PHOENIX TO SEATTLE -- On June 2nd we were dropped off at the airport by my Mom, and we got there around 3:00 in the afternoon, flight time was 6:47 p.m. We had two service dogs with us... all their gear as well as our two suitcases. I walked in the door at Alaska Airlines and there was no one in line, so we got there right away, checked in with the dogs and got everything headed to security. When I called to confirm, they said to allow an extra 45 minutes for check-in with the dogs.
After we checked in and got boarding passes, we were asked to have a seat for a few minutes and the person handling the wheelchair for my hubby would be right down... they showed up with TWO wheelchairs so I got to ride too! We were whisked off to security and flowed smoothly through that, the dogs took it all in stride, as they usually do.
When our flight was boarding we were the first ones on the plane, and one flight attendant wanted the dogs on the floor, however it's hard to put a five pound dog on the floor of a revving plane when it's something totally new to them, they were fine in their totes and we just held them a bit closer. At the end of our flight, we were met by two more wheelchairs and taken to luggage and they then took us out to my son's vehicle. So far... KUDOS Alaska Air.... see you the 30th!!!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I recently went into preterm labor during a trip to Seattle, and once my condition stabilized my husband and I needed to cut our trip short and fly home ASAP, flying out of Seattle instead of Portland as we had originally planned. When my husband called Alaska Air customer service, he was put through to a person almost immediately, which in itself is unheard of at an airline these days.
They were extremely helpful about changing our flight, and due to the medical emergency they cut our change fee in half, to $100 total for both of us. (This is in contrast to Hertz rent-a-car, which wanted to charge us $380 to return our car in Seattle, and who wouldn't budge.) We were very impressed with how they handled the situation, and wouldn't hesitate to fly this airline again.
FURIOUS IS WHAT I AM. Last night, I set three alarms to wake me up at precisely 4:00 AM for my 6:30 AM flight from San Jose Mineta Airport to Seattle/Tacoma. I woke up on time with a bit of a struggle, but regardless, I reach the airport at 5:00 AM. There was horrific traffic and slow-ass drivers who couldn't drive to save their life, hence me arriving 30 minutes later than expected.
Anyway, I get into the airport only to find it extremely jam-packed; I casually tap on a shoulder of a Caucasian woman holding her baby boy and ask her if she's checking in for the Seattle flight. She replies with obvious frustration and says that they will soon cut off the line at a certain point and declare that those who were on flight AS351 were not going to get through.
I was rather surprised and irritated that they didn't give priority to those were desperate to hop on the plane to Seattle. So, I decide to be proactive and ask the people at the counter, who apparently already got harassed by many of the pissed off people who couldn't get a seat on the plane to Seattle. I asked kindly and softly if they could just squeeze ONE person in. But boy, were they rude and curt.
My cell phone rings, and it's my dad. He's anxious to know if I made it on time. At first I was reluctant to pick it up, because I knew I was in for an earful the second the lady told me that I was going to be able to catch the 351 flight. My dad kept on yelling and lecturing the whole time I was waiting in line, and I was really stressed out. He kept pressuring me to bother the people at the counter, but people were already bombarding them with their mean comments and complaints.
After 45 minutes, he gives up and tells me to call him back when I sort things out. Afterwards, I arrived at the counter and asked yet again if she could still squeeze me in, and she gave a rude "no." I tried to ask her if she could put me on the next plane, but unfortunately, all of them were on standby or either completely booked. So, I decided to give the flight from San Jose to Portland, WA a shot. I was put on the standby list.
After she checked in my luggage, I practically sprinted to the security area, where yet ANOTHER long line formed. Then, I hustled to the C10 gate and asked the lady if she could squeeze me in. She said she did not know at that time, and that I probably would not be able to get in. I waited for another 30 minutes only to be disappointed since every single person was on that plane. Again, I approached the counter with a hopeless face set on, and the lady just booked me a fight for tomorrow night at 8:35 PM. There's Alaska/Horizon Air for you.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- August 20, 2006 - After my flight from Seattle to Dallas, I discovered that my cell phone and digital camera were missing from my luggage once it arrived in Dallas. I reported this to Alaska Air employee **. He completed a Lost Article Report and told me to call in two days to check to see if they had found it.
August 22 - Spoke with Alaska Air baggage employee **. Mr. ** told me he hadn't seen any paperwork on my loss and wasn't familiar with my claim. He doesn't know what ** may have done with it or if he sent it on. There is nothing showing a record of my claim. He also told me that Alaska Air is not responsible for stolen articles. It says so on the ticket, so there will be no settlement given me. He said that he's got no proof that I had a camera and a phone in the bag. He suggested I contact the police to file a report there as well.
August 22 - Attempted to contact Alaska Air Central Baggage Services several times but received a busy signal each time. August 22 - Sent message to Central Baggage Service via the Alaska Air website. Gave a brief description of my issue. Received an e-mail back from them saying that they are busy and it will be two weeks before they can look at my note to them. It suggests that I call rather than mess with their website messaging. It also says “for flights less than 5 days ago please contact your final destination station directly.”
