!! From many years of being an MVP Gold I have to disagree with the comment above about poor in-flight service… Alaska’s FA’s are one of their greatest assets in my book, alongside those young 738s and 739s and their treatment of top-tier fliers. I think the answer to the headline question is that Pacific Northwesterners like having an independent home-region airline and the rest of the country doesn’t really know who they are. The question I’d pose is: “How… Read more »
eric
Guest

Alaska Airlines has been screwing us for years here in Alaska. They have a captive audience. Ever try to go to Barrow on another airline? Their mileage plan is one of the few perks(?) they offer and I’d rather have lower fares than a mileage plan you need to plan 6 months ahead to get a ticket. I’d fly any airline who gave us some kind of deal. Competition would level the playing field.

Ryan
Guest
Competition would bankrupt both airlines. Nobody else flies to Barrow on 737s because it’s hard enough to make money with a 737. There just isn’t a market. Barrow is lucky it has jet service with the size of population they have. Plain and simple. There are tons of cities in the lower 48 with 10 times the population of Barrow and only get tiny puddle jumpers on a somewhat daily basis. There will never be competition in Barrow. Why can’t people be grateful that Alaska serves it. When Markair came exploded across Alaska using unsustainably low fares, what happened to… Read more »
Keri
Guest
I love to fly Horizon (part of Alaska Air) for work. I live/work in Sonoma County, CA and the flights for me have always been on-time and arrive early Nearly every flight. I also enjoy the free beer/wine onboard. Alaska Air Also allows you to check up to a case of wine FOR FREE out of STS, which saves my company lots of money on baggage fees for the multiple flights we take every month. I don’t often have the same experience when Flying out of SFO with other carriers. In fact, if I can’t fly Horizon/Alaska or Virgin America,… Read more »
Sean Powell
Guest
To put it simply, Alaskans (ESPECIALLY Southeast Alaskans) love Alaska Airlines because they’re our lifeline to the world. It is, for many medium communities in the “panhandle” the only way out that doesn’t require the same level of planning they used to attack Verdun (read “ride the Alaska Marine Highway System”). Their agents are as friendly as their customers are and, living here, you kinda have to expect/deal with delays. When the 70+mph winds hit in Nov. and your town gets overflown, you go to Seattle and wait for a connector. They provide it as fast as they can as… Read more »
Steve
Guest
I’ve been an employee of Alaska for 26 years…Wien Air Alaska before that so feel I have a pretty good pulse on what it takes to operate in the state of Alaska. I hear Alaskans complain about getting hosed on airfares but, just like everything else in Alaska, it costs more to do business there. Yes, you’re paying more but things cost more in Alaska. You need to fuel the aircraft, provide maintenance, catering, ground staff, etc….which all cost more than the lower 48. You also need to own and operate your own terminals in the smaller towns…something probably no… Read more »
David Baker
Guest
Why don’t more people hate Alaska Airlines? Many of us do hate Alaska Airlines. My mother worked there in the late 40’s and several friends work there, so I was loyal beyond reason for too long. They have been screwing Alaskans for way too long. Alaska Airlines has treated the state like their own debit card for too long. They need competition, on the order of a Southwest-type carrier. Someone who is truly organized and efficient. Alaska has the best pilots and equipment, bar none. They just treat their customers like sheep with credit cards.
Jon
Guest

Cranky got some attention from the Anchorage Daily News…

http://www.adn.com/2011/04/28/1834020/cranky-flier-why-dont-people-hate.html

…and the locals commenting here and there are certainly those love/hate types I told you about.

Planereality
Guest

#7) they place prayer cards on meal trays… Oh wait, that would be under why Americans should hate them

David SF eastbay
Member
There’s been a lot of comments on -AS- but good and bad. AS is not new and has been around for many decades and while some people may think badly of them, you don’t hear the same horror stories like you do at UA/CO/AA/DL or even TW/NW/EA etc of management and rank-an-file hating each other and doing battle on something every other week. Because of this you have workers liking their job so tend to stick around for a long time which can be why they are friendly. Having once worked for an airline (TWA) I can tell you the… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

Wait, an airline worker said Sorry? Did you write down the date, time and their employee number for posterity?