August 23 - Contacted the DFW Airport police. In order to inconvenience the victim and give the thief more time to elude the law and a chance to get rid of his booty, they would not take a report over the phone. I must come into the station in person. August 23 - Sent e-mail to Seattle Baggage Department asking for their help: E-Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 23 - Called the Seattle baggage department of Alaska Air and spoke to **. She said I have to call Central Baggage Services since it's been over 24 hours. I told her that ** had told me to call him after two days. She said it didn't matter, that Central Baggage handles stolen items after 24 hours. August 23 - Attempted to call Central Baggage Services several times but only received a busy signal.
August 23 - Called and spoke to **. He asked if I had receipts for the stolen items and how much they totaled. Then he told me if it's over $500, it's got to go to Central Baggage Claim. He also said that he hasn't done anything with my paperwork since he was off yesterday. He hasn't reported this to CBS yet. He asked me to fax him my receipts and he will talk to his station manager tomorrow to see if they can take care of it here in Dallas or if it needs to go to CBS. He will call me back tomorrow after 2:00. Never called back.
August 24 - Faxed receipts, boarding pass, claim ticket and proof that I had to turn off my cell phone. August 24 -
Received a response from my e-mail to the Seattle Baggage department. They told me to call someone else. I responded that I had already called someone else who had suggested I contact them.
August 28 - Called Seattle police department to report the theft. Spoke with officer **, badge number **. He took the report and gave me reference number **. He told me that reports like this come in regularly and he's not surprised that I'm not getting any assistance from Alaska Air. They have so many thefts from luggage that they try to ignore it. He also suggested I call TSA in case they took it out to inspect and forgot to put it back in the baggage.
August 28 - Left a message for ** at Dallas Baggage. Called back later and spoke to Mr. ** again. He still doesn't know what ** may have done with the report he took. He emphasized that Alaska Air wasn't responsible for their employees stealing items from baggage. I told him that we could at least view the video from the baggage area to see who was rifling through the bags. He said I would have to take that up with Central Baggage.
August 28 - Called Seattle Alaska Air baggage department for update. They told me that this is not the right department to call, I must call Central Baggage. They did find my claim in their file so apparently ** finally completed the paperwork and turned it in. August 28 - Sent another e-mail to the Central Baggage Claim and got the same automated response that I had received the first time telling that it will be two weeks before anyone will pay attention to my e-mail.
August 28 - Called Central Baggage again. Received a recorded message telling me to contact the local baggage area if within five days. This is what I did, to no avail. The rep that answered asked for a claim number which I have never been given. She said this was logged as an item left on the plane. I corrected her and asked where this will go from here. She said I would be receiving some information in the mail. I asked what this information would tell me or do for me to retrieve my stolen property. She said that she didn't know.
I asked where this will go from here and she told me she would send this to their security office for investigation. I asked how many of these cases were resolved and she didn't know. She gave me a claim number of ** and said that I would be receiving my information in the mail. I told her I would volunteer to view the security tapes. She informed me that there are no security camera in their baggage departments. August 28 - Attempted to call Seattle TSA but there is no answer or answering machine at their number.
August 29 - Called the TSA. According to the announcement, they are currently experiencing a high number of thefts. There were 36 calls in front of mine. Completed the on-line claim form and faxed and mailed it to the appropriate address. Sent an e-mail with claim information.
August 29 - Called the local Dallas baggage area to talk to ** to ask him how my report got entered as “left on plane” and to ask if he had been able to talk to his boss and do something locally like he said he may be able to do. He wasn't at work again. I talked to Mr. ** who reinforced that they can't do anything and that I might as well accept the loss and move on. He said it's in the hands of Central Baggage at this point.
August 29 - Called Verizon to see if they can track my old phone in the case someone tries to activate it. Also asked if they could print an original receipt for the purchase of that phone. Similar to Alaska Air, they said they can't do anything in the local store and that I would need to contact their customer service department. I called the customer service number and my phone is now logged as stolen so anyone that tries to activate it will be flagged.
However, they won't do anything about it when someone tries to activate it such as report the person, retain the phone or contact me or the police with the perp's name and address. They just won't activate it for the person trying.
August 30 - Since they won't take a report over the phone, I went to the DFW police department to complete a theft report. I spoke to three individuals who all told me they would get an officer to come take my report. An officer had not shown up after 25 minutes of waiting. I had to go to work so I left without completing the theft report.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I just returned from a Mexico trip flying on Alaska Air and I must inform you that at least two aspects of your recent drive to improve on-time departure ratings are turning into a fiasco. I flew from Seattle to Manzanillo, Mexico via Los Angeles on 13 February. The Seattle plane AK #210 landed as scheduled at 10:33 in LAX. The Manzanillo plane AK #256, the only one that day and the only one for two more days, was scheduled to leave at 11:10 am. **This is less than 40 minutes between flights on the ticket schedule.**
I and other Seattle passengers dashed to the plane and barely made it. It was chaos at the gate because they just announced boarding all rows all at once. Of course the first people on blocked the aisle for 10 minutes shoving themselves into the front seats on the plane. The plane took off about 10 minutes late. When we arrived in Manzanillo we learned that our baggage did NOT make it. We were told they did not have time to load it.
At least 8 people were left standing there with no luggage and no chance of getting it for 2 more days, when the next AK flight from LAX came in. They had no clothes, no medicines, and in my case my guitar was left behind on my 5 day trip to play it with a band in Manzanillo. I told the AK rep to leave the bag in LAX baggage office and I would get it on return.
I spoke to two flight attendants who asked to remain anonymous. They said they hate the "all rows boarding" policy, it is simply dysfunctional and slows boarding down. I saw it on all four flights I took. They said it is AK policy now to somehow improve on time departures. Let me remind you: All-rows boarding slows down departure, it does not speed it up. And, the attendants said that it is not LEGAL to have less than 40 minutes scheduled between international flights. How is this happening then?
And does on-time departure mean leaving large amounts of baggage behind?? We were on our way to a simple round-trip destination for the plane, the only flight there for 2 days, and there was no harm in simply waiting 15 minutes more to get all the bags on board. We know the extra time could be made up in flight. The pilots knew all the bags were not on board and left anyway. Was this because AK management is insisting on such behavior?
I would appreciate an answer to the following questions: Does AK Air actually have an ongoing effort to improve on time departures? Does this policy include permitting departures that leave behind luggage when the passengers are already on board, and not telling them their luggage won't make it so they don't have the choice whether to fly or not? (Many people would not go if their bags can't go.)
For how long has this "all rows boarding" policy been in effect, and what evidence do you have that it is working? It does not work. Your own staff hate it. Is it legal to schedule arrivals and departure between domestic and international flights less than 40 minutes apart? I was told by your FA that this is forbidden by the FAA. If so why did it happen?
My long-awaited vacation was seriously compromised because I did not have my instrument to play in the band I was invited to join. That was one of the best reasons for the trip. AK left my luggage behind and could not deliver it until halfway through my vacation. At least I had carried on my clothes bag, unlike the 7 other people in same situation. Please inform me if there is some consideration AK Air can give to make up for this rather amazingly bad decision making, which if my information is correct is partly due to the flights being scheduled too tightly together, against regulations.
These are all serious issues for your airline and indicate systemic concerns, especially rescheduling and gate management. I am looking forward to hearing from you in response to the questions above.
HELEBA, MONTANTA -- I try to avoid Alaska, sometimes at considerable cost, just to avoid the unsupervised and rude gate agents in Helena, MT. Tonight I had the opportunity to just observe a Horizon gate agent while I waited for my Delta flight. It was amazing. One passenger after another, treated rudely and rushed. I have experienced many rude and unhelpful Horizon agents in Helena, and this one was no different. Just a little extra "care less" attitude. Alaska, ARE YOU LISTENING? This can be fixed you know.
I book flights across the US on a regular basis, and when I do, I try to book with Alaska Airlines. Their web booking is perfect, with no problems. When you talk with customer service you are talking with a nice polite person who will always do whatever they can to help. The flight attendants are wonderful, real people who do a great job. For 2009, I have made Gold Status with Alaska Airlines and I will continue booking flights with this company. Thanks.
NOME, ALASKA -- I would like to know how the web specials are decided and who decides them. It's not uncommon to see web specials from Bethel to Anchorage and a lot less likely to see web specials from Nome to Anchorage. What's with that? The regular fares from Anchorage to anywhere in Alaska are exorbitant and prohibitive. If it cost just a little less that many of us would be flying a lot more and would be much happier when we do fly.
My last two flights on Alaska Airlines went very well. I had to check a bag on my last flight to Newark. On both the outbound and return (Sea-Tac), my luggage arrived quickly on the carousel. On my last flight to Las Vegas, both the outbound and return flights departed on time. The flight crews did a great job getting people on board and ready. I hope this trend continues.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Through my own poor planning, I arrived at the San Francisco check-in counter less than 45 minutes before my 2 pm flight to Vancouver -- you're supposed to be there at least 1.5 hours before the flight. I was resigned to missing my flight and having to take a later flight (which would have meant a delay of at least 5 hours), but the Alaska Airlines employee at the check-in counter found a seat on the plane and literally ran me to the security lineup. I was still able to make it home to my family on time, instead of missing my flight and arriving home several hours later.
Needless to say, next time I'll try to plan better (and perhaps check in online). I was fortunate that I didn't have any baggage to be checked, otherwise there was no way I would have made it on the flight.