S Scott
Guest
Last time we flew to Alaska on Alaska it was awful. No problem with the flight, but I encountered a really lousey customer service response to a special issue that occurred. I accidentally forgot to drop off the rental car keys before I got on the plane, although I had returned the car to the lot, and all that, and asked the jerk who took my ticket at the loading door if he would please do it. They almost left me on the tarmac! He was sarcastic and asked if I thought “he should take that risk in my behalf.”… Read more »
Lee C.
Guest
The only time I flew Alaska, they insisted on having a medical-service company decide whether I could fly with my own oxygen concentrator (a SeQual Eclipse, approved by the FAA). Most other airlines I fly have a form on their website for me to download, have my doctor sign, and bring with me to check-in. Not Alaska. This contract medical-service company has a HUGE conflict of interest, as they also RENT portable oxygen equipment. They insisted on talking to my doctor IN PERSON, a huge inconvenience for her, as she practices alone. The company’s rep was rude and nasty when… Read more »
Dk
Guest
I had to reply to that last 2 on here… bot seem a little over the top… you forget to return your rental keys and expect the baggage guy to do it… I would never have asked someone to do this I would have called the rental people and dropped the keys in a certified pouch as soon as possible… liabilty factors and oxygen on the plane… i cant even take a water bottle on the plane cannot imagine why there would be some hoops to take oxygen on the plane …. Alaska Airlines is a great airline.. I love… Read more »
Mar
Guest

My hometown is one of the milk run stops, and we would not get daily flight service if Alaska didn’t do it. I think Alaska is subsidized by the government to stop here for mail service. One of the nice things the smaller flights do is to specially welcome groups over the intercom. Traveling military personnel, Girl Scouts, and high school sports teams all get a mention.

Randy
Guest
Oxygen concentrators are allowed on planes, bottled oxygen isn’t. Models like the FAA approved SeQual Eclipse create concentrated oxygen on the go. Any gas under pressure, especially oxygen which can feed a fire, is considered HAZMAT and is not allowed aboard an aircraft. Even SCUBA tanks have to be empty to go in the cargo hold. Insisting on talking to a doctor seems a bit cumbersome if that was case. If the FAA has approved a model and the form is properly filled out, it should be allowed on. Personally I like the small local touches on Alaska Airlines such… Read more »
Nick
Guest
As a current Alaska Airlines Captain, reading the comments on this thread has been pretty interesting; and in my over 25 years with the Company I’ve seen many changes to the way we do business. I’m sorry some of you feel Alaska Airlines is out to “screw” you. Our Company exists, and I have a job, because we try to offer you a product that fills your needs at a reasonable cost, commensurate with conditions we operate in. SE AK and our Arctic destinations can be pretty darned difficult to get in and out of. As many of you know,… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

Nick, what exactly is the best way and time to stick my head in the cockpit and say hi? I’d like to do this a lot of times, but I also don’t want to be an imposition. I’m not usually flying the Alaska routes, just the lower 48 routes..

Nick
Guest

The best time is usually during deplaning. Most of us try to stand at the cockpit door to say good bye to folks, although sometimes our duties don’t allow us to open the door before many of the passengers have already left.

Thanks for flying us.

Nick Barnard
Member
Reading the comments on this thread reminded me of an excellent experience I’ve had on Alaska. I was flying AS103 between LAX and SEA on tail N754AS. (it was on August 24, 2008 if you must know!) I had a window seat on the last row in the plane. The other five seats in that row were occupied by a family of Middle Eastern descent on their way to take a cruise out of Seattle. They were quite antsy because they were actually scheduled to fly an earlier flight, but they were held up in security and missed that flight,… Read more »
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